Dungen’s Popcorn in 16/4 (Arthur, 2005)

Come On In My Kitchen

Dungen’s Popcorn in 16/4

Originally published in Arthur No. 18 (Sept. 2005)

Dungen is a prodigiously talented twentysomething Swede called Gustav Ejstes, whose sunnily melodic psychedelic delight rock, much heralded in the music press when his album Ta Det Lungt was available only as an expensive import (see Arthur No. 14, Jan 05), is finally getting a proper American release late this summer via the kind hand of Kemado, who’ve changed nothing—every lyric is still Swedish, every tune is still universal—and added something (a disc full of bonus tracks). Here’s Gustav’s recipe for popcorn—something familiar, something added…

Gustav Ejstes of Dungen: I used to be called the king of pop. Not to be confused with Mr. Jackson’s title in the ’80s music press. This refers to the art of making good-tasting popcorn. It is probably the ultimate snack, but could also be the most delicious substitute for a well-made meal. 

The thing is, my skills as a Swedish chef are a bit limited. I have never been interested in learning and that has led to experiments with the  interesting vegetable corn. Did the Indians discover it first? Is it healthy or not? 

I think it is. I have survived for days by only eating popcorn. And now you all say: making popcorn is the easiest thing to do. Well, if you choose to use microwaved popcorn maybe, but if your only tools are a pot, oven, oil and salt, it suddenly gets a little bit more complicated. The secrets behind my well-tasting popcorns are olive oil and herbal salt.

Everyone knows the basic recipe for making it, but here are a few tricks that you can pick up that will help you avoiding some of the classic mistakes: for instance, half of them stays un-popped, or all of it gets burned.

Fill the bottom of the pot with popcorn and drench them in virgin olive oil and add some herbal salt. Herbal salt is made from pure certified organic ingredients. I use the Herbamare brand, which is based on Swiss naturopath Alfred Vogel’s formula: it’s made up of sea salt, celery stalk, celery leaves, leeks, watercress, garden cress, onions, chives, parsley, lovage, garlic, basil, marjoram, rosemary, thyme and kelp. 

Electric stove: Start out at high heat. When they start to pop, lower the heat to medium. Wait until there is four seconds between the pops, take off the lid and add some more herbal salt, put on the lid and your favorite record and shake the pot in 16/4 beat and then take it off the stove and call your friends. It’s time to eat.

Gas stove: Start out with full temperature, but since gas gets hot quicker, make sure you turn off the heat as fast as you hear the corns begin their dance inside of the pot. When using a gas oven it is even more important that you shake the pot in 16/4 beat to your favorite record, otherwise the popcorns gets as burned as Swedes on an Asian holiday.

Categories: "Come On In My Kitchen" recipe column by various, Arthur No. 18 (Sept. 2005) | Tags: , , | Leave a comment

About Jay Babcock

I am an independent writer and editor based in Tucson, Arizona. In 2023: I publish an email newsletter called LANDLINE = https://jaybabcock.substack.com Previously: I co-founded and edited Arthur Magazine (2002-2008, 2012-13) and curated the three Arthur music festival events (Arthurfest, ArthurBall, and Arthur Nights) (2005-6). Prior to that I was a district office staffer for Congressman Henry A. Waxman, a DJ at Silver Lake pirate radio station KBLT, a copy editor at Larry Flynt Publications, an editor at Mean magazine, and a freelance journalist contributing work to LAWeekly, Mojo, Los Angeles Times, Washington Post, Vibe, Rap Pages, Grand Royal and many other print and online outlets. An extended piece I wrote on Fela Kuti was selected for the Da Capo Best Music Writing 2000 anthology. In 2006, I was somehow listed in the Music section of Los Angeles Magazine's annual "Power" issue. In 2007-8, I produced a blog called "Nature Trumps," about the L.A. River. From 2010 to 2021, I lived in rural wilderness in Joshua Tree, Ca.

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