Nothing says summertime like the stained tongue and sticky fingers that come from enjoying an ice-cold Popsicle. But what makes a Popsicle different from an ice pop or freeze pop? Who invented them? And why do they taste different when you make them at home? Find out the answers to these questions, plus recipes to make your own delicious, refreshing pops, with these cool Popsicle facts and tips.
Invented by a Kid
The Popsicle we know and love today was actually invented by accident by 11-year-old Frank Epperson way back in 1905. One day, Frank was mixing a drink with a stick on his porch and accidentally left it outside on a freezing-cold night. He went out the next morning to discover his drink had frozen with the stick still inside as a handy handle, and the rest is history.
When Frank Epperson first began selling his tasty treats he called them “Epsicles.” As he got older, his children began calling them “pop’s sicles” and he decided to “freeze” together the two words and the “Popsicle” was patented in 1923. Like Kleenex, the word “Popsicle” is a registered trademark that has become synonymous with its product. Off-brand Popsicles around the world can be called ice pops, freezer pop, and even iced lollies in some parts of the United Kingdom.
If you think the ice pops you make at home never taste the same as store-bought, you’re probably right. At the factory, ice pops are flash-frozen, creating smaller ice crystals that prevent the separation of flavor you sometimes see when you make your own. You can imitate the factory technique at home adding in a pinch of salt to lower the freezing temperature, or by starting out with heated syrup or flavoring since, interestingly enough, hot water can freeze faster than cold water.