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If honesty is the best policy, then we have to honestly say that buttery, salty popcorn has been the highlight of our movie-theater-going experience as of late. No shade to Hollywood execs, but no amount of CGI, dramatic storylines, or Meryl Streep can compare to nature’s most deliciously uncomplicated and addictive snack. It’s quite simply Oscar-worthy.

Since the wonders of popcorn know no bounds, there’s no reason why it shouldn’t be included in more festivities, holidays, and social gatherings. Bringing popcorn means you are leaving with new friends, which is clearly never a bad thing (unless you’re a recluse, in which case…sorry?). Plus, there’s a bevy of trending recipe ideas on Pinterest so that you can always have the quick and easy snack as part of your last-minute cooking arsenal.

To celebrate everyone’s favorite indulgence, we’ve created four innovative varieties that showcase the popped kernel’s versatility and ability to take on a rainbow (quite literally) of colors, textures, and flavors. Pringles were right: Once you pop, the fun really doesn’t stop.

Gilded Popcorn

gilded popcorn Oscars

Chowhound

What You’ll Need: Popcorn; trail mix; white chocolate; edible gold powder

All that glitters IS gold when it comes to this trail mix-inspired blend of white chocolate, dried cranberries, peanuts, and edible gold powder. Needless to say, you’re going to be the most regal-looking hiker we’ve seen in a long time. Or serve it up as part of your Oscar party snack spread.

Wilton Edible Gold Star Sprinkles, $6.33 on Amazon

Add some stars to the mix for good measure.
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Funfetti Popcorn

What You’ll Need: Popcorn; animal crackers; M&Ms, rainbow sprinkles; white chocolate; funfetti frosting

There’s no such thing as too many sprinkles and since funfetti continues to have a moment, you’ve officially found your excuse to mix a tub of icing into your popcorn. Frankly, we’d almost rather have this than a traditional birthday cake. Almost.

Pride Popcorn

What You’ll Need: Popcorn; sugar; water; coconut oil; food coloring; Lucky Charms marshmallows

ROYGBIV has never looked better in this colorful concoction that kicks the unicorn craze to the curb. Throw in some Lucky Charm marshmallow rainbows to make the mix even more fabulous.

Patriotic Popcorn

What You’ll Need: Popcorn; white chocolate; red, white, and blue star sprinkles

If the grill is intimidating and you’re tired of grandma’s mayonnaise-heavy potato salad, bring this patriotic popcorn to the next Memorial Day picnic. You can also save the recipe for 4th of July, Veteran’s Day, and Labor Day. We promise we won’t utter a peep.

Joey is a NYC-based writer/editor, TV/radio personality, editor-at-large for Chowhound, author of "Basic Bitchen," and host of "Dish This." His work has been featured in outlets like Food & Wine, People, InStyle, Travel+Leisure, and BuzzFeed. Prior to a career in editorial, he served as the lead publicist for hit TLC shows like "Here Comes Honey Boo Boo," "My Strange Addiction," and "My Crazy Obsession." In his spare time, he enjoys volleyball, visiting the beaches of Naples, Fla. (his hometown), worshipping Beyoncé, eating sour candy, writing depressing poetry, interior design, and perfecting his stand-up comedy routine. He's also been struck by lightning—quite the shocking experience.
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