479° Popcorn

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

by Laura Neilson

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While popcorn will forever be the habitual accompaniment to movie screenings and ballpark outings, 479°'s brand new line of exotic-flavored organic popcons promises to induce a far more transportive experience. The aptly-titled "Globetrotter" sampler offers five wildly flavorful versions of the crunchy snack, including "Chipotle Caramel & Almonds," "Madras Curry & Cashews" and "Ginger Sesame Caramel."

Founded in September 2008 by Jean Arnold, an enthusiast for homemade popcorn and a Le Cordon Bleu-trained world traveler, the company's name sprang from the degrees Fahrenheit at which corn kernels burst into popcorn. 479° sources its ingredients from local farms as often as possible. The popcorn, for example, is from heirloom, organically-grown corn from family-owned farms in northern California, not far from 479°'s San Francisco headquarters. Same goes for the butter, which is from Marin County, and nuts from San Joaquin Valley. For its diverse collection of spices and seasonings, many of which originate from locales around the globe, the company only works with small-scale suppliers who exercise sustainable business practices.

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The popcorn, cooked and mixed in small batches, is made only as orders come in to prevent wasting a product gone stale. Applying green methods to the production, natural, non-toxic products are used for cleaning the kitchens, recycled materials are used for the packaging and unused biodegradables are added to the compost pile. Whether it's implementing more eco-friendly practices or creating inventive flavors like "Alderwood Smoked Sea Salt," 479° is proof that you can improve on a classic.

Available in eight individual flavors and multi-flavor collections at Dean & Deluca and at 479°'s website starting at $8..

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