I was out and about on an assignment recently and came across this store. I noted it and went about my already scheduled business. When I was done, though, my curiosity got the best of me and I went in to POParazzi’s Popcorn. A lady went in right before I did and held the door for me. She must have noticed the look of wonderment on my face and asked, “First time here?” I nodded and said, “Yes” to which she replied with a knowing smile, “Won’t be the last.” I didn’t know it at the time but she is right. This original Houston business has only been open a few months and hasn’t even had their official grand opening yet which is slated for August. But, leave it to a Houstonian to come up with this positively brilliant idea. Owner Irwin Daniels did well with this one!
When you first step foot in the door it has a typical candy store feel to it. Shelves line both side walls and there are gift baskets and sports tins that could be filled with your favorite popcorn flavor, perfect for gifts. They have sno-cones and an assortment of candies including typical expected fare as well as some unusual, rather exotic selections of bacon and cheese crickets and candied ants. I decided that could be left for those a tad more adventurous than I and went right for the popcorn. They have over seventy flavors including traditional popcorn, cheesy flavors using real cheese, caramel corn in several variations created fresh with every batch, kettle corn, candied popcorn, nuts and popcorn and specialty flavors.
I sampled the Fudge Bomb popcorn when I was there. It was amazing. The owner claimed that it tasted just like the Fudge Bomb ice cream, just a little warmer and he was absolutely right on target. It was very rich and sweet and I would have probably been done after another sampling simply because it was so decadent. The slight saltiness of the underlying popcorn worked very well also, giving it just a little contrast that a real Fudge Bomb would not have. This is something I simply must have on hand now for the occasional sweet tooth indulgence.
I did not taste any other flavors that day but I did dive right in and buy a junior size of each of two flavors, parmesan and garlic and buffalo wing and ranch. I opened the buffalo wing and ranch popcorn first. It was fairly obvious which ones were ranch and which ones were buffalo wing. Taken on its own, the ranch was so good I could have eaten an entire bag of that flavor alone. Then I tried the buffalo wing which had a tangy bite to it that was delicious. I could probably eat a bag of this by myself too as long as I had a glass of water or maybe even a beer. But then I had both together as they are intended to be eaten and the blend of the two was perfection. It tasted like buffalo wings and ranch…big surprise. The bite of the wing sauce was cut and mellowed by the ranch for a delicious combination. Just like the classic inspiration for this, buffalo wing and ranch popcorn is perfect paired with a beer for sporting events or even a sport’s themed movie.
Then I moved to the parmesan and garlic popcorn. I loved it but then I love garlic. You could taste both quite strongly. I had to fight off my husband from eating all of it and I am sure this bag will not last long. For couples who have been together for awhile, knock yourself out watching a romantic Italian movie or in our case The Simpsons. But for first dates, maybe go with something a little less garlicky.
The only problem I had with POParazzi Popcorn is their packaging. You can purchase multiple sizes to suit anyone’s needs. This is great. But in the junior packages I got there was no way to determine which one was which. Of course, the ones I got were easy to distinguish. But when I go back for more, I may want to have each one clearly marked in case they are not quite as obvious. Perhaps they can come up with a creative way to tag each bag.
You can find POParazzi Popcorn online at their website, become a fan on their Facebook page or you can do what I did and visit them in person at 8236 Kirby Drive #150. For those not in the area, POParazzi Popcorn is well worth the drive. I think I might have to start a new culinary series of articles where I go through all the popcorn flavors and pair them with particular beers or wines. Takers anyone?