January 19 – Popcorn Day
The words “gourmet” and “popcorn” usually aren’t found in such close proximity to one another. The popular movie time snack is more commonly found in the microwave than on the table at New York’s finest restaurants. But even with such a simple food, you can find great culinary varieties in the heart of the city.
A nationwide staple, Garrett Popcorn Shops provide high-quality premium popcorns that you definitely won’t find at the local Regal theaters. With such flavors as Macafamia Caramel Crisp, you’ll find Garrett has elevated the popcorn to a much higher level. You can purchase by the bag at the shop in Penn Plaza, or order online for gift tins and other accessories. Garrett Popcorn was also where I met Top Chef All-Stars winner Richard Blais, who was doing a molecular gastronomy presentation at the store. Which meant, free caramel popcorn “lollipops” frozen in liquid nitrogen, AND I got a photo with one of my favorite Top Chef contestants! 😀
Garrett Popcorn Shops
242 W 34th St
Some reviews on Yelp.com:
” My friend and I got there right when it opened and the employee was incredibly helpful. We tried all their flavors and I finally decided on their Chicago Mix. Oprah is really a genius. Who would’ve thought the combination of cheddar and caramel would ever taste so delicious?!”–Julia K.
“New to me on my most recent trip was the spicy cheese popcorn. It’s got the great cheese flavor I was used to with a enough spice to make it interesting. For me it was a mild spice, but eating enough of it built up a decent amount of heat in my mouth. I enjoy that, you may not. A handful of caramel will make it all better though.”–Chris O.
If you’re looking for something even more transformative than specialized flavors of popcorn, check out Dirt Candy in the East Village. This vegetarian restaurant serves a unique pudding that incorporates crispy caramel popcorn for dessert, something I’ve never heard about before but am just dying to try. A pudding in and of itself isn’t all that interesting, especially for a restaurant-quality dessert, but the crunch and the flavor of the popcorn makes this a must-taste dish.
430 E 9th St (between 1st Ave & Avenue A)
Some reviews from Yelp.com:
“Last, we went for dessert – popcorn pudding with caramel popcorn. The combination of the crunchy caramel popcorn and the velvety vanilla pudding reminds one faintly of creme brulee, and yet this dish has a unique character.”–Madhuri I.
“Note: Do not skip out on desserts because they’re just as whimsical as the entrees! Pastry chef Debbie Lee concocts equally toothsome desserts including fennel funnel cake and popcorn pudding; sweets that appeal at both 14 and 40. Who knew that eating vegetables could be so much fun?”–Kimberly B.