Ever stopped at a convenience store to take a peek inside the freezer and wondered what the green popsicle was? Although cones and pineapple-shaped goodies may be comfortingly familiar, here are a few lesser-known treats that are no less deserving of your love.
1. Mung Bean Everything
The cousins of red beans are often tragically misunderstood. ‘Lv’ is ‘green,’ and ‘dou’ is bean, so lvdou must mean ‘green beans,’ right?
Wrong. It refers to mung beans, an Asian staple added into desserts and summertime beverages. Sweet soup, slushies, ice cream – the bean’s mild taste, paired with sugar (and sometimes artificial flavoring), is versatile.
2. ‘Milk Stick’ Ice Cream
Among convenience store desserts, this is as basic as you can get: a modest cylinder of white ice cream served on a stick.
It’s supposed to be milk-flavored, but it’s more like the faint memory of what milk tastes like after you water it down and add sugar. But it’s cold and cheap and served in moderate portions, so there’s that.
3. Red Date Milk-Flavored Ice Cream
For an ice cream that has dates inside, this option is surprisingly accessible to a Western palate. A thin outer shell of white chocolate covers ice cream with a swirl of red date filling.
The date, although pretty artificial, is satisfyingly sweet. So is the rest of the treat. This is a solid option to indulge yourself, Chinese-style.
4. Chestnut Red Bean Ice Cream
Unless you’re really fresh off the boat, chances are you’ve tasted at least one dessert with red beans in it. The sweets, especially ones filled with bean paste, can be sickly sweet at times, which is why we prefer this rendition: bits of sweet chestnut and whole red beans embedded in yet another milk-flavored popsicle.
The ice cream quality isn’t amazing, but it’s pretty good for something that came out of a convenience store freezer.