Chocolate Monday:The Popcorn Palace

popcornSorry for the absence dear readers, but I’ve been feeling a little under the weather lately. And as much as I love chocolate, I have to admit that even I didn’t feel much like eating anything cocoa flavored, which kind of annoyed my husband since half a shelf in our fridge is filled with different types of chocolates just waiting for me to try.

Since I’ve only just started to feel better, I decided to ease back in with something simple: popcorn.

For as long as I can remember, I have adored popcorn. As a kid I would press my nose up against the popper, just waiting for it to fill the bowl. I would beg my mom to buy Jiffy Pop so that I could watch her shake it over the stove and squeal with delight when the aluminum foil began to expand with the fluffy goodness. The purchase of a microwave meant our popper was retired, but it also meant I could throw a bag in and have tasty, salty goodness in minutes.

In high school, I worked in a movie theater, which was a cornocopia of free popcorn for me. Well, a lot of it shouldn’t have been free, but when no one was looking we all snuck handfuls. I would often buy bags of the stuff, douse it in butter and salt and eat it for dinner. Somtimes if I didn’t finish, I would even eat it the next morning for breakfast. I never claimed to be healthy, just to love popcorn.

Usually I’m a sucker for the salty stuff. I want my popcorn covered in butter and salt or some sort of cheesy coating. I can eat caramel corn every now and then, but I’m not a huge fan. Cracker Jack never earned a place in my heart either. My one real exception for sweet corn has always been Crunch n’ Munch. I could down an entire box in one sitting and still find myself craving more.

So when I found myself shopping for popcorn online, I really only expected to get something salty. I stumbled across the Popcorn Palace accidently. I was actually searching for Garrett’s Popcorn, since they were an online company I’d heard of. I clicked on a link that I thought would take me to them. Instead, it took me to the Popcorn Palace. As soon as I started reading their catalog, I realized I’d actually had their corn before. For years I used to take students on a field trip to the Chicago Shakespeare Theater on Navy Pier. On every trip, I’d stop by the popcorn place near the food court and get a big back of their cheesy ranch popcorn. It was fantastic! I had no idea what the place was called, but ate it up.

When I was going through all the flavors, there was one sweet variety that caught my attention: chocolate fudge brownie. A popcorn flavor that contains not only chocolate (using real Hershey’s syrup), but also brownies (a personal chocolatey favorite) was worth the rather hefty price tag ($20.95 for a one pound bag).

The corn itself was just as chocolate coated as the picture promised. It is very crunchy and very chocolatey. The taste reminds me a bit of Cocoa Pebbles. I can definitely taste the Hershey’s syrup. While it doesn’t remind me much of a brownie (seeing as it is hard and crunchy), it is definitely rich. In fact, it is so rich that I can only eat a few handfuls at a time. The taste becomes a bit overwhelming for me. For me this was a little disappointing. I wanted to adore it. Instead, I like it. On the plus side, it will last me a long time, since a pound bag is huge (and weighs way more than a pound). My only concern is that it may go stale while I try to work my way through it.

Now, I don’t want to bad-mouth the Popcorn Palace, because their cheesy ranch popcorn is quite possibly the best popcorn I’ve ever put in my mouth. I admit I’m jaded by my need for salty popcorn, and I might still be a bit biased by my tummy issues.

I’d say it’s worth a try, although I’d suggest making sure you have at least one other person to share it with. It might be easier to buy it and have it out at a party. I’d give it a 7/10.

*The cheesy ranch though, gets an 11/10 for amazing excellence!


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Filed under addictions, chocolate, cool links, food, my childhood, products, ramblings, what makes me me

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