Gourmet popcorn eh? Something of an oxymoron of you ask me. After all, popcorn is one of those cheap treats isn’t it? A handful of corn, some butter and a little salt and sugar and there you have it. Simple, cheap and very moreish.
Well apparently there’s now such a thing as Gourmet Popcorn, so this isn’t just any old popcorn, this is ‘Air popped maize corn, cooked in small batch pans with a Spanish smoked paprika coating, sprinkled with dried Ancho chillis and then hand drizzled with Belgian Dark Chocolate’.
As you can see, what you get is a reddy-brown looking popcorn with dark chocolate drizzled over it. The coating is of course sweetened, so the first taste is a kind of slightly sticky sweet coating which them warms up as the smoked paprika and Ancho chilli kicks in. Anchos are known for having a sweetness (and not too much heat) so they’re a good choice for something like this.
There’s not much information about the chocolate, other than it being Belgian and dark, but it makes up 21% of the overall weight of this product, so there’s a fair amount of it around. It does add a certain sweetness to the finish and blends in well with the gentle fieriness of the chilli and paprika. Tasting this is a bit of an adventure. First the initial sweetness, which is very quickly joined by the subtle smoky heat of the paprika, reinforced by the chilli and then mellowed out by the chocolate, all in popcorn form.
I found myself liking it more than I thought I would, but there’s a cynical part of my brain which keeps saying. “It’s just popcorn, it shouldn’t be over two quid a box!” and I do think this is another example of ‘reinventing’ a food while making sure the new version costs several times more than the traditional version, but as an unusual treat it works quite well. I do think this is going to have limited appeal though, and I wonder how long it will be around. I suppose if you like the sound of it, the thing to do would be to get your hands on some pronto, because I can’t find mention of it anywhere on the internet, which could mean it wasn’t all that popular after all!