Summers in San Antonio usually mean ― or, rather, require ― partaking in several rituals to keep cool. And more often than not there’s usually some sort of tasty treat involved. This is the time when San Antonians satisfy their sweet teeth with treats like raspas, paletas, and aguas frescas. I mean, don’t get me wrong, I personally can enjoy these nearly any time of year, save for maybe winter when most raspa stands close up shop [sigh]. But there’s nothing like a cold treat on a sizzlin’ summer day in San Anto.
The paleta, arguably SA’s favorite savory treat, is not just your run-of-the-mill popsicle. It’s a cultural product with a history that can be traced, by most accounts, to 1940s Michoacán ― a state in southwestern Mexico ― in the town of Tocumbo by Ignacio Alcazár and Agustín Andrade. The two men reportedly created the paleta in Tocumbo and then moved their business, La Michoacana Paleteria, to Mexico City where it quickly became popular in the capital and later throughout Mexico. This is why you will encounter paleterias with the name La Michoacana in places across Texas and the United States.
These days, paleteros y paleteras are experimenting more with unique flavors like pickle, chamoy, bubble gum, oreo, and even avocado. Mmmm, yes, please!
Where are some great places to grab a paleta? Try these 5 paleterias in San Antonio. And, if you’re up for trying your hand at a recipe, try one of these great paleta recipes (watermelon & basil paleta and watermelon, lime & chamoy paleta) by Modern Tejana.
Where’s your favorite place in San Antonio to grab a paleta? What’s your go-to flavor? Mine are mango chile and chamoy! Let us know yours in the comments below!