Gourmet popcorn is the latest hot food trend, and with good reason. Nothing is easier to flavor and the choices are endless. When you have your own home theatre system, why settle for plastic packs of microwave popcorn for movie night snacks? Here are the top 10 hottest trends for you to make at home.
1. Ranch (Its Not Just For Doritos®)
Ranch never seems to go out of style, it just keeps coming back again, and again. Take your favorite dry packet of ranch dip or dressing mix and sprinkle over a large bowl of freshly popped and buttered popcorn. If you want to make it a truly gourmet popcorn add some grated parmesan cheese.
Suggested Movie Pairing: The Man From Snowy River
2. Buffalo-Style (Faster Than Wings)
Chicken wings are great to eat while watching the game but for movie night snacks use those same great flavors on your popped treat. Melt butter and hot sauce (to taste) with a bit of honey, and use that to toss on a bowl of popcorn. If you want it hotter, add cayenne to the melted butter mix, since too much hot sauce will simply drown puffy kernels into a bedraggled soggy mush.
Suggested Movie Pairing: Buffalo Bill
This chili-and-garlic sauce is showing up in all kinds of gourmet dishes this year, and popcorn is probably the most surprising! Mix 4 parts butter to 1 part sriracha and heat with a small amount of chopped garlic until the flavors have combined. Eat this as soon as you've made it otherwise, it will get soggy.
Suggested Movie Pairing: The Impossible
For the simplest version of this gourmet popcorn, heat 1 part butter with 3 parts maple syrup and drizzle over. Or go all out and toss half your popcorn with caramel sauce, bake in a low 250º F oven until crisped, then break up the baked with your hands and toss with the unbaked half.
Suggested Movie Pairing: Caramel
5. Use Your Fave Ramen Packet
Ramen packets have been used for years now in sour cream for a quick chip dip, and if you love that, you’ll love the flavor on your movie night snacks! Simply sprinkle the seasoning packet on a fresh bowl of buttered popcorn, and have endless variety from beef, chicken, and vegetable, to teriyaki, spicy, and kimchi versions.
Suggested Movie Pairing: Godzilla The Criterion-remastered version of the 1954 classic.
6. Not-So-Gourmet Cheddar Cheese
Cheddar cheese is a great taste for movie night snacks, although it’s too moist to work well on gourmet popcorn. You can easily buy a sprinkle that’s cheese flavor, but the down n’ dirty way is too use that mac & cheese packet (gasp).
Suggested Movie Pairing: Showgirls (Sorry this is the cheesiest movie we could think of!)
7. Chicago Style
One of those odd combos that sounds like it wouldn’t work, but trust me, it does. Chicago style popcorn is cheese and caramel. Yup, thats right, just combine 4 with 6, and you’ve gone Chicago style.
Suggested Movie Pairing: The Untouchables
8. Truffle Butter
The foodies out there know truffle oil is not the real thing, but who would use the real thing on movie night snacks? To your melted butter add a little truffle oil and after tossing with your gourmet popcorn, use a little truffle salt instead of just plain salt.
Suggested Movie Pairing: A Year In Provence
This is best made stovetop and using bacon fat instead of oil to pop your corn. Then you add to the bacon mix by finely grinding bacon bits and salt together, to sprinkle over the buttered popcorn. (This is another one that plays well with others for movie night snacks, caramel and bacon works spectacularly well together, and cheese with bacon is also stellar)
Suggested Movie Pairing: Footloose, Kevin Bacon's classic 80s film
10. Your Fave Flave
We’ve all got one, fess up to yours. Whether it’s smoked paprika, chilli powder, wasabi, sriracha, cinnamon sugar, or chocolate, you can easily adapt it to a gourmet popcorn sensation. If it’s a dry spice, mix it with a little popcorn salt and sprinkle it over your buttered popcorn. If it’s wet, like sriracha or chocolate, melt it with the butter. For lemon or lime seasoning, finely zest the peel and mix with your dry salt seasoning. Just go nuts! Speaking of nuts, you can always add peanuts, pecans, and walnuts, too.
There are your top 10 trends for making gourmet popcorn truly pop with flavor and fun. After all, you wouldnt watch a movie with only the TV speakers on to give you sound <shudder>, so why would you buy pre-flavored, plastic packs of popcorn? You may even end up bringing your own seasoning creation to the movie theatre, not that I recommend it, but if you see me there with my own shaker, don’t rat me out.
Suggested Movie Pairing: This one is whatever your favorite is, of course!