‘Refreshing’ is a word one associates with Las Paletas artisan lollies, not only with its range of fruit and chocolate lollies, but also how it hosted its media event recently. Las Paletas has attracted the attention of the Cape, and is now stocked in all Pick ‘n Pays in the Western Cape. The range will soon be exported to Holland, and is already sold in Colombia!
Las Paletas is run by husband and wife team Jason Sandell and Diana Chava. Diana comes from Colombia, and had the idea to create lollies for dinner parties initially, when they first moved to Cape Town. The lollies went down so well with their guests that the idea was born to create Las Paletas lollies as a business. I first encountered Las Paletas lollies at the City Bowl market on Hope Street four years ago, its first appearance locally.
What sets Las Paletas apart from other commercially available lollies is that they are hand-made, 100% natural, and do not contain artificial colourants or flavourants. A Banting range has been created, using xylitol instead of sugar. Real dairy is used in the lollies. Real fruit is sourced locally, for example the strawberries come from Stellenbosch, and the citrus from Citrusdal.
Jason proudly told me that they only employ women who are single mothers, and they have become their extended family, caring for them, paying their medical bills, and giving them enough time off for them to be with their children.
The event was held in a large space in Roodebloem Road in Woodstock, the stark white walls offsetting the colourful Las Paletas product range and marketing material. The Las Paletas ranges were presented in different freezers, each attended to by a friendly assistant, who took out one’s requested lolly. Each of the lolly variants were identified. We were encouraged to try as many as we liked, bins being available for the disposable of the unfinished lollies.
The Las Paletas lollies were presented in the following clusters:
# Fruit sorbet lollies, with Valencia orange, watermelon and mint, strawberry (photograph right), pineapple and chili, mixed berry, and papaya and lemon.
# Dairy lollies, with peanut butter, white chocolate and berries, blueberry cheesecake (photograph left) , Belgian chocolate, and brownie cheesecake.
# Chocolate lollies, with Grande chocolate (containing nuts and chocolate brownie, photograph right), nougat, Colombian coffee, and salted caramel.
# Sugar-free lollies, with Pomegranate and Granadilla Gelato.
To round off the tasting experience, one could bring a chosen lolly and ‘pimp‘ it, by dipping it into chocolate, cover it with a topping (Goji berries, meringue, crushed Oreos, almond flakes, and fudge), and drizzle it with a sauce, the ultimate indulgence.
As if we were not spoilt enough, Chef Johnny Hamman of Slippery Spoon Kitchen served delectable canapés, and it was odd to alternate savoury bites with the cold ice lollies. Platters of smoked salmon, prawns, Coronation chicken, beef and coffee canapé, goats cheese and beetroot, Parma Ham and asparagus, mini hamburgers, and pork belly and gooseberry did the rounds.
#CrazyDelicious is the hashtag which Las Paletas uses in its marketing. I am not usually an ice lolly person, but with a new approach to healthy eating, I have loved having the frozen fruit lollies in my freezer, a wonderful healthy cooling-off treat, with flavours of Valencia orange, mixed berry, and papaya lemon.
Disclosure: We received a pack of six Las Paletas lollies to take home with us.
Las Paletas, Unit 2, Ebenezer Park, Killarney Gardens, Cape Town. Tel (021) 556-1491. www.laspaletas.co.za Twitter: @laspaletas Instagram: @laspaletas
Chris von Ulmenstein, WhaleTales Blog: www.chrisvonulmenstein.com/blog Tel +27 082 55 11 323 Twitter:@Ulmenstein Facebook: click here Instagram: @Chris_Ulmenstein