Friday, January 12, 2018

Joe & Seph's Popcorn

Joe & Seph's is a gourmet popcorn manufacturer in the UK.  I discovered their products on my first trip to London a few years ago, and I'm always eager to try their new flavors, as, well, the range is extensive.

For example, consider cheesy popcorn.  They don't just make cheddar cheese popcorn ... no, they have blue cheese with walnut & celery. Or goat cheese & black pepper.  Or Olive oil, mozzarella, & tomato.  Or camembert. The list goes on.

But the cheesy popcorns are nothing compared to other options in the savory range, as it includes options like madras curry, black onion seed & lime.  Or Thai style peanut satay.  

And then there are the sweet options, which go far beyond the standard caramel corn (which, of course, they do have too).  But you can also get that caramel corn with mirin, soya, & sesame.  Or with coconut & cinnamon.

Or you can go fruity, opting for toffee apple & cinnamon.  Or lemon poppyseed.  Or orange marmalade.  Or how about orange chocolate?  Or strawberries & cream ... yes, in a popcorn.  

Want something more dessert like?  How about strawberry cheesecake?  White chocolate & raspberry?  Gingerbread?  Gingerbread latte?  Mince pie?

Nutty?  Yup, maple syrup & roasted pecan?  Honey roasted sesame? 

The most crazy sounding product line to me is the cocktail collection, with ... gin & tonic (yes, popcorn).  Fruity cosmopolitan. Refreshing mojito.  Zingy margarita.  Brandy butter.  Irish coffee liqueur with white chocolate caramel. Espresso martini.

Chocolate lovers have options.  Nut lovers have options.  Booze lovers have options.  Those who want it caffeinated have options.  Some sound amazing.  Some don't.  I wanted to try them all.

My first encounter with Joe & Seph's was actually on a British Airways flight, and, I think they just had the basic caramel corn.  I remember trying it, and thinking it was fine, but I didn't write a review.

And then, on my next flight, things got more interesting.  The marmite showed up.
Marmine Popcorn.
"We're thrilled to be working with one of Britain's most iconic brands to add another unique flavour to our popcorn range!  Our Marmite Popcorn has been air-popped and generously coated in our smooth caramel and delicious Marmite, for a sweet and salty snack."

I knew this was going to be either something I loved, or hated.  I love sweet and salty combinations though, particularly with popcorn (I often alternate between sweet caramel corn and savory cheesy corn by the handful), so, this had potential.

I'll start with the positive.  The popcorn was large kernels, fresh, all well coated.

I think the caramel layer was decent too, but it is a bit hard to evaluate as ... well, that marmite.  Wow.

Such a strong, strange, strange flavor.  I tried to like it, tried to get past the unfamiliarity, but ... it made me want to gag, nearly every bite.  And that aftertaste ... shutter.  I just couldn't do it.

Well made popcorn, but, clearly not the the flavor for me.
Coconut & Chia Seed Popcorn.
"New for the Summer, our delicious Coconut & Chia seed popcorn is a beautiful blend of smooth caramel, with desiccated coconut and crunchy chia seeds."

The next flavor I tried was equally fascinating.  Not a flavor I would have ever picked as I hate chia seeds, but, it was what British Airways had to offer on the flight.

It wasn't immediately obviously good nor bad.  The popcorn was well coated in caramel, again, nice large kernels.  Sweet.  Crisp. And then it had vague coconut flavor in the background, which actually went nicely with the caramel.

And then the chia seeds.  They ... weren't offensive.  They actually tasted a bit like sesame seeds to me.  They added crunch.  And a bit of nuttiness.

In the end, I think I liked it. 
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