Ice cream specialty shops abound. So when you find something special, it’s a rare gem.
This is POPS Artisanal Creamery in the City of San Fernando. They offer a sundae in a half coconut. They make their own ice cream with some rocking originals.
Yeah, I’m talking hibiscus (rosa de jamaica) ice cream. And spicy cucumber. Watermelon.
The exotic flavors are Latin variations. You don’t have as many options as competitors La Michoacana, but the ice creams are made to the American taste, not according to the Mexican formula. Which means, I like them better.
I learned a thing about exotic ice creams when I went to BAE, which offers unthinkable flavors like Coco Puffs Chocolate and Charcoal Cleanse. Only problem with BAE is that they don’t taste good.
To be fair, I didn’t try the spicy cucumber, so it would be wrong for me to endorse it here. But I did the sweet cream corn ice cream, which Martin said was his grandfather’s recipe, and it was delicious.
The proprietor, Martin Ken, is a handsome guy with light eyes from Belize. He’s slightly chubby, proof that he is a connoisseur of creams. He gives an individual attention and care to every customers, talking freely, answering questions, giving samples.
As a matter of fact, it was me who called it quits on the sample porque me apené. (Sorry for the Spanish, but I thought it might be apropos given the Latin neighborhood and the Latin flavors.) I think I sampled four separate creams before deciding, with my wife, for the super nutty walnut and the sharp coffee. (I say “sharp” because the coffee flavor is quite strong and tastes like a legit cup of joe — way better than your average coffee ice cream.)
Martin shaved the inside of half coconut and left the shavings in the bottom. Then he scooped in our two flavors, sprayed on whipped cream, gingerly applied chocolate syrup and topped it off with a mascherino cherry and a little parasol normal for cocktails. That parasol was a little bit of fun, an attractive, playful touch that shows signature caring.
It gave you the impression that he was executing a work of art and not just slapping the 104th order of the day to clock out. I thought to myself, Here is the Emperor of Ice Cream.)
He talks knowledgeably of creams from around the Caribbean. He talks about his family history with creams-making. He talks about his plans to open a second store in New Hall, to the North. He talks…. He talks friendly.
At Pops Artisanal Creamery, you are a friend.
We’ll be back.
POPS Artisanal Creamery
450 N. Maclay Ave.
San Fernando, CA 91340
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