Brooklyn-based People's Pops crosses the pond to source elderflower, the perfect warm weather delight
by Kiri Tannenbaum photography Anita Calero
Just a few short years ago, Florida native Nathalie Jordi was waiting tables at The Tasting Room, a pioneering restaurant that you could say is the reason behind New York’s penchant for small plates. Who knew when the East Village gem closed its doors in 2008 that Jordi would become a pioneer in her own right. Another trailblazing friend called her up to see if she’d be willing to help jumpstart his new off-kilter venture. His plan was to revitalize the old Fulton Fish Market and fill it with farmers, butchers, and purveyors of fine goods under a less-than-spectacular stretch of the FDR Drive. The only requirement for her wares: they must be made exclusively with local ingredients. So she rounded up her old high school prom date, David Carrell, and his roommate Joel Horowitz, and headed to what was named the New Amsterdam Market. And just like that — they forever changed the way New Yorkers looked at an ice pop. Now in four locations, including Chelsea Market and their flagship brick and mortar shop in Park Slope, People’s Pops have certainly created a full-on frozen frenzy.
The venerable icy treats get their due from the well-curated ingredients, sourced directly from farmers. “We have gone entire seasons without repeating a flavor,” explains Jordi. With the bounty of sustainably-grown produce and herbs within easy reach, the possibilities are most definitely endless. It helps that they have a continuous dialogue with the greenmarket farmers and use their collective culinary genius to come up with flavors including raspberry-basil, cantaloupe-tarragon, strawberry-lemongrass, peach-chamomile and upcoming, sugar plum-chai. While they strive to source everything locally and make it accessible ($3.50 each, no matter the flavor) there are those few ingredients worth making an exception for. “I used to live in Ireland and Eldeflower would blossom in spring,” says Jordi. Elderflowers are not grown locally, but she found a syrup and found that the cordial married well with fresh tasting cucumber. “When I was thinking about it and also the season of cucumbers, I came up with it.” Which then inspired other flowered flavors like orange blossom-apricot. On the next hot day, make your way to one of People’s Pops shops or stands and you will surely find a fleeting and singular fruit pop sporting summer’s sweetest stuff.