Any Dominican of my generation will get pangs of nostalgia when reading the words “Helado de Potecito”. It’s hard to understand if you didn’t grow up in the Dominican Republic of my generation. And I think that this is the perfect send off to summer.
Do you know what I’m talking about?
Well, you young’uns, gather ’round Auntie Clara. Let me tell you about the old days of the 70s and 80s… and the naughts and, oh, never mind. You can still buy Helado de Potecitos in many a Dominican barrio.
Helado de Potecito, like other cottage industries in the DR (such as ice, juice, frituras, pasteles en hoja, etc.), was a way for stay-at-home moms to contribute some income to the family coffers, and in some cases support the entire family with it. And a great example of re-using (the glass jars had to be returned). Fruit ice pops frozen in little baby food jars were available from many a neighborhood doña, made with tropical fruits, and a way for us to spend our ‘cheles‘ back in the day.
We have actually turned many of these popular treats into popsicles, especially the most popular ones, like coconut, batata and coconut, and my own version of the popular “frescavena” of my childhood.
Summer wouldn’t have been the same without that nearly-daily treat: inexpensive, tasty, incredibly refreshing. One of the simple pleasures of our childhood that our children won’t probably enjoy. Which is why I am so obsessed with making my own paletas, and keep finding new ideas to treat my kid.
I have to confess that this isn’t as much a recipe as a sort of guide, an invitation for you to introduce your kids (and yourself!) to the treats of our childhood. This particular one is made with just fruit, it was incredibly creamy and needed no added sugar whatsoever.
The only problem? We ate them all in one sitting.
- 1 cup of diced strawberries
- 1 cup of diced mango
- 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
Puree fruit: Puree strawberries with a food processor or a stick blender. Set aside. Mix mango and vanilla extract and with a food processor or a stick blender. Set aside.
Making jars: Pour two tablespoons of strawberry puree in a small glass jar. Cover with mango puree. Continue layering until you reach the top. Freeze until it's mostly hard. Serve immediately.
Try any combination of your favorite fruits, get creative. Some fruits may need some added sugar.