This week, I took a break in my day to ENJOY -- to catch up with my friend Hannah, who was visiting for a few days. We went to the movies...
But instead of enjoying a film, we enjoyed something I usually bypass at the theater: POPCORN.
Popcorn, Indiana, the self-proclaimed biggest snack company that a lot of folks never heard of, kindly invited me to sample their classic and newfangled flavors of popcorn. Their rep. Jeff explained how at their Englewood, New Jersey factory (and offices overlooking the factory), "We eat, sleep, and breathe popcorn," he explained. "We view ourselves as the Popcorn Innovators."
It soon became evident that innovation was the perfect word. Their snacks, flavors, and technology take popcorn to a whole new level.
Popcorn: The company was founded on the novel idea that "popcorn in a bag doesn't have to suck." If that's their goal, then mission accomplished. The popcorn is downright delicious. Plus, Popcorn, Indiana popcorn contains 100% natural ingredients and is hand crafted in small batches by artisan kettles. Sounds good, right? More still, their popcorn chefs--Chef Dan and Chef Ernie--have developed a record number of flavors. Popcorn, Indiana's game-changing flavor offerings include:
· Movie Theater
· Aged White Cheddar Kettlecorn
· Cinnamon Sugar
· Chile & Lime
· Fire Roasted Chipotle
· Bacon Ranch
· Caramel Corn
· Almond Biscotti
· Roasted Peanut Caramel Corn
· Cocoa Kettlecorn
· Dark Fudge Chocolate Chip Kettlecorn
· Drizzled Black & White Kettlecorn
· Drizzled Cinnamon Sugar Kettlecorn
· Dark Fudge Peppermint Kettlecorn
Yes, that's all in POPCORN. Hannah and I tasted and tested, and tasted some more.
Favorites in the taste-testing? My sweet tooth had me overindulging on the "indulgences", like Almond Biscotti (So sweet - "It tastes like a cookie!", the rep Amanda told us) and the Drizzled Black & White Kettlecorn. <-- WOW. Wow. Just... wow.
|Almond Biscotti Popcorn|
Do you SEE the ALMOND SLICES?
This stuff's the real deal.
I also really liked the Original Kettlecorn, which had a nice crunch to it, even if it left my fingers a little sticky. :) Other staples included Touch of Sea Salt and Aged White Cheddar Kettlecorn. These had such a nice, subtle flavor to them. A perfectly light snack!
The "Most Creative" awards go to Cinnamon Sugar (ALWAYS yum) and Bacon Ranch. ...I'm not a bacon person, but would you believe me if I told you that the "Bacon Ranch" flavor is vegan? and certified KOSHER?! I kid you not. I almost didn't believe them. "One of our chefs is vegan," Jeff confirmed.
[Edit 9/3/12: The Bacon Ranch flavor is not vegan, as the rep claimed. It is Kosher and gluten-free.]
Chips: If all that popcorn weren't enough, Popcorn, Indiana decided to take it a step further, and created a popcorn chip: Chip'ins.
Similar to popular Popchips, these Chip'ins are popped rather than baked or fried, but uniquely, Chip'ins are larger and shaped similarly to tortilla chips. Plus, you can have 20 chips in one serving, compared to only 9, 10, or 11 of a comparable chip. These are also special because they come in tasty flavors like....
|Sea Salt; White Cheddar; Buffalo Wing; Jalapeno Ranch; Classic BBQ|
And they're still nice and natural! The original sea salt flavor, for example, contains only THREE ingredients: salt, corn, and oil. Boom, chip.
Dietary concerns: For both the popcorn and the chips, the entire factory is certified Gluten-Free, and all flavors that are not "cheese" flavors are vegan. These snacks also contain no: trans fats, artificial flavors, cholesterol, or preservatives. Most flavors are already non-GMO, and they're moving into becoming 100% non-GMO. Excellent.
|The Popcorn, Indiana Team!|
Jeff, Jess, and Amanda
After convincing us how delicious their snacks are (not that it took much convincing), the Popcorn Team demonstrated their next innovation, a technology that will change your at-home movie nights forever...
|Movie Theater Popcorn|
Microwaveable snack bags: Not the tiny, folded, greasy paper bags we've all come to know and deal with, but a real, sizeable snack bag that goes right into the microwave for warm, freshly popped, hand-crafted popcorn. Most snack bags, like those for chips and already-popped popcorn, come with a metallized film lining. This metallic lining, of course, prevent those types of bags from being warmed up in the microwave. ... But not this one! Popcorn, Indiana's new technology makes their at-home popcorn bags--Movie Theater Popcorn--microwaveable. It's the same all-natural, hand-crafted kernels, popped at home to be served fresh, warm, and flavorful, right on your own couch.
They popped it in front of us. 30 seconds. Ready to eat.
It really tasted delicious, and was NOT smelly or greasy like the microwaveable popcorn I've had in the past. I rarely make popcorn at home, but if I had this stuff handy? I'd heat it up regularly and make an evening out of my television and movies. ... or just regular snacking-while-working, as I tend to do. I'm excited to add this to my smart snacking stash!
Salty, sweet, crunchy... Popcorn, Indiana hits the spot. Dare you to keep an eye out for this brand, because they've got big things coming our way! In the meantime, find them at these stores and try their many flavors for yourself! Let me know what you think :)
|Thank you, Popcorn, Indiana!|
What's your favorite flavor of popcorn? Would you dare to try these bold varieties?