Chicago-style popcorn

Now, off the top of the bat I’ll admit I’m an outsider to your fair city, but since I’ve had this question for a while and knew of a certain website with a fanbase of savvy Chicagoans, I’ll dive in.

Up here in Canada we’ve got a chain of… well, popcorn-selling fast food outlets? It sounds odd, I guess, but they sell a bunch of varieties of flavoured popcorn, the place is called Kernels, and they’re in pretty much every mall food court around. Now, they’ve always had a variety called Chicago-style, it’s an entirely odd but delightful combination of half caramel and half cheese popcorn.

Now, a cursory glance online shows other online retailers offering “Chicago-style popcorn”, always half-caramel half-cheese, but I didn’t see any obvious connection to the Windy City. Is there some famous local retailer there that specializes in this exact mix, causing it to spread worldwide? Is it a local delicacy so well-known that you’re eating it right now and laughing at the silly Canadian asking for its origin? Are Chicagoans known for being partly sweet and partly cheesy? Or did some crackpot Canadian popcorn-vendor just pick a major city arbitrarily to give this mix an air of authenticity?

Garrett Popcorn is what you’re looking for.

Much obliged!

I’m sure they’ve got pretty good popcorn and all, but anyone who can sell a tin worth of plain, unbuttered popcorn for $106 with a straight face deserves a medal of some kind.

True Chicago-style popcorn includes:

  • Celery salt
  • Tomato slices
  • Plochman’s mustard
  • sport peppers (optional)
  • chopped onion (yuck!)
  • neon relish
  • dill pickle spear (optional)

Oh, wait…that might be something else, actually…

6.5 gallons is a big tin!

That might be a ChiTown HotDog? I crave them, + Garrett’s popcorn (too expensive to send up here & I believe they won’t ship to Alaska, anyway) :mad:

Ditto Italian Beef. I guess I’ll have to figure out how to get back to town for the ChiBluesFest & edible food next year.

Nuts on Clark, too, though they also sell (as their name suggests) nuts.

Holy crap!

Tin Size 6.5 Gallon Tin Design Garrett Signature Flavor CheeseCorn™ & Buttery Price $125.00

$125 ?? (!!!)

As a lifelong Chicagoan, many years ago I heard some girls order cheese w/ caramel corn at Garretts - sounded odd, but had to try it. Wonderful! However I had no idea it had a name til I was in Minneapolis and heard someone order Chicago mix.

OP here, resurrecting this topic - I just got back from a quick vacation to Chicago, and sure enough, I had to try the real deal when it came to Chicago popcorn. Went to Garrett’s - sure enough, huge line - and got a bag of “Chicago mix”.

Absolutely delicious. It’s absolutely essential that you eat it while it’s still hot, fresh and buttery, the cheese and caramel just mixes together like an unholy combination of culinary delight.

I didn’t get to try the other two entries in Chicago’s holy trinity of local dishes, deep dish pizza or Chicago-style hotdogs, but I did have something so delicious that it rivaled the popcorn: we went to a restaurant uptown called T’s and I had mac n’ cheese with jalapeno-smoked bacon. It was a bowl of heart-clogging heaven