Gadgets: Ice Huggy
For such a simple item, I had a heck of a time testing the Ice Huggy ($6.99/2), This product is designed to hold ice pops—you know, the sweet frozen treats that come in a long plastic tube. At first, I thought it was designed to insulate the ice pop to keep it from melting from the heat of your hand. I wasn't sure how much of a problem that could be, but that's what testing is all about.
First, I tried to find a volunteer mom who would be willing to test the Ice Huggy with her kids. I thought that would be easy, but either the kids were too old or too young for ice pops, or the moms made their own frozen treats. Hmmm... not quite as big a market as I expected.
So I went looking for ice pops that I didn't have to buy in a big box and finally found them at a little local store that carries items the big chain stores don't. That mission accomplished, I immediately understood the real problem. Those things are cold! Just carrying them to the register, my delicate ladylike hands were getting a serious chill.
The Ice Huggy acts as an insulator, but it's not protecting the ice pop; it's protecting hands from the chill. That makes more sense. Kids aren't going to want to hold something that's super-cold for very long. The Ice Huggy is made from a soft, thick, squishy material that no doubt is a good insulator. So far, so good.
The ice pop slips into the Ice Huggy sleeve that stretches a bit to hold the ice pop snugly. There's a flap that secures with Velco so you can fold the Huggy down as the ice pop gets shorter as you eat it. It's a really good concept. Unfortunately, the ice pops I bought were fatter than the Ice Huggy was designed to hold. It was like trying to put a toddler's sock on an adult foot.
Maybe there are regional or brand differences in ice pops and the ones I picked up were mutant super-large versions. It wouldn't make sense for these folks to make a product that doesn't fit the major brands of ice pops, so I have to assume that these would fit most of the ice pops you might buy.
But the story doesn't quite end there. I, uh...acquired an adult version of the ice pop that is essentially a frozen margarita. And the ice pop fit perfectly into the Ice Huggy and did a fine job keeping my hands protected from that evil frozen margarita. So I guess I can use them, even though I don't have kids.
About the author: Resident yeast whisperer and bread baking columnist Donna Currie also has a serious gadget habit. When her father-in-law heard about this column, he upgraded the nickname for her kitchen from "gadget world" to "gadget heaven." You can find her on her blog, Cookistry or follow her on Twitter at @dbcurrie.
Disclaimer: Testing samples were provided to Serious Eats.