How many times have you lost that final bite—as the heat begins to melt your ice pop and the last sweet, fruity morsel slides off the stick? Too many times, darn it. Unintentionally, Japanese researchers discovered a fix to make summer snacking easier and less heartbreaking: using ugly produce to make ice cream that doesn’t melt.
According to reporting from the Asahi Shimbun, the melt-proof ice cream is the byproduct of food waste. After the 2011 earthquake and tsunami, which caused the meltdowns at the Fukushima nuclear energy plant, the Japanese Biotherapy Development Research Center was attempting to help strawberry farmers get back on their feet. A bad harvest led them to seek alternatives to selling fresh strawberries, including asking food professionals to find uses for a compound in the fruit called polyphenol.
When a pastry chef mixed the strawberry polyphenol with cream, it was found that the combination solidified immediately. The company turned this discovery into popsicles that can keep their shapes for longer periods of time without melting, even in temperatures of up to nearly 90 degrees.
Word of the unmeltable popsicle has made its way around the internet, but in honor of the few remaining days of warm weather, we’re down to celebrate anything that will let us savor the last morsels of the season. Thankfully, they’ll slide off the popsicle stick no more.