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Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Cornology Brings a New Wave of Gourmet Popcorn to North Beach

Posted By on Tue, Sep 23, 2014 at 8:38 AM

click to enlarge As with movie theater popcorn, the "Small" isn't very small. - PETE KANE
  • Pete Kane
  • As with movie theater popcorn, the "Small" isn't very small.
There’s a lot to like about Cornology, the expanding empire of seasoned popcorn that’s just begging to be purchased in bulk as holiday gifts and which just opened its fourth Bay Area location on Columbus Ave. in North Beach.

The name is a little precious — a friend suggested “’sCorn” as an alternative — but the approach to upscale popcorn feels so scientific that it’s nearly data-driven. Cornology is to popcorn as Nate Silver is to polling. You should eat it even if that boss you don't like gives it to you.

It’s about as simple an operation as you can get, with a glass counter full of basins holding the various flavors, a refrigerator for drinks and Guitard chocolate-popcorn blends, and people in white lab coats eager to make your afternoon tastier. Outside, a slightly risqué statue tilts her head coquettishly, branding a tin in an upraised palm and exerting a Siren-like magnetism on the passersby.

click to enlarge Buxom lass hawks popcorn on Columbus Ave. - PETE KANE
  • Pete Kane
  • Buxom lass hawks popcorn on Columbus Ave.
The flavors aren’t particularly outlandish, mostly recombinations within some well-charted butter and cheese terrain, although the C Squared (cheddar and caramel) sounds almost Bi-Rite-esque somehow. The Jamaican mojo, made with jerk seasoning, packs a nice heat (such that you can imagine your lips burning for quite awhile after consuming a bag of it), while the Truffle Parmesan (with white truffle oil, garlic, and herbs) is just sublime.

Cornology is not cheap; the small bag retails for $6.95 (or $8.95 online) and the larger tins approach the 50 dollar mark. But like any single-screen movie palace, the portions are gigantic: That small bag contains seven cups’ worth. Cornology knows what you want, which is to stuff your cornhole with delicious popcorn while sitting on the couch watching TV. Considering how toxic microwave popcorn is thought to be, it might be best to obey.

Cornology, 522 Columbus Ave.

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About The Author

Pete Kane

Pete Kane

Pete Kane is a total gaylord who is trying to get to every national park before age 40


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