Califonia Bountiful

It's a bountiful life: Pop sensation

Aug. 2012 California Bountiful magazine

Jaymes Luu blends unlikely combinations of farm-fresh ingredients into frozen treats.

Jaymes Luu holds gourmet ice pops inspired by farm-fresh flavors including, from left, Thai tea and sweet potato; kaffir lime and avocado; hibiscus mint; yellow watermelon and pineapple; kiwi mango; strawberry lemonade; green tea and honey; and strawberry coconut.

Gourmet ice pop creator Jaymes Luu has a gift for blending unlikely combinations of farm-fresh ingredients into frozen treats, which she's been selling at the Davis Farmers Market since 2005.

How long have you been making frozen pops?
It started when I was about 4, and my older brother and I made them with Kool-Aid. We realized that if we put less water in, they would taste better. Then we started blending flavors together. We froze them in little Dixie cups and sold them for 5 cents to the neighborhood kids.

What are some of the most popular flavors you've created?
Lime-avocado is No. 1. People like the Thai tea and sweet potato a lot too. At first, people were kind of weirded out because some of my first flavors were like beet-tangerine. But my regulars trust me now. I even made a bacon and egg one, and people tried it.

Where did you learn to experiment with unlikely flavor combinations?
I worked for an olive oil and vinegar company in Napa for five years. The owner was really innovative and made strawberry basil and blackberry oregano balsamic vinegars. He encouraged lots of experimental stuff and playing around with food.

How do you decide what ingredients to use from the farmers market?
In the beginning, my decisions were pretty price driven and I would sometimes get overripe fruit at a discount. Now, I shop the market and find new things like pineapple guava and think, oh, I should do something with that. Or I'll have a flavor profile in mind like red velvet and figure out how to create that.


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