Gourmet popcorn is highly popular in Japan. In particular, the now famous Garrett Popcorn and KuKuRuZa shops in Harajuku don’t seem to lose their popularity, as there is always a long line of people waiting to enter the shops. Actually, I spent a few months working in the area, and I can tell that no matter the time, the day or the weather, there was ALWAYS a long line waiting in front of KuKuRuZa.
The idea of waiting for popcorn is weird to me. Back home, popcorn is just a regular, cheap (well, not so cheap when bought in movie theaters…) snack. Nothing popular enough to open a shop dedicated to it, even less waiting two hours in line for it ! So obviously, I’m really curious about this gourmet popcorn. Is it really that good ?
Well, I just got the chance to try it ! I happened to be at Tokyo Midtown in Roppongi, and saw the familiar KuKuRuZa name on what seemed to be a small pop-up shop. I wasn’t so impressed until I noticed there was virtually no line ! I couldn’t really believe it and thought maybe the staff made people wait a bit further, like it often happens. But no ! There really wasn’t a line.
Of course, this was my chance to try it. People waiting for hours have plenty of time to look at the menu and make their choice, but it was so fast that I didn’t have time to choose when I got at the cashier !
Actually, the menu was quite limited. I got a box with seven different flavors (it was not possible to choose the flavors) for 2900 yens. There was also a special Christmas tin box with five flavors, but it was much more expensive. Other items were also pre-set kits with different flavors.
Here is my review of some of the flavors. I gave away two of them, so I only tried five.
Well, being Canadian, this should appeal to me, right ? Actually, I don’t know if it’s related to my roots, but this was absolutely delicious. The small bacon bits add a perfect touch of saltiness to the maple taste, which is surprisingly not too sweet. Perfect.
Buffalo & Bleu Cheese
I’m not too sure about this one. It was a mix of blue cheese popcorn and sweet, caramel-like popcorn. The blue cheese one was very cheesy , and the mix was kind of interesting. Not bad, but what is buffalo, exactly ? I know about buffalo chicken wings, but this is definitely not this taste.
This one’s taste reminded of candy canes. It tasted like Christmas ! I didn’t taste much cocoa, but it was very good nonetheless.
Black Rasberry with Vanilla Cream
When I was a child, I remember my mom once bought pink popcorn for my birthday and I was really impressed. It was simply pink colored regular popcorn, however, nothing like this one. Very rich taste, very sweet. I liked it.
Hawaiian Salted Caramel
This is just as good as it sounds. Definitely the best caramel popcorn I ever had. The sweet / salty balance is perfect. There is not way to stop once you start eating it.
In conclusion, KuKuRuZa popcorn was very delicious, more than I thought it would be. I’m already craving for more Maple Bacon and Hawaiian Salted Caramel. However, I would still not wait in line for two hours… maybe 20 minutes ? Yes, I would wait for 20 minutes to get this. Hopefully the hype will calm down soon and I’ll be able to buy it again.