Friday, March 02, 2018

Popcornopolis

Popcorn.  Sweet or savory.  I'm obsessed.  The king of snacks.

I adore freezing popcorn to make it crunchier.  Particularly for sweet coated popcorns.  My freezer is always full.  I'm always trying new brands.

Which lead me to Popcornopolis, a huge popcorn distributor, sold basically ... everywhere.   Major grocery stores, Costco, Amazon, even movie theaters and gift baskets galore.  Certainly not a artisan small production fancy popcorn.  But, it is all non-GMO, 0 trans fat, no high fructose corn syrup, gluten-free, etc.  And available in ... all the flavors.  Many quite decadent (seriously, Red Velvet, Peanut Butter Cup ... oh my!)
Assorted Flavor Cones.
I finally bought Popcornopolis when I was visiting my family in New Hampshire, and wound up in BJ's Wholesale Club with my mom.  The place was a wonderland to me, and, somehow, a little 4-pack of cones wound up in our cart.
Cupcake.
"It’s party time! Here’s the flavor to kick things off. You’ll be amazed how we’ve captured the experience of enjoying a vanilla cupcake —complete with luxurious white frosting and festive colored sprinkles!"

The first flavor I tried was also the most decadent: cupcake!  I was in the mode for something sweet, and when given the choice of already sweet caramel corn, or caramel corn drizzled with chocolate, or caramel corn drizzled with frosting and sprinkles ... well, that decision was easy.  Go big or go home.

It was good popcorn, but yes, very sweet.  The kernels were all well coated in sweet, buttery caramel.  They were a bit softer than I like, but then again, I like to put my caramel corn in a freezer to make it even crispier, so, I might be a bit odd in this respect.

The "white frosting" was kinda just more sweet drizzled on top of some pieces, and it caused some pieces to stick together a form clumps, kinda like granola.  This was the perfect enabler for my "ooh, I'll have just one more piece" mentality, when "one more piece" might be a giant clump rather than a kernel.  I liked the clumps, not something normally found in popcorn.  The white frosting didn't really taste like frosting, nor like vanilla though, just, like sweet.

The sprinkles were round sugar disks, not classic rainbow sprinkles like you have with ice cream.

Overall, I enjoyed this.  It was sweet, it was popcorn, and, well, those are things I like.  Did it taste like a cupcake?  Not at all.  But, I didn't need it to.

I also froze some, to fix the softness problem.  It worked great.  I liked it even more when frozen, although the sweetness seemed even more pronounced, if that is possible.  It was hard to get through more than a few pieces at a time, which, I think is a good thing.

Because, this is not a light offering, not an innocent little snack.  The cone wasn't exactly large, easily a single serving (2.5 ounces), and it racked up 340 calories, and 32 grams of sugar.  Ooph.  But if you pretend it is dessert, and not just a snack, it isn't *that* bad ...
Cheddar Cheese.
"Rich, farm-fresh cheddar covers our World’s Best Gourmet Popcorn™ like a golden blanket of deliciousness. Popcornopolis Cheddar Cheese Popcorn is intense, authentic, and habit-forming."

Next, I went savory, for the cheddar cheese.

This was good.  In a gross way.

The popcorn was absolutely coated in very fake cheddar cheese powder.  So fake.  But yet so tasty.

The "cheese" had a flavor that was familiar, but I couldn't pinpoint.  And yes, it left my fingers orange.  But, I liked it, just not in too much quantity, as it quickly made your stomach start to turn ...
Zebra.
"Zebra® PopcornStill our reigning champion, Zebra is love at first bite! A sensuous and divinely compelling experience, with a taste that you'll dream of. Your pulse quickens, your knees go weak. Oh, yes. Zebra is THAT good."

The Zebra sounded great, but, I didn't like it at all.

The base caramel just wasn't a style I like, it was buttery, it seemed like decent caramel, but I didn't like the flavor at all.  It was well coated though.  The zebra drizzle couldn't save it, and perhaps the low quality chocolate added to the flavors that I didn't like?
Caramel Corn.
"Our award-winning recipe remains a closely guarded secret. But we CAN tell you that we use only pure cane sugar and real creamery butter. Even before you take your first bite, the ultra-rich aroma will blow your mind!"

The final selection in my cone quartet was pretty standard caramel corn.  Rich, dark buttery caramel, well coated.  Good enough, but nothing special.
Kettle Corn.
"As American as freedom, for more than 200 years, we've enjoyed this sweet and salty Kettle Corn with its unforgettable crunch."

I also tried a regular bag of Popcornopolis, when I found it at a local store a few months later.  I tried a new, but simple flavor: kettle corn.

Well, huh.  I found a kettle corn I like, that *isn't* only sold at a single farmer's market, during the summer only, in New Hampshire.  Ok, sure, I didn't like this nearly as much as my favorite best kettle corn ever, but, I liked it, which is significant, as I usually hate all kettle corn that isn't "my" kettle corn.

It was sweeter than "my" kettle corn, but it did have the salty aspect to counter it.  The pieces were well coated.  It tasted fresh.  The kernels were all large and popped properly.

Very solid kettle corn, and one I'll even consider buying when my freezer supply of my farmer's market kettle corn runs out.
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