Monday, January 24, 2011

National Popcorn Day?

Supposedly the 18th was National Popcorn Day.  I don't know if that's true or not.  And I really don't care.  I just needed an excuse to write about popcorn.

I was considering a Black Swan tie-in.  I just saw it in the theaters and loved it, although I'm not entirely clear on what happened.  I just know I was on the edge of my seat the whole time; Natalie Portman did an amazing job; and the symbolism was fab.  Very cool.  I didn't actually eat any popcorn at the movie (I smuggled in Christmas candy), but I THOUGHT about popcorn.

And there you have it.  Popcorn.

I met the folks from Jody's Gourmet Popcorn at the Fancy Food Show and they were awesome enough to send me some samples afterward.

They sent three different types of their popcorn (they have other flavors as well).  This one was double cheddar:

Now I love cheese flavored popcorn.  When I buy those tins with the three flavors, this is the flavor that I always chow down first.  But I'm sad to say, this cheese popcorn was no good.  It had a weird flavor and I actually pitched it.  For me throwing away cheese popcorn is like Lindsey Lohan thowing out vodka.

Next up was Kettle Corn:

This was perfect.  I mean perfect.  Not overly sweet, just the right balance between sweet and salty.  Awesome!!

And look at those kernels - all their popcorn is like this - fully popped, nice and fluffy - no bits.  Some popcorn is filled with unpopped bits and hard pieces and is just crappy.  The last time I got popcorn from the Popcorn Factory it was like that - bleech.  This was great.

This is Jody's Recipe 53 Caramel Corn:

Also very cool - a nice light coating of caramel corn - very, very well done.  You can still taste the popcorn - it's not overwhelmed by the caramel.  A work of popcorn culinary art.

This is Great Scott's Peanut Butter Cup popcorn (I was sooooo excited to try this one!):

Boo!  No good.  Not very peanut buttery or chocolately; a weird flavor. There are so many better choices that I pitched this one too.  You know it's no good if I threw away something involving peanut butter.  That goes against everything I believe in.

Before we write Great Scott's off entirely, look at this flavor - bleu cheese (notice how not full the bag is):

I love the fact that the bleu cheese actually has a bit of a bleu tint to it!  Gotta tell you - this stuff was delicious!!  Love it!  As you can see, I ate half the bag before I could even get to a camera to take a picture of it:

Everybody is getting in on the popcorn act.  Harry & David just lauched a line of flavored popcorns.  Here's loaded baked potato:

and bacon ranch:

I'm sure you are wondering why I don't have pictures of these flavors.  Well, I now have like 5 open bags of popcorn in my house.  I have to eat some before I open any more!  I did sample both of these flavors in the Harry & David store and they were delish.  There's no room for crappy entries once Harry & David is in the house.  Popcorn makers of the world - step it up!

Harry & David also has their entire line of Moose Munches  (coated popcorn with chocolate and assorted nuts or other ingredients).  This stuff is over the top addictive.  I saw this flavor (Milk Chocolate Pumpkin) and was dying to try it:

As Tim (my sweetheart) observed, "Pumpkin has it's place and this isn't it."  I have to agree.  As much as I love pumpkin, somethings just don't lend themselves as well to that flavor.  Popcorn really shouldn't be pumpkin flavored.  This wasn't very good.  I was going to throw the bag away, but Tim said, "Don't get crazy, it's not that bad!"

So far, this is the best flavor of Moose Munch that I've tried - White Chocolate Macadamia Nut:

This is sooooooo good and is completely addictive.  If you open a bag, the next thing you know it will be empty and your jeans will be tight.  It's wicked good.

Harry & David also has a line of Moose Munch chocolate bars.  This one is caramel with cashews and almonds:

It looks pretty good and in theory is a good idea.  But I honestly think loose Moose Munch is better.  This is too much chocolate.  I know, I know - how can you have too much chocolate?  If you eat the Moose Munch with only a few chocolate covered kernels, it's perfect.  If you have all of it coated in chocolate, it's too much.

The takeaways?

Let's all be grateful for the awesomeness of popcorn.  It can be healthy as heck or decadent beyond belief.  It makes movies better and smells delicious. 

Contrary to what I have long believed, pumpkin really doesn't make everything better.  Neither does chocolate.  I'm soooo happy they are both out there, but they don't need to be everywhere.

Really great things usually do get the recognition they deserve - Black Swan, Cirque du Soleil, popcorn.  We all have different tastes and opinions, but we agree more than we disagree.  If given the chance, Orville Redenbacher could probably have gotten us world peace.



Kris, in New England said...

Mmmmm - popcorn.

Laura @ GotChocolate said...

Too funny! I was going to blog about National Popcorn Day on that day too, and decided to let it go. Until today. You see, I too, also blogged about popcorn. CHOCOLATE POPCORN!!!

Kris, in New England said...

Popcorn - how do I love thee.

I will have to try the H&D White Chocolate Munch. Being allergic to all tree nuts, I can't usually eat their Moose Munch. But...Macadamias aren't really a nut, they are a legume.

Yeah for me!

Denise Ryan said...

Thanks for the comments!! Kris - thank GOD you can eat macadamias!! And peanuts!! You have to try that MM - sooooo addictive and delish!

Denise Ryan said...

Laura - thanks for the comment! It's so hard to find the time to blog about every great idea, isn't it?? Thanks for reading and for the comment!

Sylvia said...

Kettle corn definitely my Fave! I usually buy some during farmer's market every Thurs. (p.s GUILTY! I put some in a small bag & take it into the movies :)

Denise Ryan said...

Sylvia! You rock! Thanks for the comment! I bet the stuff from the Farmer's Market is fab!!!! Way better than that overpriced movie theater popcorn!