I adore popcorn. I've loved it since JiffyPop and Cracker Jacks. Since it made family trips to Fedco and Sears as a child palatable. In the last several years, Kettle Corn made me swoon. I love the crunch and the sweet and the salt but more recently I've come to love it with truffle oil and parmesan cheese. I just love it.
So, when my friend Kristine Valenzuela announced her intent to launch a new business called Green Kernel, selling flavored organic popcorn at the local farmers markets, I was like the woman in the old Mervyn's commercial... Open, open, open! Well, this morning, Kristine was at her spanking new booth at the Little Italy Mercato with her inaugural bags of popcorn, choosing three flavors to start: Italian, Spicy Thai, and Mexican Chocolate.
All of the ingredients are fresh and organic. I enjoyed bitefuls of the Italian that yielded a bit of citrus flavor from lemon zest, followed by a clear zip of rosemary. The Spicy Thai has a nice kick to it. What I ended up buying, though, is the Mexican Chocolate. Made with organic milk chocolate, ground cinnamon, butter, raw cane sugar, and canola oil -- and, of course, popcorn kernels -- I just liked this combo of savory and sweet. And, I like that the popcorn isn't greasy but actually feels like you're treating both body and taste buds well.
Kristine is selling concession cones for $2. Bags are $6 apiece or $16 for three bags. A bit pricey, but hopefully with brisk business she'll be able to bring the prices down.
Catch Kristine's Green Kernel popcorn at the Little Italy Mercato on Saturdays from 9 to 1:30.