Thanks to the growing interest in authentic Mexican cuisine, desserts like the dreaded deep-fried ice cream are giving way to more traditional sweets. At Nashville's Las Paletas, Guadalajara-born sisters Irma and Norma Paz serve popsicles (paletas) in classic flavors, like hibiscus, guava, prickly pear and tamarind, and the Paz sisters' own inventions, like hot-pepper-spiked cucumber. The list of 15 to 20 flavors changes every day. "We make whatever we're in the mood for," Irma says. "Right now we've got beautiful fresh pineapples, kiwis and bananas" (2907 12th Ave. S.; 615-386-2101). Mexico City native Laura Cid, the pastry chef at Platiyo in Chicago, is introducing the city to Mexican desserts at her shop Bombón—where she offers numerous versions of the moist tres leches cake—and her six-month-old store Bomboncito, which sells hard-to-find Mexican candies, like spicy bubble gum (Bombón, 1508 W. 18th St., 312-733-7788; Bomboncito, 1653 W. 18th St., 312-733-3201).

—Salma Abdelnour

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