Community Commentary Family Featured Food, Restaurants & Dining Fara Illich September 19, 2012

poppa-maizeI’ll share this dark secret will you…I have a passion for popcorn.  It’s a serious addiction.  I can tell you which movie theaters have the best popcorn, and which ones you should avoid.  I have a rating system of the best brands.  I used to have a co-worker who hated the smell of popcorn.  I popped it on purpose just to make her mad.  I mean, seriously, who doesn’t like popcorn?!?!?
When I was kid, and the holidays would come around, my parents often got a tub of popcorn as their “corporate gift”.  They hated it, I loved it.  It always came in three flavor sections; plain, cheese and caramel.  From the first gifted tin, I knew that flavored popcorn was genius.  I’d horde the whole thing in my bedroom.  Sharing is for losers.
Now I can get my popcorn fix anytime I visit Poppa Maize at the Phoenix Public Market.  He sells bags of all sizes and flavors of popcorn, and not just your ordinary stuff either.  Just as the logo says, they do “a-MAIZE-ing things” with popcorn.
Yes, you can get the traditional favorites – buttered, cheese, caramel, kettle.  But, if you want to earn your popcorn stripes you have to try his other flavors like Chili y Lime, Cheesy Chipotle, Pineapple Jalapeno, French Onion, Backyard Barbeque and Toasted Almond.  That’s not even the whole list!  Poppa Maize pops up 21 different flavors – they’re almost the Baskin-Robbins of popcorn!
The brain child behind Poppa Maize is Roy Wilson, who shares my passion for popcorn.  One night over dinner, Roy and his friends started dreaming up popcorn flavors, wanting to add a little spice to the plain puffs we normally eat.  That’s when the Poppa Maize concept was born, and five years later, Roy is still sharing his kernels of wisdom with us.  Roy uses air-popped popcorn because he says it’s healthier and the flavors seem to ‘stick’ better.  I’m good with that, less calories to me just means I can eat more of it.  Roy hand mixes his flavored corn so each handful is bursting with flavor.
You can meet Roy and all his many flavors of popcorn at the Phoenix Public Market, Wednesdays from 4:00 pm-8:00 pm and Saturdays from 8:00 am-12:00 pm.  You better come down and get your own bag, because I still won’t share.
Join us next month for another culinary feature from the Phoenix Public Market.