My latest crush

>> Sunday, April 19, 2009

I'm in love, sort of. Or it's a crush, your call. On an inanimate object, or more accurately the product of an inanimate object; it's not so much the Presto PopLite I love so much as it's the fresh, fresh popcorn.

I got sick of the microwave stuff. So I decided to go back to the late '70s. It's a little bizarre, actually, that last part: when I decided I was going to go for real popcorn again, it was just a little strange that hot air popcorn poppers are unchanged in thirty years. Oh, I know, functionally there's no reason for them to. But just as stereo systems have gone through phases--wood veneer, silver finish, black matte, the iPod look, etc.--surely one might have expected a 21st Century popcorn popper to, you know, have something, what? Futuristic? Contemporary? But no, no the hot air popper looks just like the one my family had when Reagan was President.

I thought about doing the oil thing. It just looked too messy. Okay, the hot air popper comes with the warning that it might eject a superhot unpopped kernel across the room, which I guess is a messiness unto itself. But it seemed easier to clean, and I'm lazy. The two or three times I've done butter (drool) I did it in the microwave so I wouldn't even have to clean the little butter-melter cup on top of the popper (as memory serves, melted butter would cool and coalesce at the 90° angle where the bottom meets the side and was impossible to ever really clean out, forming a crusty residue).

You just can't get good popcorn anymore, it seems. The movie theaters used to be the last bastion, but these days even movie popcorn seems to taste like crap. And Orson help you if you want buttered popcorn (and who doesn't): ask for "butter" and the typical theater will either squirt some sort of hot syrup on top or unhelpfully point you over to a self-serve station offering "BUTTER-FLAVORED TOPPING." Yeah, uh, yum?

But fresh popcorn? Oooooh.

The popcorn popper was around $19.88 from Amazon. And it seems Presto is the company for this, literally: you get a Orville Redenbacher popper and apparently it's just a Presto with Orville's name on a sticker slapped on the side. Nineteen bucks is reasonable--the popcorn is priceless. I mean, it's insane how good the real stuff is.

You can get decent microwavable, sure. But even the decent stuff (like the stuff the Boy Scouts sell every year) had started to taste too chemical, I just couldn't take it.

I'm in lurf, fer sure.

And now I'm off to watch Frankenstein again, with a big bowl o' popcorn beside me. The noms you hear are coming from inside the house....

7 comments:

Nathan Sunday, April 19, 2009 at 8:51:00 AM EDT  

This might or might not be heresy, but I can take or leave popcorn. The microwave stuff tastes OK, but leaves such a vile, cloying aroma in the entire house that I can't deal with the stuff.

Random Michelle K Sunday, April 19, 2009 at 9:57:00 AM EDT  

The only popcorn I like is kettle corn and homemade caramel corn.

I don't eat popcorn very often.

Eric Sunday, April 19, 2009 at 11:04:00 AM EDT  

Nathan, it's not heresy, but it does seem a little ironic given your line of work. :-)

Janiece Murphy Sunday, April 19, 2009 at 11:45:00 AM EDT  

I'm glad I'm not the only one who still uses a hot air popper.

I got min years ago, before Amazon carried kitchen appliances, and it took me months to find one. Good to know a replacement is only a click away...

Hmm...popcorn.

vince Sunday, April 19, 2009 at 12:15:00 PM EDT  

I love popcorn, but find the hot air poppers too noisy. I just make it from scratch with a little canola oil using a very large pan. A thin coat of oil, one kernel in it, and when the kernel pops, it's time to add the rest.

Fresh popcorn is my friend.

rbird Sunday, April 19, 2009 at 9:26:00 PM EDT  

I remember the one we had when we were kids with the tray that melted butter. So yummy!

You should really get an air popper for your office (and I don't mean breakroom- I mean your desk). The aroma of popcorn always go over really well when there are hungry people waiting for lunchtime. And the noise will be hilarious.

Leanright,  Monday, April 20, 2009 at 1:38:00 PM EDT  

In a pinch, you could always grab a skillet of "jiffy pop". Hang it on the wall....it becomes a Redneck Fire Alarm.

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