So there is this New York City artisan popcorn purveyor called Populence—their product will set you back more than Orville Redenbacher and a few shakes of garlic powder... but on the other hand: raspberry popcorn. Recently we were asked if we wanted to try their newest offering: wine-infused popcorn, which they offered to send along with Kim Crawford wine (the wine producer who collaborated with them on this snack). Before the popcorn arrived, these were the preliminary reactions from the staff, taken verbatim from an email thread:
- "Barfff" [sic] — John Del Signore
- "Since we can't have cicadas, i think this is next (grossest) thing." — Lauren Evans (who has been trying to hunt down cicadas to eat)
- "I WILL TAKE FREE WINE NEVER SAY NO TO FREE WINE" — The most fun coworker
Chug chug chug! (Gothamist)
This afternoon the package arrived: one small tin of popcorn, and two bottles of wine. Everyone flocked to the office Silver Table (YOLO), gathered around and stared down into the tin, which was split into two sections: Pinot Noir Drizzle and Sauvignon Blanc Lemon. "Do we pour the wine into it?" one coworker asked. But with the question still hanging in the air, we all just mimicked our drinking styles and shoved as much wine-infused popcorn into our mouths as possible. Afterwards, we spoke freely about our experience as we awaited the buzz that never arrived:
- "This is definitely slumber party food. Popcorn meant to be breezily tossed at your friend in a beanbag chair or munched on while Matthew McConaughey flashes his trademark grin on the flatscreen. Weekend corn, not working class corn. Keep it in the cabinet with the Drambuie and the set of porcelain chopsticks." — Chris Robbins
- "It has a lot of kernels for luxury popcorn." — Lauren Evans
- "After a few handfuls, I felt great. After a few more, I feel sick." [ed. note: just like with wine!] — Lauren Evans, again.
- But despite the somewhat negative comments, Ms. Evans has already gone back for seconds, and notes with enthusiasm: "It's so sticky that when I drop it on myself, it clings conveniently to my clothes, meaning I can still eat it!"
- "Standing by the popcorn trough inhaling snacks for journalism, I heard someone remark that you can't fuck up popcorn. That's a fallacy—I've had plenty of subpar popcorn in my time, and it can go wrong in a variety of ways; soggy, stale, salty, etc. For pre-packaged popcorn, this is pretty damn good. The chocolate-to-popcorn ratio was modest, and I can tell they're using high-end chocolate for this. I can't really taste the wine, but I think we're supposed to pair it with the wine they sent to bring out the wine flavors? Or are we supposed to soak the popcorn in the wine and make popcorn soup, as someone else suggested? Something tells me I've only just begun to Pamper myself with Populence!" — John Del Signore
- "The popcorn was tasty and addictive in the way that chocolate-drizzled gourmet popcorn usually is. But where was the wine?" — Rebecca Fishbein
It's true, the popcorn didn't really have the wine taste that we sickly craved, but it was good. Because it's popcorn! We also didn't pair it with the wines that were sent, because it was like 3 p.m. and we're professionals, and also wine-pairing just seems like a made up thing. Everything tastes good with whatever wine you have it with. Including this popcorn probably, which will be available starting this Friday (their 1-gallon tins cost $35, but smaller samplers cost $8).