All opinions on food are subjective, of course. But there is one absolutely true, scientifically-proven fact within the Little Rock food world: Le Pops serves up the best shaved ice in Little Rock. That’s not even up for debate. Last year, I dubbed Le Pops shaved ice my unofficial “sweet treat of summer 2015.” I just couldn’t get enough of the stuff. What’s even wackier, I’ve never even been a big fan of shaved ice! Typically, I’d reach for the higher calorie concoctions like ice cream or frozen custard first. But there’s just something so sleek and beautiful about a cup of Le Pops shaved ice that it’s just totally addicting.
Let us take a deeper look into why this stuff is so darn good, shall we? Le Pops owner, Laurie Harrison, shares with us the secret behind the shave.
Shaved ice is served at Le Pops from March until around the beginning of November…so you’ve got ample time to get over there and try it for yourself. To get the perfect consistency to the snow, they use a special ice machine from Japan called a “Hatsuyuki”. It’s a hand-cranked operation that’s not only charming to watch, but also produces ice that’s thin and wispy, melting almost instantly on the tongue. It’s packed loosely so as not to create a rock-solid ball of ice inside your cup.
Then come Laurie’s sensational syrups. They’re all made with real fruit…the Le Pops way. Currently they’re rocking out with strawberry, blackberry, and blueberry (all sourced locally from Rozark Hills). There’s also coconut, lemon, lime, and pineapple. All wonderful, really. Laurie’s planning on getting a bit more exotic this year with flavors like prickly pear, hibiscus, and green tea.
But the best way to enjoy a Le Pops shaved ice is to combine your fruit flavor with their “vanilla cream”. Sweetened condensed milk is a standard addition at many sno-cone shops, but instead at Le Pops, they create a sweet blend of cream, sugar, and vanilla. This plays well with any of the fruit options (my personal favorite is black cherry, which isn’t available currently, but will hopefully be back soon).
There you have it. The makings of the perfect shaved ice. You owe it to yourself to give this stuff a try. What else is happening at Le Pops? Off the record…they’re probably going to be doing housemade sodas soon. And if you’re jonesing for some Le Pops while in Colorado…they’re opening their second location in Boulder very soon. More good news for the Le Pops family.