Daisy Bateman

The Twelve Dollar Bowl of Popcorn

Last Sunday, Mary and I went shopping in the city. Makeup was tried on, shoes were bought, and a general good time was had. But by the end of the afternoon we found ourselves tired and in need of sustenance and, it being not quite dinnertime, we decided to stop for a drink. We ended up at the St. Francis hotel, because if you’re going to go for a drink at the end of a day of shopping, it might as well be at a place with a formally-dressed doorman. What I had remembered as being a more casual bar area had been converted into a somewhat out-of-place fancy restaurant, but they still had a bar, with a whole range of fancy-glass cocktails.

So we got our drinks, but now what we really needed were snacks. And one thing this bar was short on was snacks. In fact, the only foods listed on the bar menu were oysters and “truffle butter popcorn” for twelve dollars. We said (to each other, not the waitress) that that was a ridiculous price for popcorn, and that we really couldn’t see spending that kind of money on a snack, until the minutes ticked away and our drinks got lower and our stomachs got rumblier, and we finally decided “what the hell”.

It was, I must admit, the absolute pinnacle of popcorn-based dishes. If popcorn believes in reincarnation, then this is what the best stuff comes back as. The key here, I think, is not to think of it as a high price for popcorn, but rather a relatively good deal on truffle butter. I mean, they must have used about a stick of the stuff. They even sprinkled little bits of truffle on top. Obviously, it would be the ideal thing to eat while watching a movie, but not just any movie. There would be no point in wasting popcorn this good on a dumb action flick or an assembly-line prestige picture. No, for this you need something fun but classy, original but retaining elements of the familiar, something tragically overlooked in terms of prestige because of lowbrow associations.

In short, this is the popcorn to eat while watching Ratatouille:

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