Popcorn - 6

My friend and fellow popcorn addict Ike was once forced to take a popcorn hiatus after a doctor had to remove a lodged kernel from his esophagus. While I’ve never had a near death popcorn experience, it’s not from lack of overeating. So in celebration of popcorn gluttony, here’s a special food find on some favorites in Charlottesville.

Even devoted popcorn lovers have mixed opinions on kettle korn, the sweet and salty combo. Traditionalists may not like it, but I love it and Blue Ridge Kettle Korn makes the best I’ve had. I think it’s the best popcorn in town. Blue Ridge Kettle Korn is sold at various festivals and concerts throughout the summer, including Fridays after Five, as well as a few local stores. Their popcorn is served up hot, fresh, and somehow butter-free, with bites that are pure sugar and some that are salty goodness. The people who serve it are nice and a “small” bag, which is a whole lot of popcorn, goes for $3. Nothing says summer to me like an appetizer of Blue Ridge Kettle Korn and a Shock Top beer at Fridays after Five.

Popcorn - 3On one such recent Friday, we had shared our usual bag of kettle korn and were strolling down the mall when we noticed the new Great Scott’s Gourmet Popcorn store in the old Orders from Horder spot. While some people may have been satiated by the enormous bag we had just devoured, we’re pretty hard core when it comes to popcorn so we had to give it a try. Great Scott’s serves up every flavor of popcorn imaginable, from Root Beer and Candy Apple to Loaded Potato and Hot Wing. It originally opened in Texas but the husband and wife founders moved it back to her hometown of Charlottesville so it’s locally owned and operated. We tested as many flavors as we could. I really enjoyed the savory flavors, particularly the Hollerpeno and Salt and Vinegar, but found the sweet and candied flavors, such as Strawberry and Hot Cinnamon, somewhat bizarre and just too sweet, although I bet little people would go crazy for them. The price is higher but the savory flavors are authentic and it was fun to mix up the usual popcorn experience.

Does anyone else have recommendations on hidden popcorn gems in the area?