Friday, February 03, 2017

Proper Corn, UK

Newsflash: I love snacks, and, particularly, popcorn!  Oh, I guess that isn't news, given how many times I have reviewed different popcorn.

But I have a problem.  The pastry team at my office makes really good flavored popcorns for events, so packaged, mass produced, popcorn rarely actually pleases me.  Until now.

Proper Corn is a UK based company, that is discovered while visiting my office in London.

They make 6 varieties of popcorn, ranging from basic "Lightly Sea Salted" and "Sweet & Salty", to far more exciting flavors like "Sour Cream & Black Pepper", "Fiery Worcester Sauce & Sun-Dried Tomato", and sweet options like "Sweet Caramel & Vanilla".  I tried all but the basic salted variety.

I was impressed with the popcorn.  It was all fresh tasting, even though packaged.  But more important, they managed to make flavorful, enjoyable popcorn that isn't crazy unhealthy.  I'll be honest, I usually opt for very decadent homemade caramel corn or chocolate drizzled, and find that most packaged popcorn is just way too plain for me, even when they try to make flavors I like.  Here, the kernels were well coated, there was abundant flavor, but it was not heavy.  I could devour servings of the size I wanted without feeling awful after.  I'll definitely seek out Proper Corn again ... next time I'm in Europe.

Sweet

Proper Corn makes 3 varieties of sweet popcorn, and I tried them all.  They were good, but, I ended up liking the savories even more.
Sweet & Salty.
"Hand-popped corn with the perfect balance of sea salt and sweet brown sugar."

I started with one of my favorite types of popcorn, kettle corn, or "Sweet & Salty" as they called it.

It was pretty excellent popcorn.

Light, fresh tasting, airy kernels, very well coated in both sugar and salt.  I'm pretty particular about my kettle corn, and this delivered, particularly in the salt department.

I wish I had it at home so I could try it frozen and crispy, which is how I really like my kettle corn.
Smooth Peanut & Almond.
"Hand-popped corn, mixed with a smooth blend of peanut and almond."

I moved on to a flavor I've never seen before.  I've tried a lot of crazy popcorns, but never ones with peanut and almond ...

This was again good popcorn, well popped, and very well coated in toppings.

The peanut and almond was a bit strange though.  I thought that there was going to be chunks of candied nuts or something, like cracker jacks, but, actually, the kernels were coated in a peanut almond powder.  Super interesting, and I like those flavors, but it was a bit strange to have on my popcorn.  It also tasted more like almond butter than peanut, and, I'm less of a fan of almond.

It was fascinating and enjoyable enough, but, not quite the flavor for me.

Update: I had another bag a few days later.  With my expectations reset to being nut butter coated popcorn, I enjoyed it much more.  I actually do love peanut butter, and have a favorite Chex mix recipe I love with peanut butter coating, and this reminded me a bit of that, except a bit lighter, as the popcorn is a lighter base than Chex.  I'd gladly eat more and more of this, and wished we had it stocked in my office.  Also, I really wanted to put it in my freezer, as I love freezing popcorn, and I think the nut butters would freeze very nicely.

Nit: This bag was a bit deceptive, as it looked pretty big, but was only filled about 1/3 full.
Sweet Coconut & Vanilla.
"Hand-popped corn sprinkled  with a fresh blend of coconut and Madagascan vanilla."

Finally, the third sweet variety, Sweet Coconut & Vanilla.  This was another fresh, light popcorn.  It had a slight sweetness to it, and a subtle essence of coconut.  I didn't really taste vanilla, but, the coconut was different and the sweetness was definitely there.

Not dessert popcorn, but good for a slightly sweet snack.

Savory

I moved on to savories, again, 3 varieties, although I didn't try the plain salted one.  These were excellent.
Firey Worcester Sauce and Sundried Tomato Popcorn.
"Hand-popped corn, seasoned with our own Worcester sauce and a hint of fiery chilli."

Well, this was pretty much amazing.

Who would have thought that Worcester sauce and chilli would be good on popcorn?  I guess it sorta had a hint of Chex mix flavors to it from the Worcester sauce, so, that makes sense.

It certainly had a bit of kick from cayenne and pimento peppers, and some savoriness from onion, garlic, and sun-dried tomato, and some tang from vinegar and lemon juice, and then, the Worcester of course.  So much flavor in the popcorn.  The kernels were perfectly coated.

I really enjoyed this, and devoured the bag faster than probably any other savory popcorn ever.
Sour Cream & Black Pepper.
"Hand-popped corn, seasoned with a creamy blend of spring onions and cracked black pepper."

Another winning flavor.

This one was a bit odd at the first bite, as I tasted a buttery flavor that didn't combine with the other flavors, but, I never detected it again, and, the popcorn doesn't actually have butter in it, so I have no idea where that came from.  Anyway.

After that first bite, I loved this popcorn.  It was savory, and reminded me of the sour cream and cheddar chips I used to eat as a child (even though it had no cheese in it, I sorta tasted a cheesy nature too ...), or, I guess sour cream and onion chips too.  In addition to the sour cream and onion, the popcorn was coated with buttermilk and yogurt, giving even more tang.  And then, the pepper.  The pepper set this flavor apart from standard sour cream and onion, and it really amped up the flavor, without overshadowing the onion.

A wonderful flavor, and I enjoyed it even (gasp!) without freezing it.  I'd gladly get this again.
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