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Pink popcorn - Bay Area only?

Last Sunday the Chronicle ran a story about SF's "Culinary Highlights" - link here: http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article... - including the pink popcorn sold in bricks at the SF Zoo. Here's a link to a photo of the popcorn: http://images.tribe.net/tribe/upload/...

Is this stuff only Bay Area? I grew up eating it - I worked at the zoo as a kid - and never thought it was unique. Is this another endangered SF classic? I think I remember having it at Fairyland too?

Please enlighten me! Is pink popcorn a Bay Area phenomenon?

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  1. They used to sell Pink popcorn at lakeside park at lake merritt in oakland.

    Is that little snack shack still open?

    1. http://www.wrightpopcorn.com/products...

      They currently have it at Piedmont Grocery, and I do remember begging for it (without success) at Children's Fairyland around 45 years ago.

      5 Replies
      1. re: lexdevil

        Thanks for that link to Wright's on Potrero Ave. Apparently there is another location in Sacramento.

        So, for all the non-natives, did you beg for pink popcorn in Detroit or Dallas or Kansas City too, or does it not exist there?

        1. re: Junie D

          I've lived all over the country, and been to a fair number of zoos; I've never seen the pink brick anywhere other than SF. (Only remember seeing it at the zoo. Used to go paddle boating and Stow Lake and can't remember it being available there.)

        2. re: lexdevil

          Lexdevil you cannot possibly be old enough to be begging for pink popcorn 45 years ago!

          I think this topic is self-selecting: the only people who are reading/responding are people who grew up with pink popcorn in the Bay Area and didn't realize that other children were growing up in a pink-popcorn-brick-less world. It certainly never occurred to me that pink popcorn bricks were uniquely Bay Area!

          1. re: Ruth Lafler

            Ruth's definitely onto something - before even reading a single post, the title of this thread transported me to the zoo 20-something years ago.

            1. re: Ruth Lafler

              "children were growing up in a pink-popcorn-brick-less world" Sad to think of, indeed.

              Now who remembers the mouse house where the mice tunneled through loaves of bread at the entrance to the children's zoo? Were they sourdough or am I just being totally nostalgic?

          2. Pink popcorn bricks were sold at the snack stand at the Tilden Park carousel many moons ago, and may still be.

            1. No pink popcorn at the Brookfield Zoo outside of Chicago, or anywhere else I have ever been. But that zoo had the best caramel corn in the entire world--back in the last century. (Now it is prepackaged crapola.)

              1. It wasn't in any sort of solid bricks, but I definitely had pink popcorn growing up in Nova Scotia. Don't think I've seen it in a very long while though...

                2 Replies
                1. re: CanadaGirl

                  I had pink popcorn in Canada (Toronto in particular) as well. Not in bricks for sure.. I think it was at movie theaters in the 80's/90's. I THINK it was some sort of pink flavoring that went on like "butter".... though I can't remember exactly...

                  1. re: gnomatic

                    The stuff I has looked more like caramel corn, but pink. It looks like the photo in the OP's link, only not in a brick but just loose in the bag. Although, now that I think about it, it also came in a little white box with a picture of an elephant on it

                2. Can't remember precisely where, but definitely had pink brick popcorn in the Boston area, circa 1969-1981.

                  1. I remember the little bricks of pink popcorn as a kid in Sacramento in the early and middle 60s.
                    It seemed like a national brand.

                    1. I remember this as looking awful when I was young but it may have been between 7 and 14 which put it in the 50s and 60s and I was in a semi-rural area at the time, which makes it very national.

                      1. Looks like they are still around, still in San Francisco.


                        Edited: oops I missed this same link earlier.

                        1. I was born in SF, and it was my Air Force family's home base where we would return for a month every summer, and Mom and my two brothers and I would live there when Dad was stationed somewhere we couldn't go. I was addicted to those wonderful pink bricks; am heading back to the city in a couple of weeks with my daughter, and one of our must-dos is the zoo (visit gorillas, eat pink popcorn).

                          1. I think you might be able to get it at the concession stand at the Japanese Tea Garden in GG Park...BUT don't hold me to it.

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: ML8000

                              Lexdevil has this very nice link upthread. I am sure they can tell you where to get it.

                            2. Pink Popcorn in my opinion is most definitely not a Bay Area confection. I grew up in Fresno and my earliest memory say 1957 is of the county fair, high school football, West Coast Relays and AAA baseball is that there was pink popcorn for all of those events. I always wanted some, but it came rarely, my folks did not have the same sort of cash it took to buy. Cotton Candy was cheaper and more fun for a six year old. I think I preferred Cracker Jacks with real toys though.

                              The only genuine Bay Area confection I can recall is It's Its. Truly remarkable. I ate my first one at Playland on my first visit as a kid in 1958. Hard to eat with little hands and it was so cold. But I managed.

                              2 Replies
                              1. re: theomordha

                                See's truffles (the old, log-shaped ones) were certainly a genuine Bay Area confection. I always had to have some when we were in town.

                                1. re: pikawicca

                                  See's now has its HQ in NorCal but originally it was was started in LA and has a long history there.

                              2. I think the Stow Lake Boathouse concession stand in Golden Gate Park still sells the pink stuff. Does it?

                                The Joe's It's It version is better than the relocated Burlingame product of It's It fame from Playland.