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Who else remembers the sheer unadulterated pleasure of scoring a treat from the ice cream truck? How about the excitement upon first hearing the telltale jingle in the distance, the race to form a line, and the dizzying menu of seemingly endless choices plastered on the door? Snow cones, firecrackers, ice cream-cookie sandwiches … the list went on and on. The treats weren’t gourmet; they weren’t sourced from organic, free-range dairy. But they sure hit the spot. Every. Single. Time. Even if its been years since you last tasted or even thought about your favorite flavor from yesteryear, the mere crinkle of an ice pop wrapper is likely to transport you back to simpler, more-carefree days. Read on to find out which of the classics made our all-time favorites list.
10. Fla-Vor-Ice Freeze Pops
Simple yet refreshing, the freezer pop comes in varying shades of neon (we admit this concerns us more now than it ever did when we were kids), and its hard to beat in terms of convenience — until you scratch the corners of your mouth on the sharp plastic edges. That didn’t stop us either.
If you’re a child of the ’90s, you’ll definitely remember the Push-Up. There are two main varieties: the classic orange sherbet cylinder, and the Flinstones variety pack (sadly discontinued), which included orange, berry and lime sherbet. The push-up mechanism, though nice in theory, leaves a lot to be desired in practice. Does anyone else remember the taste of soggy cardboard?
8. Snow Cone
This simple concoction of shaved ice dyed with flavored syrup is far from nutritious, and yet nobody can deny its refreshing appeal on a hot summer day by the pool. For that reason, we couldn’t leave it off the list.
Somehow, these rocket-shaped ice pops would mysteriously melt within 5 seconds of opening them. From the minute you peel off the plastic packaging, it’s a race against the sun to the finish line (i.e., the stick). Consider it part of their charm. In the midst of frenzied slurping, who even had time to notice that the red ice tastes like cherry, the white ice like lemon, and the blue ice like the fabled “blue raspberry”?
No matter how old you are, eating your way to the gumball nestled at the bottom of a cherry-flavored Screwball is like finding buried treasure. Until you attempt to bite into the still-frozen gumball and nearly break your jaw. But how could we forget the treat that taught us patience is a virtue?
5. Strawberry Shortcake Bar
The pink strawberry center is pretty fantastic, but it’s the strawberry shortcake crumb coating that earned this ice cream truck classic the number 5 spot on our list and in our hearts.
4. Crunch Bar — or Candy Center Crunch Bar
If you enjoy the crispy crackle of a Nestle’s Crunch Bar, you’ll love it in ice cream form. Unlike a basic ice pop, this creamy treat comes dipped in a hard chocolate shell that’s laced with teeny-tiny pieces of crisp puffed rice. It’s cousin, Good Humor’s Candy Center Crunch Bar, offers all of that plus a block of chocolate in the center. Delicious.
3. Oreo Ice Cream Sandwich
The only thing that could possibly improve the perfection that is a chocolate sandwich cookie filled with sweet vanilla cream is a chocolate sandwich cookie that’s 50 times the size (or something like that) and stuffed with creamy-cool cookies-and-cream ice cream. Who else remembers licking the soft bits of chocolate cookie stuck to your fingertips at the end?
2. King Cone
With a crown of chocolate fudge encrusted with crunchy roasted peanuts, it’s easy to see how this creamy summer treat earned its royal title. We gave it extra points for the classic sugar cone, which is always a crowdpleaser, plus it allows for neater consumption than a wooden ice pop stick. Still, we think there’s one that beats them all …
1. The Choco Taco
It simply doesn’t get better than a sweet, chewy waffle cone bent into the shape of a hard taco shell and stuffed with vanilla ice cream that’s streaked with ribbons of chocolate fudge. But wait — there’s more: The whole thing comes dipped in hardened fudge that’s studded with crunchy peanuts. No matter how old we get, this is one dessert we succumb to every time we hear the ice cream truck jingle in the distance.
We think these classic ice cream treats are tops — but there are many other options that made choosing difficult. Which one of your favorites did we miss? Let us know in the comments section below!