Crystal Swain, owner of Zen Pops, presenting the winners with the Blue Basket Prize.

It’s Taste of the Beach weekend on the Outer Banks and there is so much to do it’s not possible to get to even a small piece of everything. It was raining pretty hard in the early afternoon, but the barbecue and wings showdown at the Sea Ranch in Kill Devil Hills went off without a hitch—no doubt because there was a Plan B: a large tent.

The turnout was great, the food amazing—to this palate the more traditional ways to fix ribs or pork seemed the tastiest.

One of the best parts to the Taste of the Beach, though are the small events—the events that highlight something different or unique. Which brings us to “Popsicle Making Chopped Style!”

Crystal Swain, owner of Zen Pops in Kitty Hawk, has been making amazing organic popsicles for the past four years. Crisp refreshing flavors, some wonderful experimentation—they do cost a bit more but are worth it. 

Taking fresh ingredients, four teams competed to create a popsicle from the same ingredients. 

It was absolutely astonishing how different the four popsicles tasted even though everyone was using the same ingredients. At the end judges made a choice and awarded a blue basket to team Ice Ice Babes for their Blue Parrot Bay creation.

A great example of what the TOB is all about. The big event tomorrow is Chowder Cookoff.