Fudge pops are bars of frozen, chocolate-flavored ice cream or pudding on wooden sticks. They are usually shaped either like one long cylinder or a small, flat paddle, both of which tend to have relatively rounded tops. Fudge pop recipes contain cream and milk with at least some milkfat, so they do not freeze into hard lumps like ice. The taste of a fudge pop is fairly rich, and the texture and density should be smooth and thick enough to require chewing.
An alternate spelling for fudge pops is fudgepop. Consumers may refer to them by brand names that are popular in their region. Some brand names have become so common that it’s not unusual to hear only the brand name instead of the more generic “fudge pop” in conversation.
Fudge pops are similar to but not exactly the same as ice cream bars. The term “ice cream bar” can refer to items with the same shape and texture as a fudge pop, but it also includes different flavors of ice cream as well as coatings such as hardened chocolate. Fudge pops can have extra items mixed in, but the overwhelming flavor is still chocolate, and the pops are not covered in anything.
The ingredients of a fudge pop vary widely. While they have to have chocolate flavoring and usually have cream or milk, commercial fudge pops may also have preservatives, artificial colorings and flavorings, artificial sweeteners, salt and gelatin. Homemade fudge pop recipes tend to be simpler, relying on cream, milk, sugar, cocoa powder and cornstarch. Adding processed ingredients like packaged chocolate pudding and marshmallow creme will add more artificial ingredients. Depending on the tastes of the individual cook, homemade fudge pops may have additions such as bananas, nuts or coffee.
Stores sell plastic molds for making fudge pops at home. Cooks pour the mixed ingredients into the molds, add a reusable plastic stick and place the molds in a freezer. Alternately, a home cook could use disposable paper cups as a temporary mold.
Like other ice cream products, fudge pops are a hot-weather food, although personal preference leads many to eat them in any weather. They melt quickly, so people tend to eat them rapidly. This creates a problem in that it is very easy to eat too many, which increases people’s calorie intakes for the day. The sweeteners and chocolate can add large amounts of “empty” calories, or calories that don’t carry much nutritional value, into a person’s daily diet.