It’s hard for me to believe that there was a time when I detested truffles, but it’s true. In college, I worked at a spice store that sold black truffle salt. Back then, it was a very unfortunate fact that the space in the store dedicated to blending spices (i.e., where I spent almost all of my time) was located a mere two feet from that jar of salt. That stuff was potent; people would “Ooooh!” and “Aaaaah!” at it, and I would reluctantly tell them that they were welcome to open the jar and give it a whiff. The thing is, the minute that jar opened, the smell of black truffles filled the air and refused to dissipate. What was torture for me then sounds heavenly to me now.
I don’t really know what happened, but while I was making a fresh batch of Herbes de Provence one day, someone opened up that jar and suddenly I was a new woman. One who liked the smell of truffles, and needed anything and everything covered in truffles until the end of time. That fateful day, I couldn’t wait for the crowd of customers to die down, because it meant that I could get in line and buy myself that salt. Since that day I have continued purchasing anything and everything with truffles in it. I have made it my mission to truffle everything I think might benefit from it. I promise you, popcorn is an excellent choice for such an endeavor.
Ladies and gentlemen, let’s make a deal to tout the benefits of critical thinking another day. Because we all know it’s important, but I’d like to remind you that it’s not always necessary (though, admittedly these instances are few and far between). So when I combine the words “black truffle,” “white cheddar,” and “popcorn” in one sentence, I think it’s a unanimous no-brainer that your answer should be, a thousand times, “YES!” Promise me you will make yourself a bowl of this stuff. You can save your critical thinking skills for something much less delicious.
Black Truffle White Cheddar Popcorn
Makes roughly 5-6 cups popcorn
1 tbsp canola oil*
½ cup popcorn kernels
2 tbsp unsalted butter
2 – 2½ tsp black truffle oil (depending on how much truffle flavor you like)
2 tbsp sharp white cheddar cheese, finely grated**
Melt butter and set aside to cool. Meanwhile, combine canola oil and popcorn kernels in a covered, medium-sized pot on medium-high. The mixture will remain quiet until thoroughly heated, then it will begin to pop. Let pop for 3-4 minutes, or until popping spaces out. Meanwhile, stir truffle oil into melted butter. When popping slows, remove from heat and pour popcorn into a large bowl. Pour butter mixture over popcorn and shake the bowl to incorporate. Next, pour cheese into popcorn and, again, simultaneously shaking the bowl from side to side to incorporate. Sprinkle with desired amount of sea salt and serve. Popcorn is best served immediately, but will last in a sealed, plastic bag for 12 hours.
*You can also use vegetable oil, but I’ve found that it adds its own flavor, whereas canola oil does not.
**It’s important that you use a fine grater in order for the cheese to incorporate easily.