Thursday, August 15, 2013

Gadgets: Zipzicles

A while back, as part of a review of an insulated sleeve that was designed to be used with ice pops (those frozen concoctions in plastic sleeves), I asked some of my friends - nearby and online - if they'd be willing to test them for me.

The unanimous answer was, "I don't buy those for my kids."

In some cases, the kids were too young to have them or too old for the product to be "cool," but the most common reason was a dislike of the ingredients -  too much sugar, use of artificial flavors and colors, and added corn syrup - were the main culprits.

So, when I saw Zipzicles (12 for $2.99) I thought they were pretty interesting. They're an incredibly simple product - essentially a tall, thin zip-top plastic bag. You fill the bag with your desired ingredients, zip the top closed, and freeze.

The bags are (theoretically) reusable, if you want to wash them and the kids don't rip or make a mess of them. Which is great, since they're a bit pricey - about a quarter apiece. But they're not so expensive that you'd fret too much if the neighborhood kids took them home after a birthday party, or if someone cut the top off instead of unzipping.

Speaking of unzipping, if kids don't finish the treats, the zip-top feature means that these can be re-sealed and re-frozen, so waste is minimized.

I'm guessing these would be most appealing to parents of kids with allergy issues for whom the store-bought versions are completely impossible. In fact, this product was dreamed up by a kid with allergy issues who wanted to have the same treats his friends had.

The adult use (since I don't have kids) was to make some frozen margaritas, and I have to say that frozen cocktails would be a fun item for a adult party. While I enjoyed my icy margaritas, I'm probably not going to make more - I actually prefer them in a glass.

The remaining bags, though, will be filled with pesto and tomato paste that I'll be freezing. Then I can unzip, squeeze out and break off what I need, and then rezip the bag and shove it back in the freezer. Whether I'll buy more bags for that purpose remains to be seen. I'll probably just rinse and re-use, since I'd be using the bags to store the identical product.

The one negative is the price. Folks whose kids have allergies will be more willing to pay, but I think that other parents will wait for the price to drop (or quantity to go up) before they make this a regular part of the summer lineup.

The product was supplied for the purpose of a review on Serious Eats; this was previously published on Serious Eats.