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Fall flavors from pecans to popcorn

If D is for Dr Pepper and A is for Alamo, “This is Texas, Y’all!” is the book for all of us. Misha Mayerick Blaise offers the Lone Star State from A to Z in a fun book that’s fun for all ages. She’s got our flavors, cultures and holidays down. This week, let’s flip to P for Pecan in honor of the Groves Pecan Festival.

We learn that there are more than 1,000 varieties of pecans, which is Algonquian for ‘hard-shelled nut.” Many are named for Native American tribes such as the Apache, Chayenne, Shawnee and Mohawk. Hardly like a true Texan, a pecan tree can live to be more than 1,000 years old and grow more than 100 feet tall. Of course, y’all knew the pecan tree is the state tree of Texas.

Popcornopolis

There comes a time in October where I’m ready to eat popcorn for dinner a couple of times a week. It could be with butter, or olive oil and curry, or white chocolate bark or something akin to Chex mix. I’m all about it.

Popcornopolis is a place, on the web at least, where someone else will pop for you, and you will thank them.

The Red Snowflake gift basket is something that will get you in the door of parties, or create a party right where you are. Look for this five-cone gift basket with Caramel Corn, Kettle Corn, Cheddar Cheese, Cinnamon Toast and Zebra. Thee are listed in no particular order of yumminess, but come on, the Zebra is black and white drizzles of chocolate.

I was actually able to share a sample with two taste testers and one proclaimed joy through the fluffiness. The other one just kept his mouth full of popcorn. It’s five kinds of good for $41.99 in an eye-popping package.

Visit this magical pop place at www.Popcornopolis.com

 

Hot news in syrup

What do you know about Merquén chili peppers? Perhaps not much if you’re in Texas, the land of jalapenos. Here’s a quick lesson about Runamok Maple’s experiment, which I say is a success. These folks in Vermont barrel age syrups with exotic flavors and this, as predicted, has been my favorite of those I tried. Smoked Merquén Chili Pepper Infused maple syrup is available from runamokmaple.com.

The syrup, in a beautiful bottle, uses a spice blend centered on chili peppers from the Mapuche region of Chile, which are first ripened to a dark red color in order to develop a rich flavor, then slowly smoked over a fire., is what makers say.

“We trialed many different chili peppers to find one that would result in a unique, superior product,” said Eric Sorkin, Co-Founder of Runamok Maple. “When we infuse the Merquén into our maple syrup it adds a balanced amount of richness, heat and smokiness that is enhanced by the natural caramel tones of the maple. I recommend using this new variety over cheddar cheese, on BBQ, roasted vegetables and meats, and even eggs. It also lends an exotic and sweet element to cocktails.”

Now, here’s how I first tired it. I toasted oatmeal bread, fried an egg and heated a banana. I dipped banana and toast into this lovely colored syrup and the experience was something that people would pay big money for in a restaurant. I was relaxed in my own house, making yummy sounds.