By and large, I have never been drawn to popcorn. It is a snack that I rarely think about and only eat a bit reluctantly, if someone offers me his or her bucket at the movies. It was not until Renato introduced me to the voodoo-like nature of homemade caramel popcorn that I understood the allure. The otherwise average kernels turn into something else entirely. The salty peanuts, crunchy popcorn, and dark chocolate form an otherworldly snack that has the overall effect of encouraging epic consumption and borderline hysteria. Finally, since the yield on this recipe is rather large, we encourage you to get out cellophane bags and decorative bows and use a portion of your caramel popcorn for gifts. It makes a great present and will save you a few otherwise unavoidable calories.