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Nikki Neboshynsky happily holding the Paleta Championship award.
Nikki Neboshynsky, Owner and Chief Tasty Officer at Tasty Toucan is overjoyed with the news she has won the 2023 Paleta Competition.

[Stevensville, MD] - Kent Island's Tasty Toucan emerged victorious at The North American Ice Cream Association (NAICA) 2023 Paleta Competition at their annual convention in Las Vegas.

The North American Ice Cream Association, a dedicated trade organization committed to advancing the frozen dessert industry, annually recognizes outstanding contributions and innovation. Tasty Toucan seized the title of Paleta Champion, solidifying their place as an example of excellence in the frozen dessert industry.

For those unfamiliar with the term, a Paleta is a Mexican-origin frozen treat, similar to a popsicle, that has gained popularity in the United States. Unlike traditional popsicles, paletas are crafted from fresh fruits, chocolate, or cream. The distinguishing factor lies in their use of natural ingredients and creative flavor combinations, offering a more authentic and artisanal experience.

The six artisan Paleta competitors had two hours to make their best strawberry and chocolate popsicle/Paleta. Nikki Neboshynsky, owner and chief tasty officer of Tasty Toucan, Stevensville, MD whirred and stirred her best recipes before the judges. Her final submissions were Summer Tango and ‘This the season. The judges analyzed every pop/paleta for taste, uniqueness, presentation and appeal to the market.

The winning Paleta's. Summer Tango; Strawberry and Mango dipped in Tajin. 'Tis the Season; Chocolate peppermint fudge sprinkled with crushed candy canes.
The winning Paleta's. Summer Tango; Strawberry and Mango dipped in Tajin. 'Tis the Season; Chocolate peppermint fudge sprinkled with crushed candy canes.

The Summer Tango is a delightful blend of whole strawberries, fresh-squeezed lemon juice, twisted with layers of mango, dipped in Tajin. On the other hand, the ‘Tis the Season features chocolate fudge infused with natural peppermint extract and adorned with shimmering candy cane pieces. Neboshynky's entries are a true standout, earning unanimous praise from the judges for its unique flavor profile, exceptional texture, and eye-catching presentation.

"We are thrilled to recognize Tasty Toucan and Nikki Neboshynsky as the Paleta Champion of 2023," stated Evan Waldt, Board member of NAICA. "Their Paleta not only demonstrated exceptional craftsmanship but also highlighted the innovative spirit that drives our industry. It's an honor to celebrate their talents and dedication to the craft."

Nikki Neboshynsky shared her excitement about the win, saying, "Tasty Toucan's goal has always been to deliver sweet frozen treats with incredible flavor from natural ingredients, this competition was the perfect platform to showcase that. We are incredibly proud to have received this recognition and are excited to continue our journey of creating unique and delicious popsicles."

To savor these award-winning paletas, head to Tasty Toucan at 400 Love Point Road in Stevensville, MD. Additionally, you can find them at various concerts, festivals, and catering events. Don't miss the chance to indulge in the authentic and bold flavors that set Tasty Toucan's paletas apart.

About Tasty Toucan

Tasty Toucan is not just your average paleta and ice cream shop—it's a vibrant oasis of creativity and fun where frozen treats are elevated to an art form. From the moment you step through the door, you're welcomed by a burst of colors, whimsical decor, and a lively atmosphere that sets the stage for a sweet adventure. Tasty Toucan embraces the idea that frozen treats should be an experience, a moment of pure joy. The shop takes pride in offering an array of paletas and ice creams that are not only delicious but also bursting with flavor.

Tasty Toucan isn't just a place to grab a frozen treat; it's a sweet sanctuary where people come together to chill, laugh, and create memories. It's more than an ice cream shop; it's a destination for those who want to savor life's sweet moments in style.

About the National Ice Cream Association:

The North American Ice Cream Association is a leading organization dedicated to advancing the ice cream and frozen dessert industry. With a mission to foster innovation, collaboration, and excellence within the industry, NAICA provides a platform for professionals to connect, learn, and grow. The annual convention is a highlight of the organization's calendar and an opportunity for industry leaders to come together and celebrate the joy of ice cream and frozen desserts.

For interviews, media inquiries, or additional information, please contact: Nikki Neboshynsky via email at

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A "paleta" (often spelled as "paleta" or "palleta" in English) is a frozen treat that is popular in many Latin American countries, as well as among Hispanic communities in the United States and other regions. It is similar to an ice pop or popsicle, but there are some key differences.

A paleta is typically made by blending or pureeing fresh fruits or other flavorful ingredients, such as chocolate or cream, and then freezing them in various molds. The result is a frozen, fruity, creamy, or even savory treat on a stick. Paletas come in a wide variety of flavors, including strawberry, mango, coconut, tamarind, hibiscus, and many more. Some paletas incorporate small chunks of fruit, nuts, or other ingredients for added texture and flavor.

What sets paletas apart from traditional popsicles or ice pops is the use of natural ingredients, fresh fruits, and creative flavor combinations. They often have a more authentic and artisanal feel, with an emphasis on bold, natural flavors. Paletas can be enjoyed as a refreshing dessert or snack, especially in hot weather, and they are a delightful way to savor the taste of fresh, seasonal fruits.

In summary, a paleta is a frozen treat on a stick that is known for its use of fresh ingredients and a wide range of flavors, popular in Latin American and Hispanic culture. It is a delicious and refreshing way to enjoy frozen desserts with a tropical or homemade twist.

Check out this vibrant picture book celebrating the strength of community and the tastes of summer from Latin Grammy-winning musician Lucky Diaz and celebrated artist Micah Player.

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