Please help me find a thank you gift for popcorn lovers in Toronto
May 1, 2014 8:01 PM   Subscribe

They have a popcorn maker. They have popcorn buckets, bags, and scoops. But I'm in search of a popcorn-related gift I can get some popcorn-heads in Toronto, ideally by tomorrow. These people are popcorn purists and it's really hard to get them anything popcorn-related that they don't already have. Their holy grail is "savoy salt," which I've never even heard of. What do I get these folks? Where might I get it?
posted by Miss T.Horn to Shopping (18 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
Maybe "savoy salt" is a typo for "savory salt"? Googling that gets lots of interesting results for spice mixes that sound reasonable to put on popcorn, like this recipe.
posted by dreamyshade at 8:14 PM on May 1, 2014

Best answer: Truffle salt is awesome on popcorn and is something people wouldn't usually buy for themselves because who wants to pay that much for salt. Or you can get them a trio of salts which might be a good gift.
To buy in person, I'd go to a gourmet grocery store or a specialty spice store if there is one nearby.
posted by rmless at 8:22 PM on May 1, 2014 [6 favorites]

Best answer: What about giving them some different grains to pop? Amaranth, sorghum, and millet can be popped...and I'm sure there are others.
posted by hannahelastic at 8:26 PM on May 1, 2014 [1 favorite]

Get them a shaker of nutritional yeast too, which tastes amazing when sprinkled on popcorn.
posted by mmmbacon at 8:30 PM on May 1, 2014 [5 favorites]

A selection of popcorn toppings seems in order. At Cost Plus World Market they sell Bacon Salt, and I'm sure it is available elsewhere. Truffle oil for drizzling? The aforementioned nutritional yeast is fantastic. I like garam masala and a little sugar. If you google "popcorn toppings" you get many options for purchasing ready-made versions (beware MSG and gross fillers) and recipes for making your own.
posted by dahliachewswell at 9:51 PM on May 1, 2014

Best answer: Can you get to Mississauga tomorrow? 'Cos that's where Poppacorn have a store. They do professional concession supplies. I'm not sure what's in it (salt and I'm-not-sure-I-want-to-know-what-else), but FlavacolĀ® Seasoning Salt is what gives movie popcorn its distinctive flavour.
posted by scruss at 10:18 PM on May 1, 2014

You might want to try the basement at the St Lawrence market for a) heirloom/unusual species of dried corn, and b) all kinds of different salts.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 10:23 PM on May 1, 2014

By tomorrow? I was thinking a gourmet popcorn bundle, a la Popcornopolis or Garrett -- which are both pretty delicious, but I doubt it'll get there in time.
posted by Dimes at 10:43 PM on May 1, 2014

Best answer: Flavacol is the stuff you want if you want to replicate movie theater popcorn. We used about a cup per (huge movie theater-sized) batch. You can find it in restaurant supply stores. Or if you have a Cash n Carry near you, they'll have it.

The other thing that you need for perfect theater corn is coconut oil to cook the corn in. A lot of it. The "good stuff" is specially marketed to movie theaters and it contains some 'buttery flavor' ingredient, along with bright orange dye to make the corn look yellow. It normally comes solid in five gallon metal buckets that have to be pre-melted with a really awesome sword-sized immersion heating element. (Oooh, secrets of the trade!)
posted by lovecrafty at 12:11 AM on May 2, 2014 [1 favorite]

Furikake kettle corn? Ingredients for, maybe? There's a recipe in Issue 7 of Lucky Peach, and presumably elsewhere online.
posted by jrobin276 at 1:59 AM on May 2, 2014

fancy butter?
posted by 5_13_23_42_69_666 at 4:15 AM on May 2, 2014

What kind of popcorn maker do they have? There are partisans each for oil poppers and air poppers, but a true popcorn fan of catholic tastes will want to have a good example of both handy. A good popper can be expensive, but they're also ubiquitous at yard sales. This depends on how appreciative your friends will be of a gift found at a yard sale.

And, yeah, I'm pretty sure they're asking for savory salt; I've never heard of savoy salt. In the states there's Kernel Seasons among others, which comes in a range of flavors. It makes food taste like commercial snack food, which can be a thing for some people. I also sometimes use adobo salt (Goya's site is linked to, but other companies make it too), which is more granular than popcorn salt (so it doesn't stick as well), and can add a nice garlic/pepper flavor.

But making your own is pretty easy, as long as you use popcorn salt (which is nearly powder in consistency) and powdered flavoring.

So how about making a popcorn flavoring kit? A jar or two of plain popcorn salt, a couple small jars of complementary powdered spices or flavoring agents, and a couple empty jars to mix them in.
posted by ardgedee at 5:16 AM on May 2, 2014

William Sonoma has a popcorn sampler pack for $30, or if that's a little steep, they also have lots of choices in savory/truffle/you-name-it infused salts. (Sorry no links-on my phone)
posted by whowearsthepants at 6:56 AM on May 2, 2014

May I strongly, strongly, strongly suggest this pack of 6 Gourmet Popcorn Seasoning? In addition to making a lovely gift, it ships from Montreal, which saves both you and the Toronto recipients a world of pain around shipping and customs.

If you are less concerned about the customs issue, I can personally recommend and endorse this Gourmet Popcorn and Seasoning Kit from Dell Cove. I don't know them but I order from them lots and they deliver amazing products with excellent service. I always have them ship direct to my recipients.
posted by DarlingBri at 7:11 AM on May 2, 2014

Have they heard of red and blue popcorn? The kernals are these colors instead of the usual golden yellow. They pop white... can't recall my original online source, but they're available at Amish Country:
posted by Rash at 8:56 AM on May 2, 2014

Previously; search for "Flavacol." Also previously.
posted by wenestvedt at 10:27 AM on May 2, 2014

Are you in Toronto? Fiesta farms grocery store (Christie and Bloor) carries little tubs of fancy salts. It also has a Zaatar blend that is great on popcorn with salt and olive oil.
posted by five_cents at 2:27 PM on May 2, 2014

Response by poster: Thanks for all the great popcorn-spiration! We went with a couple different fine salts and flavors, but those red and blue kernels look fantastic.
posted by Miss T.Horn at 8:10 PM on May 2, 2014

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