Frozen assets

( Shanghai Star ) Updated: 2014-08-18 15:09:41

Frozen assets

Photo provided to Shanghai Star

While gourmet ice creams and gelatos have found their markets in Shanghai today, there is still an age-old favorite with a special place in the hearts of those who grew up here. Wang Ying with the story of a stick and a brick.

For many people, summer would not be complete without popsicles. Back in the days of the planned economy, a Bright ice lolly was a luxury item for kids wanting to cool down on a hot summer's day.

Frozen assets

Back to the present 

Frozen assets

From soda to pop to distilled water

Unlike imported ice creams, popsicles and gelato easily available in convenience stores or specialized shops today, the old-style ice lollies were sold from hand-pushed carts containing blocks of ice insulated by old cotton quilts. A cool popsicle was a precious treat and full of joy for children in those days, when something sweet was a rare luxury.

Classic flavors

Bright lollies came in three standard flavors -- salty, red bean or green mung bean, and they were a summer essential for more than half a century. They still sweeten many people's memories.

It is Chinese tradition to eat beans, especially mung beans, in the summer as they are believed to cool the body and remove the heat and damp from the body during the hot humid weather.

Even now, red bean and green mung bean ice lollies account for up to 30 percent of the total sales of the Shanghai Yimin Food No 1 Factory Co Ltd, the ice cream production arm of Bright Foods (Group) Co Ltd.

After purchasing a new ice cream production line in November 1983, Yimin became the nation's first producer of a baby-face-shaped popsicle, and this new product proved extremely popular with the younger generation.

The vanilla and chocolate popsicle is in the shape of a smiling baby wearing a magician's hat.

During the 1980s, a baby-faced popsicle was a reward for getting good marks at school. And the cute popsicle has become an icon of nostalgia for those who have grown up.

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