Here’s this week’s reminder that Opening Day will, eventually, arrive:


Did you know you can get this shiznit at Kroger’s? For like four dollars, for a box of six?

I am beginning to suspect the price of one at the ballpark is somewhat inflated due to the fact it comes served to you at your seat in a ticketed area with Joey Votto in the background.

We need to have a discussion about the frozen treat aisle and the disintegration of Pudding Pops.

I seem to remember smooth vanilla and/or chocolate-and-vanilla-swirled goodness.

I seem to remember an intoxicating layer of ice that required pre-biting before achieving said goodness.

I seem to remember a dessert that did not smell like just-shorn lumber and crumble like the French in every war ever.

I didn’t even know The Pop had left until I had a tonsillectomy in 1997, and I was left to make do with such tripe as sherbet, Tropical Twists, and Twin Pops. I was so upset that I threw up an entire grape Popsicle Original on the way home from the hospital.

So when I saw that the Pudding Pop had returned, this time under the Popsicle umbrella of icy power, I spent almost four whole entire dollars on a box of twelve, quite sure that the cardboard box was merely a container, and not meant as a pre-flavoring agent. And… and… the Pudding Pops, they’re, like, really small now, and square, and mushy, and they made me cry.

Maybe they always sucked and I was simply naive about the whole thing. Then again, I also used to subsist almost entirely on fake Pez, post-Halloween, and thought nothing of it.

Once I attempted to make my own, a complicated time-consuming nightmare involving ice cube trays, and I bailed on the whole thing because it was just taking up my ice trays, which are better reserved for the vital work of cubes to keep my scotch frosty.

I try to stay away from the frozen novelty aisle because I will just buy something and then eat it. But now I’m nursing a sore throat from a three-hour choir rehearsal, and like all high-octane athletes, I was in search of frozen Twix.

What I got instead was an education. Did you know that Italian Ice now comes in these flavors? Why is this being kept from us, Reds?

We need answers. I don’t care about the shortstop position anymore. I want my blue raspberry frozen ice for $89.95.

24 Responses

  1. renbutler

    A lot of people don’t realize that GABP and other MLB parks allow limited outside food and drink. We always bring one or two small soft-sided coolers, without any glass or alcohol. No way are we going to pay arena/stadium prices for concessions! We eat before or after games, and have a few snacks and water/pop during.

    Bringing frozen treats might be a little more challenging on a hot day, unless you eat it pretty early in the game!

    • Mary Beth Ellis

      That’s a good point. You can easily get in and out of GABP without buying anything but the ticket.
      Although it’s not nearly as fun.

      • renbutler

        Things are a lot more fun to me when my wallet isn’t empty!

  2. Jim Walker

    Does “real Italian Ice” mean it was actually frozen into ice in Italy? The captain of a cruise I took once told us tales of his days as a banana boat captain on his way up the career ladder and how the whole cargo could be lost if it wasn’t at port on exactly the right day. Moving ice in bulk from Italy to my local Kroger must pose even much greater headaches

    • Chad Dotson

      A related question: is a banana boat made of bananas?

      Really makes you think.

      • Jim Walker

        If it was built in an ice cream shop, yes for sure?

      • Matt WI

        And is it related to the banana phone?

  3. Bill

    Since B.C. owns the Reds does that all the injuries they have is because players slip on banana peels?

    • Mary Beth Ellis

      You know they’d somehow find a way to do that.

    • greenmtred

      Sometimes banana peels, yes, but often they slip on Italian ice.

  4. Scott Carter

    Luigi’s Italian Ice is really good, The other novelty ice “treats” are and you are right, not the same as I remember then as a kid (except for the orange creme sickles). And that is probably because we were kids and had not developed a discerning palate. Keeping the ice cube trays available to make cubes for you scotch shows how much your palate has matured.

    • Mary Beth Ellis

      It’s probably best you don’t know about the Chef Boyardee currently populating my pantry.

  5. ericreedjrgmailcom

    Okay, so there’s a lot here…

    1.) You’re SO close to the Bourbon…it’s right…down…THERE! Why are you drinking Scotch? And for that matter, as a good Catholic girl, why are you not drinking Irish Whiskey?

    2.) You’re not alone in your mourning over Jell-O Pudding Pops. The chocolate-vanilla swirl ones were good, but I liked the banana ones the best. And the ice-coating? Yeah…that was real. Ah…won’t somebody bring those back the way God intended?

    3.) I’ll have to check the Kroger here for Luigi’s. Closest one to me is Fuquay-Varina (FEW-quay Vah-REE-nah) North Carolina, so we’re wayyyy out there, but we can get pints of Graeter’s there, so there’s always a chance.

    • msanmoore

      Or just “Fuquay” … and I’m in Youngsville so I know what WAAYYY out there means. Closest Food Lion is about 6 miles.

    • Mary Beth Ellis

      I’m a good Catholic girl.
      A good GERMAN Catholic girl.

  6. msanmoore

    Not my style … it’s ice cream (or Culver’s custard) for me or skip it. And the pudding pops idea just makes me ill.

    How long until we can focus on baseball again?

    • Mary Beth Ellis

      Oh like I actually do that in-season anyway.

      • msanmoore

        You are the BEST, Mary Beth. I always look forward to your offerings.

  7. Matt Esberger

    My favorite was the little frozen chocolate ice cream that they sold at Riverfront that came with the little wooden spoon. It was imperative during July/August day games when it was about 350 degrees on the third base side. I wasn’t sure if GAP sold it anymore because like most major/minor league ballparks most sell the Dippin Dots which I never cared for. I had also wondered the status of Pudding Pops I think they made a comeback about 10 years ago but hadn’t seen since.

    • Steve Mancuso

      The vendors sell United Dairy Farmer frozen milkshakes, which are essentially chocolate ice cream. Don’t know about the wooden spoons, though.

    • Mary Beth Ellis

      Or wine in a box. I’m disappointed in everyone.