Yokohama-born Paletas frozen fruit ice lolly shop is strangely enough, owned by Rohto Pharmaceutical — a Japanese pharmaceutical company better known for producing eye drops. In particular a minty, rose-scented sclera-whitening version. Perhaps the folks at Rohto figured they’d use their expertise in making scented eye drops to create ice popsicles in fruity, eye-catching flavours? The first Paletas (Spanish for ‘little stick’, which refers to frozen ice lollies in Latin America made with fresh ingredients like fruits, hibiscus, and even spices like chilli and booze such as tequila) opened in Yokohama six years ago because the brand apparently “wanted everyone to be able to eat fresh fruits harvested during the season”. The company named the store after the Mexican-style ice pops to reflect the fresh, natural ingredients used (as opposed to American popsicles made with more sugar and artificial flavours), but gave it the Japanese touch, making it prettier and more refined than traditional Mexican paletas. 

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