Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Go Popcorn goes right into my mouth

My darling husband knows me so well, even if he will never fully comprehend my obsession with popcorn. He asked if I could work at home today so that I could be here to accept a package that he had ordered for me for my birthday.

I confess that I saw the Go Popcorn site open on his laptop the other day and was hoping this would be what was on its way. Yay!

Now the trick is to not eat the whole gallon of popcorn before the end of the day. Because that would mean I would have none to eat tomorrow. Also, I'd probably feel awfully sick.

Go Popcorn makes a damn fine cheesy corn. They're based in Philadelphia where they have a small store front that we happened upon one day a few years ago. I had every intention of writing a blog post about them (and I think I still have the photos around here somewhere), but this will have to suffice for now.

Monday, September 22, 2014

Working late dinner

I ate this whole bag for dinner and I'm not the least bit sorry. I'm just sad that I have to wait until next month's NatureBox shipment to get more.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Cape Cod powdery cheesy corn

I went to K-Mart to buy a jar in which to store my new obsession: refrigerator pickles. Afterward, I was going to buy some fresh popcorn from one of the vendors in Penn Station. But then I glimpsed this new line of popcorn from the Cape Cod company and decided to give it a try instead.

I'm a sucker for cheesy corn, so I went for the white cheddar instead of the kettle corn or sea salt varieties. The good news is that I won't be tempted to eat the entire 750 calorie bag in one sitting. The bad news is that's because the semi-salty cheese powder is not cheesy enough. And when I drop one in my lap, the fine white powder clings to my clothes. Don't get me wrong. There is a hint of cheese flavor there, just not enough for my taste. I think I would be better off with one of the other two flavors. Apparently I'm in the minority there, since on the company website it says customers begged them to bring cheddar corn back.

Luckily there aren't any unpronounceable weird ingredients in this popcorn. And there are no preservatives. I guess they knew that that would be unnecessary on a bag of popcorn. Are there actually people who open a bag of popcorn and don't finish it within a day or two?

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Not craving hatch down the hatch

Sorry, Crave Canyon, but this popcorn really didn't do it for me. 

I am a spice wuss, it's true. But this popcorn isn't even that spicy. The problem is that the chili powder is just that: powder. It kept making me cough. If there were a way to make it adhere to the popcorn better then I would be absolutely willing to give it another try. I am fond of corn companies that try out unusual flavor combos and these guys obviously do that. 

Also, this could be a regional thing, but I've never heard of a hatch chili and neither has my hot sauce loving husband. So, the name of this snack confused me at first. The rhyme is cute, but I think making the actual flavors in a bigger font would make more sense. Just my two cents. 

It seems they are not the only ones to combine hatch chilies with cheese and Popcorn Indiana calls theirs exclusive. Uh oh! Fist fight?

And now I see Hatch, New Mexico, is considered the chili capitol of the world. I guess you got me there, Crave Canyon.  

Friday, May 9, 2014

All of it fits in my belly

Popcorn is a strange beast since it's either thought of as healthy and blah or unhealthy and decadent. There is not much middle ground unless you're popping it yourself. 

Although most of the Popcorn Indiana products lean more toward the unhealthy (but delicious) side, this is going for the opposite end of the spectrum: people who rank calories before taste. This popcorn is designed for people like the overly made-up woman I overheard berating her boyfriend for eating the outrageous dinner of a grilled cheese with salami. 

The Fit popcorn, unfortunately, suffers from the Snackwells problem, which is that when one is eating a snack labeled as being low cal, one then eats more of it. I never even got a chance to check how many servings there were in this bag since I went through it so fast. And plus, since it wasn't super great tasting I kept eating it in hopes of finally being satisfied by it. 

Don't get me wrong. It's not all that bad of a popcorn. The seasonings are pretty tasty, but there could have been a tad more flavor. Or maybe all the tasty flavors are too high in calories. 

Note that there are five flavors of Fit corn. I had the olive oil one, which I see now includes only tapioca (ew?) and parsley. So that explains the lack of depth to the flavor. 

In any event, I would buy it again, especially to try one of the other flavors, since I wouldn't feel guilty if I ate the whole bagful. 

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Quinn popcorn update

I can't believe I waited this long to attempt popping Quinn Popcorn on the stove! It made a world of difference. It took about as long to pop it on the stove as it would to pop in the microwave (as I had tried previously) and I had only a single unpopped kernel. Of course, I do have to wash out the pot now, but it's a small price to pay for all the kernels to pop and none of them to be burnt.

It is pictured here in my favorite tomato bowl with the parmesan & rosemary topping.

Monday, February 17, 2014

Travel snacks at Newark Penn Station

The wintry weather kept us from going to Asheville, North Carolina, this weekend. But it didn't keep us from hopping a train to Philly for a few days.

The most important task before boarding a train at either the New York or Newark Penn Stations is picking up a bag (or two) of freshly popped popcorn for the journey. But not just any popcorn kiosk will do.

Always avoid the Zarro's popcorn no matter where you are. I don't know what they do to their popcorn, but it smells and tastes like chemicals. And anyway, they hadn't fired up their popper when we were getting ready to board our train.

I didn't realize popcorn was a seasonal treat, but I suppose it is considered for summer only, like iced tea. (Good luck finding a decent brewed iced tea at Newark Penn, by the way.)

This kind gentleman sells the best popcorn at Newark Penn Station. His kiosk is next to the McDonald's.

The popcorn from this stand is a tad greasy, but it does the job. There are some seasonings you can add, like cinnamon and a bright yellow one labeled butter. Probably best to avoid that one.  He also sells various kinds of nuts.

We wound up finding copious amounts of popcorn in Philly, so much so that by the end of the trip I felt like I had OD'd on popcorn. At least for one day.

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Butter & Scotch caramel popcorn

Even though we agreed that we weren't doing Valentine's Day presents this year, I got a package at work yesterday from one of my favorite gourmet food sites, Mouth. Mouth sells a number of wonderful popcorns, many of which I've tried although I see there are some new ones and I WANT them in my mouth, Mouth.

In my gift box were two bags of 'corn from Butter & Scotch, one in hot toddy flavor and one in dark and stormy flavor. They both smell amazing. The hot toddy caramel corn is more along the lines of a traditional caramel corn with a hint of lemon and cinnamon. The dark and stormy has a noticeable ginger kick to it, but it's by no means overwhelming.

Butter & Scotch is the partnership of Keavy Blueher of Kumquat Cupcakery and Allison Kave of First Prize Pies. In the cutely illustrated info on the back of the bag, it says that in 2012 they teamed up to create a craft cocktail and dessert bar in Brooklyn. The packaged popcorn is made by hand in small batches (which don't last too long based on the date stamp on the bag, although I doubt that's a problem for many caramel corn lovers) with fresh ingredients, certified non-GMO popcorn, and expeller-pressed organic coconut oil.

There's a third cocktail corn that Butter & Scotch called Green Chili Margarita made with real tequila. Yum! I'll have to keep an eye out for that so that I can try it as well.

Monday, February 10, 2014

The all-American Farmer popcorn gets back to basics

When I go to my in-laws' house, the first thing I check is the vast array of snacks in their pantry. Jeff's mom is also a big fan of popcorn, so she often has several varieties on hand. The first day I was there, she and I demolished a bag of wonderfully salty 'corn, but I forgot to take a photo before it was gone.

This is the one we demolished on the second day. I'm quite particular about kettle corn. For me, it must slant more toward salty than sweet. It should be salty with a hint of sweetness. And this American Farmer popcorn fits that bill perfectly.

It seems that the American Farmer brand is pretty readily available at Duane Reade, Dean & Deluca, Costco, etc. So, pick up a bag and see if you can't eat the whole thing.

Unfortunately, there is no cheesy option, but there are several other flavors: old school movie theater, crunchy caramel and light kettle corn. I'm curious how they made the light version of the kettle corn since it has the same ingredients except sugar is listed before sunflower on the light one and it's the reverse on the fatty one. Since it's not made lighter with fake stuff, I'm curious to try it now. As long as it's sufficiently salty, of course.

The packaging is pretty neat. Each one has a different dead president or, in the case of the caramel one, the Statue of Liberty, doing something silly like riding a bike or wearing 3-D movie glasses. And the best part of all is that all the ingredients are pronounceable and the kettle corn contains only popcorn, salt, cane sugar and sunflower oil. Of course, who knows what's in the natural flavor that's in the caramel and movie theater ones, but I'm gonna let that slide in favor of delicious 'corn.

American Farmer also supports American Farmland Trust and a portion of their proceeds go toward supporting local farmers. Not too shabby! 

Friday, February 7, 2014

Quinn takes microwave popcorn to a whole new level

I received some Quinn microwave popcorn as a gift and loved the flavors so much that I bought some more at Whole Foods.

What I really love about Quinn's is that for microwave popcorn, it contains none of that nasty stuff that's usually included. Check out the full ingredient list for the Parmesan and Rosemary one: organic popcorn kernels, high oleic sunflower oil, Parmesan cheese, dried organic rosemary, sea salt. That's it! The bag is even compostable.

The only problem I have with Quinn's is that my microwave either burns the hell out of it or only half the contents of the bag pops. It's a very sad state of affairs. Fortunately, the flavors are so intense that even the burned pieces are still delicious. But I would really rather enjoy the popcorn in its best possible form. On their site, they do mention that you can just as easily pop their corn on the stove, so next time I'll try that.

The Parmesan & Rosemary and the Hickory Smoked Cheddar are my favorites of the ones I've tried, mainly because cheesy 'corn is my preference. The Maple & Sea Salt is also quite good and not that sweet. And the Lemon & Sea Salt is surprisingly good. Who would have thought that lemon and popcorn would be a good combo? But they are!

Once you pop the corn, you add the seasoning and oil packets yourself, which allows you to determine how much you want to use. Even though the oil is high quality, it's still high in fat, so I never use all of it when I make this popcorn. Popcorn serving sizes are difficult to comprehend, but I think it's safe to say that this is not a low-fat snack.

The Quinn site is pretty extensive and nicely designed. The company is named after the son of the owners, Kristy and Coulter. Watch this cute video for more info and see their ridiculously adorable dog, too.

Bonus: Quinn has a blog where they write about their mission, their staff, their philosophy -- and beer!

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Popcorn Face's stove-top method

A fellow popcorn fan (whom I have encountered elsewhere on the world wide web as the originator of the "popcorn face") has a video on his site detailing his popping technique. The video could stand to be edited down, so I'll sum it up.

He pops on the stove in a basic metal pot. He starts by heating up 2 tablespoons of coconut oil and then adds 3 kernels as testers. When those pop, he adds the rest of the kernels. Now here comes the interesting part. He then turns OFF the heat for 30 seconds to let the kernels warm up. He adds healthy doses of salt and pepper and then turns the heat back on. Everything else is as you'd expect as far as stove-top popping goes. I am intrigued by the burner off method, however. I'll have to try it.

Check out his blog, too. He has a ton of reviews and links to popcorn sellers.

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Discount on Regal popcorn in February 2014

Ooh! I just came across this $3 discount for popcorn at Regal Cinemas during the month of February.

Sweet! I mean: salty!

G.H. Cretors: so good I had to leave it behind

Hot damn that's some delicious cheesy corn. I ate half the bag for breakfast, so I left the rest of the bag with Jeff in Portland because I knew having it with me would be bad news. I have zero will-power when it comes to popcorn. Even so-so popcorn I have a hard time stopping eating. But delicious cheesy corn? No way.

Anyway, I would maaaaybe buy it again if I knew that I'd have to share with someone who would keep me from eating so much popcorn I felt sick. And the ill feeling certainly wouldn't be from the G.H. Cretors 'corn being full of additives. Their products are all natural. But it's still cheesy corn and should be consumed in moderation (or so I'm told).

Uh oh. Bad news. I just went to the store locator on their site and it turns out that it's available all over the tri-state area.

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Whole Foods popcorn

I'm not sure if the Whole Foods at Columbus Circle still has a bar in it, but if it does, it's a great place to get some freshly popped -- free! -- popcorn. And also beers.

Monday, February 3, 2014

I cannot resist!

I cannot resist buying brands of popcorn I don't normally get at home.

I have had 479 before and was a fan, but the white cheddar and black truffle didn't measure up. It was neither cheesy nor truffly enough. It's certainly edible (and half the bag I did eat in one sitting), but it's not a flavor I'd buy again. Then again, maybe I just require more intense flavors. When I make truffle popcorn at home, I spray lots of truffle oil on the popped corn along with truffle salt. Maybe next time I make it I will try adding freshly grated parmesan. Mmmm...

I have high hopes for the sesame and seaweed one, so fingers crossed. 

About Me

My photo

Has very definite opinions about: popcorn, beer, sushi, traveling, air conditioning, undergarments, tourists in Manhattan. 

I've been calling myself "a writer" on and off again since I was 6 years old. I'm currently using this space to practice doing more of that, even if it's just spewing junk at you. But  you've been forewarned!

Attention beer people: As much as I love beer, I don't post very much about beer. I prefer drinking it to writing about it. 

I post photos quite regularly to Instagram and sometimes to flickr and I don't usually cross-post them here.