Popcorn. It’s salty, crunchy, and (depending on the amount of butter tossed into it) has some nutritional street cred from its status as a whole grain. The holy popcorn trinity is caramel, cheddar, and movie theatre “butter.” Maybe there’s room for sweet, yet salty, kettle corn in the mix, but that’s about as far as Philly has gotten without gilding the lily with truffle, bacon or some fancy, flavored salt.
At least until now.
Go Popcorn--a carnival-themed pop shop--has opened up at 112 S. 12th Street. The owners, Rob Day and Genalle Passanante, are popcorn moguls from Pittsburgh where yinzers have gone bonkers for awesome pops at their shop, The Pittsburgh Popcorn Company. In five years the couple has been able to open five locations in different neighborhoods in the ‘Burgh.
Now that they’ve honed their craft, they’re ready to see if their product is as popular (get it?) among Philadelphians. Every day at the 12th street store you can expect to see six classics. There’s always Wisconsin cheddar, caramel, kettle, movie theatre butter, caramel chocolate, and peanut butter cup--kettle corn drizzled with chocolate and peanut butter.
But it’s in going beyond the classics that Go Popcorn gets really exciting. Every week, a few special flavors (from a menu of 35 different options) appear beside the classics. From now through the 28th they are Cinnamon Toast (a caramelly, cinnamony, toasty and crunchy confection), salty, funky Garlic Parmesan, Dark Chocolate Blackout (which has a charred appearance and an addictive cocoa toffee crunch), and, of course, Turkey Stuffing--a mix startlingly like the flavor profile of Stovetop. Loaded with sage and pepper, it’s salty and, strangely, not nearly as gross as it sounds.
Expect to see more seasonal flavors in the next few weeks, including egg nog, candy cane, southwest cheddar, salt n’ vinegar, pumpkin spice, chocolate hazelnut, gingerbread, buffalo ranch, sour cream and onion, and thin mint. The flavorings are all natural and the corn itself, popped in canola oil, is both GMO-free and locally sourced from Mount Joy, PA. It’s not health food, but at $3-5 for a small bag it’s a reasonably priced and fun sweet or savory treat for yourself or in a giant tin for your relatives. Pop to it, Philly!