Saturday, August 7, 2010

Not Just for Kiddies Anymore

Sometimes strange things that want to seem like coincidences happen. But the fact that they seem like coincidences---which there's really no such thing as right?--make me wonder if there's deeper meaning. Am I supposed to change my relationship to Pop Rocks? I guess so. Twice in as many weeks I've had encounters with this candy that I neglected as a kid since they weren't made of chocolate or caramel. These meetings have had me changing my nonchalant tune about the little cracklers.

First of all---you know what they are right? Candy that when you bite them crunches then starts kinda crackling and making popping noises in your mouth that is good fun to feel. I hadn't since I was about 6.

So then Food Network Magazine comes out with this

photo from Food Network site
It was for their 4th of July spread, but I came across it late and if you change the napkins there's no reason this has to be holiday-specific. It's a Firecracker Cocktail made with rimming the glass with crushed pop rocks. Hellooooooo that is way too fun. All you do is pound the poprocks til they're more the texture of coarse salt, then dip the rim of the glass in a little water before dipping in the crushed rocks. Fill with anything: this is cranberry and seltzer or something but you could do mint juleps with green pop rocks, something citrusy with orange and yellow, a cool Negroni spritzer with red.......I'm thirsty all of a sudden and it's 10am. Then sit around with your friends and watch everyone's faces as the pop rocks do their thing!

Pop Rock encounter #2 is courtesy of my mom. As a belated birthday dinner she took me to The Bazaar at the SLS Hotel. K this meal deserves a post of its own and it would have one if I had some freaking better pictures of what we ate. I'm going back, I've decided, armed with proper photographic technology because you must see what spherified mozzarella is about. But until then let me tell you it was one of the most extraordinary sequence of mouthfuls I have ever partaken of. Not a day goes by that I don't think about that dinner.

We didn't order dessert because, lo, we were practicing moderation and both of us felt perfect without it. But our adorable waiter asked if he could bring us a few of his favorite bonbons as a gift from him. Guess how hard we had to think about that? A little plate came out with a white chocolate/red pepper piece, a lemon-ginger truffle (which tastes like Lemon Ginger tea), another one I can't remember, and dark chocolate-covered pop rocks. Yes, pop rocks again.

There they are in a little paper cone which I was able to photograph since I actually brought them home in this beautiful little box
which makes me want to bring lots of things home from the SLS.....

I'm thinking we could do this at home. Melt some best-quality dark chocolate, dip some pop rocks--maybe put the pop rocks in a strainer as they get dipped so one could lift the strainer out of the chocolate and not have lost the pop rocks......
Let cool.
Delicately place in mouth, savor dark chocolate flavor and scintillating crunch of pop rock, and let the bursting begin.

Everything at The Bazaar is about upping the sensory experience of food---this simple twist on a pop rock does that----it starts as one thing (luxurious chocolate) and becomes something completely different that is sensory in and of itself and also has you pay more attention to what you're eating. Which is a lovely thing to be reminded of as we move at lightning speed through life.

If I were eating more sugar these days I would have made these for you; since I am not I say Try It and let me know of your successes. Or the next time I have a dinner party I will and then report back.

Who knew these little buggers had so many good tricks up their sleeves?

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