“Of course life is bizarre, the more bizarre it gets, the more interesting it is. The only way to approach it is to make yourself some popcorn and enjoy the show.”
There’s no quote more appropriate in describing how we’re living in Riyadh, or how we should live it. Grab yourself a popcorn and enjoy the show. I know it isn’t that simple but look at it this way… there are things that are beyond our control and worrying about them doesn’t do us any good. Why can’t we all just take a back seat and enjoy Riyadh more often? It shouldn’t be all work. All work and no play? That’s depressing! So, what do you say to grabbing some popcorn and watching the world go by? And when I do say popcorn, let’s not go for the normal buttered ones. We can all get them in the grocery aisles. Let’s go for gourmet! (Because we hardworking people all deserve it!)
You might have visited Hayat Mall lately and saw their latest dining section, named Al Liwan, on the second floor where Applebees is. They’ve re-designed and spruced up the place to accommodate more restaurants like Maya Chocolaterie and Crepe World. There’s a froyo booth (Fresh n’ Tangy), a juice shack (Farghali) and a gourmet popcorn booth. The latter perked up my senses with its sweet sugary scent tickling my penchant for all things dessert-y.. And its name piqued my curiosity. What in the world is Kukuruza?! That is the popping question!
Kukuruza Gourmet Popcorn is a family business that started in Seattle. The ordinary popcorn is bathed with creative, unique flavors that make it extraordinary. They have over 30 flavors ranging from the usual cheese, caramel, and coffee to the intriguing jalapeno, lemonade lavender, maple bacon, and buffalo blue cheese. The sheer variety is interesting and unusual. I wanted to taste everything and make my head spin over the countless possibilities. However, the branch here in Riyadh does not have every flavor after all.
For their first few weeks, the Kukuruza franchise in Saudi Arabia offered most of the flavors but when I got there two weeks ago, there were only a few flavors available. According to the salesman, they are having a hard time getting all flavors through customs. They only offer what they can manage to obtain. Oh what unpredictability!
|Free taste, yummy!|
|Sweet or savory?|
Although the around ten flavors available that time seemed enough for me. The taste test went on for about ten minutes before I settled on four flavors: rainbow fruit, jalapeno white cheese, dark chocolate kettle corn, and coffee. If the cheese flavor would’ve been available, I’ll order the Chicago Mix because that’s what I’ve always been waiting for to land in the sand dunes of Saudi Arabia.
|Salt+Vinegar | Coffee | Fancy Nut Caramel|
The popcorn is crunchy and a little chewy at the same time. The flavors burst in the mouth without too much resistance. The rainbow fruit is very interesting; I didn’t know what fruit I was tasting. Haha! I just know it’s fruit-flavored. The jalapeno white cheese was mildly spicy but I couldn’t taste the white cheese. The kettle corn drizzled with chocolate was a revelation. They were a perfect pair. However, I’m used to kettle corn that has a very pronounced flavor in the Philippines. I couldn’t get that in this version. The coffee was a lot crunchy because of the hardened glaze. There were little bits that are hard and not-so chewable I had to spit them out but those are quite rare in the bag. These popcorn are quite addicting, especially when you find the right flavor for you.
You know it’s actually easy to taste everything in Kukuruza. Apart from the glasses filled with popcorn for free tasting, a small resealable bag is only SR 9! They also have tins for larger gatherings and they can prepare a gift box for any occasion. I am hopelessly waiting for the other flavors to come. Please customs people, let go of Kukuruza’s other popcorn flavors (esp. the Chicago Mix and Buffalo Bleu Cheese)! Thank you!
I can’t wait to enjoy Riyadh more with all of Kukuruza’s flavors! Now, if only there’s a cinema in here… (whew!) ~ Sundrenched
Kukuruza Gourmet Popcorn
Al Liwan Dining Area
Second Floor, Hayat Mall
Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
PS. Kukuruza, the word, is Russian for corn.