Popcorn has evolved over the years, and today we do things to popcorn that we never thought of doing 25 years ago when I first worked in a gourmet popcorn store…including adding chocolate drizzle to popcorn.
I’m originally from the Chicago area, and grew up most of my adolescent and teenage years in Kansas City, MO. Between those two cities, they have the most established gourmet popcorn brands in the country. I grew up on gourmet popcorn! There wasn’t a holiday season that went by without gourmet popcorn present…mainly served as a snack during football games after Thanksgiving dinner, or found under the tree on Christmas morning. In the years in between, my love of gourmet popcorn has continued. Ask my family; they’ll tell you when we go on vacations there are two cuisines I always look for in any of our destinations…a gourmet popcorn store and BBQ. I love tasting other popcorn (I call it market research) and supporting other gourmet popcorn businesses, so I try as much as I can everywhere I go.
But chocolate-drizzled popcorn is an evolution that makes me sad. It’s just not necessary. And, more times than not, when I’ve tasted it I’ve always come to this same conclusion. I mean, I’m fair so I always give it a try when I stubble across it, but I have yet to taste some that has changed my opinion. Here are my main objections to chocolate-drizzled popcorn:
- In most cases, chocolate drizzle is an enhancement to hide the fact that the actual gourmet popcorn (popcorn + the coating) isn’t great quality. In other words, the manufacturer used subpar ingredients to make the popcorn and cover it up by adding drizzle. Gourmet popcorn that is well-coated and is flavorful as a standalone product doesn’t need chocolate drizzle.
- Candied gourmet popcorn (think caramel or similar candied-coated flavors) have enough sugars and are sweet enough on their own. The extra chocolate isn’t necessary.
- It’s challenging to ship to locations with warmer temperatures, whether seasonally or year round, because the chocolate will melt in that heat-conducting aluminum tin and will end up as a gooey mess in the bottom of the tin.
- When chocolate is melted and reforms, the ingredients in the chocolate separate, leaving the chocolate with an ash-white color and film. It’s not as good after it melts…I know this from my experience as a sales rep for Hershey Chocolate USA.
Call me a gourmet popcorn purist if you’d like, but I stand by my opinion that chocolate drizzle is not necessary if the gourmet popcorn itself is of exceptional quality…and my PrePOPsterous® team are pretty confident in the exceptional quality of our popcorn!