Randal Yee, owner of Ju-Mui Frozen Hawaiian Pops recently contacted me to bring awareness of their unique frozen pop product line you see here.
Specifically, an ice pop that’s hand-made in Honolulu at a commercial kitchen in Kalihi. More specifically, one that has the unique distinction of not just being frozen, “natural” and artificially-flavored sugar water (like Shave Ice), but one that also has evaporated milk (canned cream), along with a whole Li Hing Mui seed (with seed) in each pop. And of course laced with just the right amount of Li Hing powder for that “POW!” effect.
The name might across as some anti-semitic slur, however it’s simply the combination of “Juice” and “Li Hing Mui”, which for those of you don’t know, is a VERY POPULAR Chinese preserved plum eaten like candy here in the islands. I actually prefer calling them JU-MUI Li Hing Ice Pops, as I think that’s a more accurate description of what it is, hence the title of this post.
They’re currently available at all 7-Eleven stores in Hawaii or by phone or eMail for fundraisers and parties.
Each Ju-Mui Ice Pop costs $1.99, retail price at 7-Eleven, however they’re about $1 each if you order by bulk for fundraisers and parties. The Waikiki 7-Eleven where I bought these from only had Pineapple-Mui, Green River-Mui and Vanilla-Mui flavors in stock, however other flavors available included Strawberry-Mui and Orange-Mui. There’s also a Lychee-Mui flavor, however that’s only available by special order, as they actually make that syrup themselves from scratch, not from Malolo where the other syrups come from.
I opted for the Pineapple and Green River-Mui flavors to try.
I confessed to Jan, wife of Randal, that $2 each is a little steep — especially for kids on a budget — for essentially 4.6 oz. of ‘kicked-up” frozen sugar water. And she agreed, however that’s just where the price point must stand in order for both them and the retailer to be profitable.
I must note though, each Ju-Mui Ice Pop is pretty huge, compared to say an Otterpop, measuring 9″ long x 1¾” wide x about 3/4″ at its thickest point of girth in the center.
The single Li Hing Mui seed that’s carefully hand-packed in each one, is placed right about where the center label begins.
And how does it taste? ONO! Oh yeah, Ju-Mui Ice Pops are definitely a “keeper” in my freezer. You totally taste the Li Hing powder that’s mixed in the artificially flavored “Green River-Mui” and “Pineapple-Mui” pop. Then get a nibble of the rather sweet Li Hing Mui Seed (with seed) itself, and it hits you like a freight train. Simply a total explosion of salty, sweet and tangy, artificially-flavored, somewhat creamy, rock-hard frozen goodness. Perhaps kinda’ like Tasaka Guri Guri on steroids if you will. lol
The evaporated milk really is the key, as the creamy element helps to temper down the otherwise hard hit of the salty-tangy-sweet factor. Jan said they tried making them without the cream and it wasn’t nearly as good for that very notion.
I will say the prominent Li Hing taste is definitely a mood thing, as your palate needs to be craving that. Otherwise that extra salty-tangy-sweet “kick” may be overbearing.
If there’s any improvement on Ju-Mui Li Hing Ice Pops, if they perhaps added at least 20-50% truly natural fruit juice over what currently tastes like artificial shave ice stuff, that would be excellent. Of course it would cost more, yet the ROI for quality and flavor would increase exponentially. Also, find a way for it to be shelf-stable at room temperature, being the evaporated milk takes away that convenience, requiring the product to be frozen. As currently is, you can’t simply pack the thawed-out pops at room temp’ and toss em in an omiyage care package, as you could say, Otterpops.
Also, their logo needs some help.
At least for that part, I (Adobe) illustrated a draft of a JU-MUI logo for them…
Not bad for a first attempt. I should add some semi-frozen packed ice dripping off “Ju-Mui’s” head and the top of the bar on bottom. I’m not really hot about some of the “strokes”, and the blue Li Hing Pop needs A few strokes of its own to give it more dimension. Yet hey, I think it’s an improvement to create an identity for the JU-MUI Li-Hing Ice Pops brand.
Ju-Mui Frozen Hawaiian Pops
Available at all 7-Eleven stores of Hawaii and by phone or eMail for fundraisers and parties.
Tel. (808) 265-5480 or (808) 265-5482
The Tasty Island rating:
(3) Very Good. Considerable of another visit or purchase. (Supah’ Ono!)
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