By Michele Costanza
I'm standing in the KuKuRuZa Gourmet Popcorn kitchen as they are loading the commercial cooking kettle full of butter, brown sugar and magic. The fragrance of caramel wafts through the air as we learn about the remarkable history of this family-owned, local business. I can see why this brand is beloved in Seattle just from the smell alone.
Time to taste samples of some of the signature flavors. Hawaiian Salted Caramel is their top-selling item, which adds a sprinkling of maroon sea salt from Hawaii to their popular Classic Caramel Corn. The sweet, salty combination lightly coating the fluffy, crisp popcorn will kick self-control out the window.
My son prefers the Tuxedo, which is the Classic Caramel Corn drizzled with white and milk chocolate. Addiction, anyone??....not naming any names, but you know who you are. So yes, I'm happily chowing down on a handful of Tuxedo with my coffee. Breakfast of Champions.
My personal savory favorite is the Truffle Fromage Porcini, which is FANCY, don't you think? Real wild Porcini mushrooms, a hint of white cheddar cheese, and Black Truffle Sea Salt and Truffle Oil. OH MY. Go ahead and let yourself drool, because this deserves it.
Finally, my overall favorite, which is a WEIRD combination, and one that cannot be adequately described in words...you simply have to trust me and go in to try a sample. It's called Buffalo Blue Cheese, and it's this crazy combination of salty and sweet and savory and rich. If you're indecisive, this is for you. Here's the description from their website:
Buffalo Bleu Cheese Popcorn!? Take spicy Buffalo Popcorn and smooth, cool Bleu Cheese Popcorn and let the 2 flavors unite for a wonderful experience of sweet and spicy. The Buffalo Popcorn has a sweet buttery base with Cayenne Peppers and other spices for the "twang”. The Bleu Cheese Popcorn is a perfect complement for “dipping” the Buffalo Wing, and cools the palette with creamy and delicious Bleu Cheese.
The caramel is finished, and the air-popped corn is tossed in the caramel to evenly coat, then dumped into the cooling table, where cool air (picture an air hockey table) helps the coating to harden to a perfect crunch in 45 seconds. At this point, people start walking in off the streets with a glazed look in their eyes, following the caramel scent. It's hilarious considering it isn't yet 10am.
I've learned a lot, eaten WAY TOO MUCH popcorn, and taken some fun photos. Thanks to Grant, Claire, Mary and Alan for a fun and delicious morning at KuKuRuZa! Thanks also to Jess Estrada from FreshJess.com, Carilyn Platt (the one and only), and Ann Peavey from @SeattleMaven for making me feel less guilty for eating dessert with my coffee.
215 Pike Street (Pike and Third)
Seattle, WA 98101
- MAIN: 206-623-3314
- HOURS: M-Sa 10am-7pm;
- MAIN: 206-706-3040
- HOURS: M-Th 12pm-8pm;
Fri-Sa 12am-9pm; Su 11am-7pm
- MAIN: 425-451-8084
- HOURS: M-Sa 9:30am-9:30pm;
By Michele Costanza…bringing you a humorous view on consumer topics in an all-too-serious world
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