Today I bring you not one, but four desserts. Indeed, I have spent the past week selflessly working my way through four different varieties of gourmet popcorn so that you, dear reader, can have a diversified view of what this local popcorn store I visited has to offer. Cornucopia is a small, unassuming shop tucked into an alley-cum-parking lot near the University of Texas campus. The inside feels like a candy store; by definition, then, its customers are transported back to childhood and that world with all of its possibilities. And possibilities are exactly what abound here: dill pickle, German chocolate, watermelon… you name it, it’s a popcorn flavor. On this trip, I decided to sample four of their types of chocolate popcorn.
The zebra is a favorite animal of mine, so I’ll start with that. Zebra popcorn is pretty much what you would expect: a lightly sweetened base generously drizzled with dark and white chocolate. One of the simpler chocolate flavors, and yet also one of the most elegant. If you’re making your first foray into the world of popcorn creativity, I would recommend this as a starting point.
Next up was Peanut Butter & Chocolate. Sweet and salty is, in my experience, one of the most effective taste combinations there is – and this instance of it is no exception. My only criticism is that the drizzle consists of dark chocolate and peanut butter-flavored milk chocolate, resulting in more of a “chocolate, chocolate and peanut butter” effect. Although I firmly believe that an excess of chocolate is a culinary impossibility, and so would certainly not subtract from that aspect, a touch of unencumbered peanut butter would not have gone amiss.
I would say Birthday Cake is the best of the bunch. Vanilla popcorn with white chocolate and rainbow sprinkles? Sold. This was every bit as delicious – and pretty – as it sounds (although certainly not for the faint of heart when it comes to sweetness). Cake batter fans take notice: this is a perfectly executed twist on the amazing flavor you love so.
Smores (I personally prefer the “s’mores” spelling of the word, so now that I’ve mentioned Cornucopia’s official name I will revert back to that) was a stroke of luck. I was originally planning on getting a seasoned type for my fourth so as to make the experience a well-rounded one – but then I overheard that a batch of s’mores-flavored popcorn was coming up and all that went out the window. And what a good decision that turned out to be, for no savory type, no matter how unusual and interesting, could beat chocolate, graham crackers and marshmallows! The fact that the marshmallows are of the dehydrated, Lucky Charms sort is a bit of a letdown – seems like, after going to all this trouble to get quality chocolate and real graham crackers, the least you could do is throw in some actual marshmallows – but the overall result is a scrumptious one nonetheless.
This quadrio of popcorns is, believe it or not, a mere glimpse of the selection Cornucopia has to offer. For every flavor I singled out, I saw three others I wanted to try, and that’s just out of what they had available that day. I truly wish this artisan business the best of success, so that I may in turn continue to savor its confections.