D.C. has had its fair share of alternate vehicles selling frozen treats: Goodies serves frozen custard from a restored 1952 van. Milk Cult has a motorcycle for slinging ice cream sandwiches. And Maracas—a new vendor selling Mexican ice pops known as paletas—has two tricycles. (Pedaling purveyor of ice cream sandwiches, CreamCycle, is also set to return this summer.)
International trade attorney Julia Padierna-Peralta launched Maracas (like the percussion instrument) in September, but with spring finally here, you're more likely to spot her custom-made tricycles now.
"I had been a very happy trade attorney 99.9 percent," Padierna-Peralta says of her 15-year career. "Maracas ice pops made me be myself 100 percent." Padierna-Peralta grew up in Puebla, Mexico and first came to D.C. as a transfer student at Georgetown University in 1984. "Since then, I haven't seen a product of this type in D.C... An authentic Mexican ice pop is something that has been in my mind and in my heart since I first came to the U.S."
Working out of the kitchen at GTown Bites, Padierna-Peralta has an arsenal of 50 flavors, including pineapple, lime, cantaloupe, coconut, watermelon, pear, hibiscus, and mango. She also has specialty pops, like a fruit cocktail flavor with chunks of lots of different types of fruit, and will soon launch more flavors like pistachio, avocado, and rice pudding. At any given time, the trikes each carry five to seven flavors. Prices range from $3.50 to $4.50. Padierna-Peralta also makes custom flavors for catering events.
Padierna-Peralta uses organic sugar cane and tries to make the pops as healthy as possible. She's a stickler about the fruit: "If I don't find the right kiwi, I don't do kiwi," she says.
Maracas's trikes can most often be found in Georgetown, often by the fountain along the waterfront or at Georgetown University. Today and tomorrow, look out for Maracas at the Georgetown French Market, which takes place from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. along Wisconsin Avenue between P Street and Reservoir Road NW. You can also track Maracas's locations on Facebook and soon Twitter.
Photos courtesy the Georgetown BID