Growing up, I could choose from cherry, grape, orange — and those radical flavors, banana and “sky blue” — when I ordered a Popsicle. And that was about it.
When I go to La Michoacana for one of their homemade frozen fruit bars or I can choose from even more radical flavors, including avocado and rice pudding.
I haven’t tried them all, but my favorite is “mango chili,” also known as “spicy mango.” It’s the best — and maybe the only — sweet and savory frozen fruit bar I’ve ever tried. It’s sweet and salty tasting.
“It’s a popular one,” said La Michoacana owner Rafael Gonzalez. “It’s just mango, lime (juice) and Mexican chili powder. Chunks of fresh mango.”
They’ve been making that flavor for 20 or 30 years, Gonzalez said. “When you talk about Mexico, the first thing that comes to your mind is ‘spicy.’ We love spicy food. Hispanic people, we like to do spicy dishes. have been cooked the day before. The meat was long-cooked, like a pot roast, but was a bit dry even though it was smothered in sauce. I liked the deep layers in the sauce and will try it again, but I’ll ask about when it was prepared. Gonzales told me that everything is prepared to order, but clearly this dish can’t have been. That’s tradition.”
The chili powder they use in their fruit bars is a mix of three different chilies, he said. It’s spicy, but it’s not going to burn your tongue. “The peppers we use, they’re not hot.”
His father came up with the idea of making the mango chili frozen fruit bar, but in Mexico people add chili powder to everything, including watermelon and strawberries, Gonzalez said. “They put it in a bowl and they sprinkle the chili powder and (add) lime on top,” he said.
That type of dish is “street food,” Gonzalez said. “You don’t find that in a fancy restaurant; you’re going to find it in the street.”
La Michoacana offers other fruit bars, including “spicy cucumber” and “spicy pineapple.” I can’t wait to try those flavors. But the mango chili bar is, by far, one of the most delicious taste combinations I’ve tried.
You also can order frozen mango puree with the chili powder and lime juice in a cup, which is one of La Michoacana’s “sour fruit treats,” Gonzalez said. I can’t wait to try that.
La Michoacana, 4091 Summer; 901-590-1901.
Try the desserts, which are made in house. Completely full, we managed to polish off a generous serving of tres leches cake. It was wet but held together, and was blessedly not overly sweet (which these cakes often are).
Parking in front is tight, but there’s more around back. When I’ve been in at lunch, the place is fairly crowded, but service, while a bit harried, is quick.
Look for additions to the menu in coming weeks and months. Ave Maria Foundation’s 15th annual Silent Auction and Concert starring Lee Greenwood: 5 p.m. Saturday at Sally Hook performing Arts Center of St. Agnes Academy-st. Dominic School, 4830 Walnut Grove road. Tickets: $100. 901-405-3791. avemariahome.org Bartlett Historical Society presents History Weekend “Bartlett Memories”: In honor of Bartlett’s 150th anniversary. 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturday and 2-5 p.m. Sunday. Beginning at Bartlett Museum (2969 Court St.), a walking tour of historic homes/churches, vintage car display, Bartlett stagecoach on display, carriage rides. At Bartlett High School (5688 Woodlawn), history displays of organizations in Bartlett, people portraying historical figures. At 2 p.m. Sunday, an original play “Happy Birthday Bartlett” by Altruria second-grade classes. 901-372-8642. Chuckles Comedy House: 1770 Dexter Springs Loop, Cordova. For shows and times, 901-421-5905, or visit chucklescomedyhouse.com. “Collecting the Missing Pieces”: Through Oct. 10 at Memphis pink palace Museum, 3050 Central. $12.75 ($12.25 senior citizens), $7.25 children. Artifacts including an “I am a man” placard, slave shackles, quilts, Harper’s weekly editions and more. 901-636-2362. memphismuseums.org “Communities in Conversation”: 6 p.m. Thursday in Mccallum Ballroom at rhodes College, 2000 North parkway. Thomas Christensen speaks about his book “1616: The World in Motion.” The year 1616 marked the deaths of Shakespeare and Cervantes, pocahontas visited London, the first slaves arrived in the Bermudas, Japan was closed to foreigners, etc. reception at 5:30 p.m. Talk will be followed by book-signing. 8:30 a.m.-5 p.m. April 22, the symposium continues with a series of brief lectures in Blount Hall Auditorium. Call 901-843-3292. Creative Aging 4th annual Senior Fun Day: 1-3 p.m. Thursday ($5) at Memphis Jewish Community Center, 6560 poplar. A variety of games provided, or bring your favorite game. Attendees receive a door prize. 901-272-3434. creativeagingmidsouth.org “Fabric of Survival: The Art of Esther Nisenthal Krinitz”: Thirtysix fabric panels created and handstitched by Krinitz, through May 13 at Temple Israel Museum, 1376 E. Massey road. Hours: 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Monday through Thursday; 9 a.m.-3 p.m. Friday; 9-11:30 a.m. Sunday. Call 901-761-3130. timemphis.org/ about-temple/museum “Grovestock”: The fifth annual Kendall & Callie Kercher Memorial Fine Arts Festival: Noon-9 p.m. Saturday at Holly Grove C.p. Church, 4385 Holly Grove road, Brighton, Tenn. Outdoor fun featuring live music and entertainment all day. performances by Memphis Jones featuring Kyle Thurman Band, All The Indians, Sleeping Seasons, Glory rose, Three For Thee, Terry Gray, Holly Grove Youth Drama. Bring blankets and lounge chairs. 901-485-9093. grovestockfest.org The 13th annual Gumbo Fest in West Memphis: Noon-7 p.m. Saturday at Holiday plaza Mall parking lot (just off West Service road between Walgreens and Applebee’s), West Memphis. Admission: $5 (free to ages 12 and younger). 870-735-1134. wmcoc.com The Benjamin L. Hooks Institute for Social Change “Join Hands for Change” Gala: 7 p.m. Thursday at Holiday Inn at the University of Memphis, 3700 Central. Tickets: $100. Honoring U of M alumnus Marvin r. Ellison, chief executive officer, JC penney. Cocktail attire, banquet. Call 901-678-3974. memphis.edu/benhooks Memphis Pink Palace Museum’s Autozone Dome at the Sharpe Planetarium: 3050 Central. 901-636-2362. $7 ($6 senior citizens, children). All events run through June 3. memphismuseums.org
“Firefall”: Throughout Earth’s violent history, see how impacts from comets and asteroids have shaped the planet’s surface.
“Astronaut”: See what it takes to become an astronaut; experience a rocket launch; explore worlds of inner and outer space.
“Seasonal Stargazing”: Hop through constellations, learn star names, etc.
“One World, One Sky: Big Bird’s Adventure”: Join Big Bird and Elmo on an imaginary trip from Sesame Street to the moon. The Mid-south Wedding Show & Bridal School: 1-5 p.m. Sunday at Whispering Woods Hotel and Conference Center, 7300 Hacks Cross road, Olive Branch, Miss. 901-368-6782. Midsouthweddingshow.com Munch & Learn Lecture: Noon-1 p.m. Wednesday at Dixon Gallery and Gardens, 4339 park. $7 ($5 students with ID and senior citizens ages 65 and older), Dixon members free. “Quintessence: Shakespeare in performance.” Dan Mccleary, founder/producing artistic director and Stephanie Shine, resident artist and education director, Tennessee Shakespeare Company. 901-7615250. dixon.org “Nature Unleashed: Inside Natural Disasters”: Exhibition explores the science behind earthquakes, tornadoes, hurricanes, volcanic eruptions and tsunamis, highlighting their impacts on human lives. Through May 1 at Memphis pink palace Museum, 3050 Central Ave. $12.75 ($12.25 senior citizens, $7.25 child). 901-636-2362. memphismuseums. org Repticon: Memphis Reptile & Exotic Animal Show: 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday and 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Sunday at Landers Center, 4560 Venture Drive, Southaven. $15 ($5 ages 5-12), free for ages 4 and under (both days); $10 ($5 ages 5-12), free for ages 4 and under (each day). repticon.com/memphis. html Slave Haven Underground Railroad Museum Salutes Africa in April: Slave Haven continues its 160th anniversary celebration with an art exhibit, “Goree Island” by artist Frank Frazier. Goree Island, in Ghana, was the embarkation site of millions of Africans. Exhibit on display through April 31 at 826 N. Second. $10 ($8 ages 4-17). 10 a.m.–4 p.m. Monday through Saturday. 901-527-3427. Rickey Smiley: Comic. 4 p.m. Sunday at First Baptist ChurchBroad, 2835 Broad Ave. Tickets: $30, $40, $65. Call 800-8383006. brownpapertickets.com/ event/2512830 Spring Family Day Fun at Chucalissa: 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Saturday at C.H. Nash Museum at Chucalissa, 1987 Indian Village Drive. Activities: ethnobiology spring hike, spear throwing, Three Sisters garden history and planting, Brister Archaeology Discovery Lab, craft activities. Wear comfortable clothing and sturdy shoes. Call 901785-3160. memphis.edu/chucalissa Walking Tours: Fairgrounds Walking Tour, 2 p.m. Sunday. Meet at west side of the Mid-south Coliseum; Mud Island Walk Bridge Tour, 11:45 a.m. Tuesday. Meet at Mud Island Station, 125 N. Front; D’army Bailey Courthouse Tour (cameras allowed) at noon Thursday. Meet at southwest steps (Adams and Second). 901-604-5002. jimmyogle.com