Food & dining

Ava’s Caramel Popcorn is salty and sweet

Bite into a cluster of Ava’s Caramel Popcorn and you’ll get a blast of sweetness and salt. Buttery popcorn is slathered with luscious caramel. There are several varieties available — that signature sea-salt caramel can be enhanced with the addition of organic dark chocolate; roasted almonds, caramelized coconut, and chocolate; hazelnuts and chocolate; and more (3.75 ounces for $8.50; 7.5 ounces for $15). Ava Vatsky, 36, runs the Arlington-based business. She uses a hand-cranked popper to turn out movie theater-type popcorn and makes the caramel with cane sugar, not corn syrup, and European cultured butter. Vatsky, who worked as a manager at Danish Pastry House in Watertown and also as a personal chef, grew up munching on high-quality caramel corn her grandparents sent from the Midwest. The irresistible combination of caramel, chocolate, and nuts inspired the confectioner to start the business. To prepare, she interned at EHChocolatier in Somerville to learn how to work with chocolate. “I’m so lucky to wake up in the morning and have to make popcorn,” says Vatsky. Available at Dave’s Fresh Pasta, 81 Holland St., Somerville, 617-623-0867; Cabot’s Candy, 1300 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge, 617-497-7500; Firefly Moon Gifts, 1305 Massachusetts Ave., Arlington, 781-999-0965; and Craft Beer Cellar, 51 Leonard St., Belmont, 617-932-1885; or go to www.avaspopcorn.com. ANN TRIEGER KURLAND

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Ann Trieger Kurland can be reached at atrieger@comcast.net.