Seafood push-pops a growing trend?
By Christine Blank, SeafoodSource contributing editor
15 August, 2012
Most adults probably remember eating the fun, frozen push-pop ice cream desserts when they were kids. The small plastic tubes were generally filled with ice cream or sherbet and as the pop was pushed from the bottom the ice cream became visible at the top and readily eaten.
Now, one restaurant aims to be the first to offer seafood push-pops on the menu. Pulpo, a Spanish tapas and American fusion restaurant in the upscale Cleveland Park neighborhood in Washington, D.C., has been offering seafood push-pops since the eatery opened three months ago.
“The idea was to not waste anything — to use the seafood head to tail — and be unique in doing that. One restaurant uses cones, so we looked for a creative vessel and finally found push-pops,” said Pulpo’s chef Scott Perry, who created the push-pops.
Perry experimented with several chilled seafood recipes until he developed three creamy seafood recipes: Octopus in a Milky Brava Sauce, Tuna in a Tangy Lemon and Garlic Aioli and Salty Anchovies in Spanish Olive Relish. They sell for USD 10 for a set of nine push-pops.
“It took giving some away, but now it seems to be a real big hit,” said Perry. At least 15 percent of the restaurant’s nightly guests order the push-pops.
While the push-pops are successful for Pulpo, foodservice consultant Darren Tristano, executive VP of Technomic, does not seem them catching on at other restaurants. “There is a very innovative shift in desserts to go toward ethnic flavors or saltiness combined with sweetness. However, the seafood and umami flavor together is very difficult for customers to try,” said Tristano.
Restaurants offering seafood push-pops run the risk of offending customers who buy the push-pops, decide they don’t like it, and are mad about spending money on something they don’t like, said Tristano.
He has not heard of other restaurants offering seafood push-pops. However, SeafoodSource found a similar product: sushi push-pops, called Sushi Poppers. Made by New York, N.Y.-based Popper Foods LLC, the push-up sushi rolls are sold at colleges, beach resorts, on airplanes and online.
Popper Foods makes the Sushi Poppers fresh daily using automated manufacturing equipment to ensure consistency. The company also ships frozen Sushi Poppers, which are ready to eat after thawing for two hours.
15 August, 2012