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LINCOLN PARK — The latest Hot Doug collaboration doesn’t include sausage.
Matt Bercovitz, founder of Berco’s Popcorn, 810 W. Armitage Ave., has teamed up with Doug Sohn, owner of the now-shuttered Hot Doug’s, on a new creation: duck fat popcorn, which is now for sale at Berco’s and on the shop’s website through Valentine’s Day.
Drawing inspiration from Sohn’s famously delicious duck fat fries, the pair teamed up to make a special blend of popcorn with duck fat and Gruyere cheese.
On Friday, Bercovitz debuted “Hot Doug’s Duck Fat Delight,” which will set you back $15 for a large bag, $35 for a 1-gallon tin and $60 for a 2-gallon tin.
Sohn will be at the Lincoln Park shop Saturday from 2-4 p.m. to celebrate the launch.
One customer Friday gave the special blend a ringing endorsement, calling it “phenomenal.”
“There’s giant, perfectly popped kernels, and they maintain their crispiness. The duck fat flavor melds really well with the popcorn flavor,” said Karen Lee, who reviews food on her Instagram account.
Lee made a special trip from Rogers Park to get her hands on some of the special blend, which she intended to send to her friend before she tasted it herself.
“Now I’m like … I may not send both [bags] to her,” she said with a laugh.
A big fan of Hot Doug’s, Bercovitz first approached Sohn about collaborating around the time the hot dog and sausage joint closed in 2014. After the dust settled, the pair got to work testing the best flavors, eventually landing on duck fat and Gruyere cheese.
“[Duck fat fries] was one of his most consistent and notable items. He was always changing the different sausages, but every Friday the duck fat fries was something he always sold,” Bercovitz said.
Bercovitz, who opened his shop in 2013, said this is Sohn’s first “non-sausage related endeavor” since the closure.
“It’s an honor and a privilege to work with Doug. To be the first venture he’s done differently … I still can’t believe it,” he said. “It’s a nice validation for what I’m doing here.”
If recent Hot Doug collaborations are any indication, Berco’s could get busy Saturday. Bercovitz encourages customers to call ahead or order online if they are worried about securing the special blend.
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