Palo Popcorn

palo_popcornThis week I’ve been adding a little Palo Popcorn to my salads. It’s a great way to add a little crunch and flavor. Palo sent me a big box that contained all of their popcorn flavors — Cheddar, White Cheddar, Jalapeno Cheddar, Bacon Cheddar, and Bacon Jalapeno Cheddar. Palo Popcorn makes great cheese popcorn and being in the State of Wisconsin helps.

I began my tasting with the White Cheddar popcorn. It was awesome! I was soon eating it by the handful after just a few bites. Next up was the regular Cheddar flavor and it too was awesome. I actually added some to my salad (pictured) later that night. The Jalapeno Cheddar had a very nice spicy flavor that stayed on the middle of my tongue for a few minutes. Unfortunately, the Bacon Cheddar and the Bacon Jalapeno Cheddar did’t contain real bacon. The bacon flavoring was there, it just wasn’t real bacon.

Palo Popcorn is a must try if you like cheese popcorn. It’s certainly some of the best cheese popcorn I’ve had in quite some time. The Jalapeno Cheddar flavor was my favorite, and don’t forget — it also makes a great salad topping.

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Humphrey Popcorn Company

The Humphrey Popcorn Company sent me a box that contained two popcorn balls (one caramel and one original) and a large bag of their lightly salted popcorn.
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I started my tasting by opening up the Original Popcorn Ball. I knew it was going to be difficult to eat whole so I smashed it while it was still sealed in the bag. It immediately broke into easy to eat pieces. I grabbed a big hunk and began munching. It was sweet and crunchy and had a pretty good popcorn flavor. Next up was the caramel popcorn ball. I hit it a few times with the back of a big spoon and broke it up so it was easier to eat. It looked good, but it just didn’t have a great caramel flavor. I was hoping for the lightly salted popcorn to taste better, and it did. I opened up the bag and after munching for a few minutes I had a hard time putting it down. It was fairly salty and had a great popcorn flavor. I probably ate about half of the popcorn before putting it in another container for later. I really liked the lightly salted popcorn, but I didn’t care too much for the popcorn balls.

Keep on Poppin’

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Pilot Knob Comforts

pilotknobPilot Knob Comforts is a farm that grows two kinds of popcorn — Ruby Red and Shaman Blue (pictured below). They sent me a bag of each and I popped up a big bowl of the Shaman Blue a few days after it arrived.

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Even though the kernels are dark, the popcorn pops up bright white. It only took me a few minutes to consume an entire bowl. This popcorn is delicious. All I seasoned it with was a little salt and pepper. It has a great natural popcorn flavor. And, there was no need for flossing afterwards. I popped up a bowl of the Ruby Red a few days later and it was just as good — it just has a nuttier flavor.

Pilot Knob claims that their popcorn is hull-less, but there is no such thing as hull-less popcorn. All popcorn has a hull, which is what holds the popcorn together. Some popcorn varieties have less hull than others and some are smaller in shape and for these kinds the hull breaks up into smaller pieces and is much easier to digest. Pilot Knob’s popcorn comes in a very nice stand-up resealable package and the stove-top instructions on the back are exactly the way I pop popcorn.

I really enjoyed the popcorn from Pilot Knob Comforts. The Shaman Blue was my favorite, but I really liked both kinds.

Keep on Poppin’

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Shawnee’s Greenthumb Popcorn

shawneesShawnee’s Greenthumb Popcorn is probably the most nutritious popcorn on the planet. The unique combination of spirulina (a high protein super food), nutritional yeast, and cayenne pepper give this popcorn an earthy and spicy flavor. The flavor of spirulina is very deep and earthy, and it’s the first flavor to hit your tongue. As you begin to chew the cayenne flavor kicks in and provides the finishing flavor. I like how the flavors hit your tongue at different times. I really loved the taste. And, the nutritional aspect of Shawnee’s Greenthumb Popcorn gives you the freedom to eat popcorn as a meal. It’s also one of the most unique popcorn flavor combinations I’ve had in quite some time, and it’s good for you too.

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The Art of Caramel

art_of_caramelThe Art of Caramel has some very interesting gourmet popcorn flavors. They sent me a nice box of three different flavors — Orange Cognac Kiss, Vanilla Bean Cocoa Nib, and Kentucky Bourbon Black Pepper.

As I watched the Oscars, I began my tasting with the Orange Cognac Kiss and a snifter of Grand Marnier. Unfortunately, the popcorn was only slightly orange flavored and only about half of the popcorn was drizzled with chocolate. I really wanted more chocolate and a much stronger orange flavor. The Vanilla Bean Cocoa Nib was up next and I experienced the same problem — it really needed more vanilla flavoring and there were very few cocoa nibs, which tasted good, but there needed to be a whole lot more. I was really looking forward to the last flavor, but it too was missing a strong flavor of bourbon, however the black pepper flavor was very evident. All of the popcorn from The Art of Caramel was fresh and crunchy, but they needed a stronger flavor.

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Carroll’s Corn

carrolls_cornCarroll’s Corn sent me a box that contained four bags of popcorn — Cashew Caramel, Kettle, Jalapeno Cheddar, and Triple Mix (a combination of Caramel, Cheddar, and regular popcorn).

I began my tasting with the Cashew Caramel. It was pretty good and the caramelized cashews were pretty good too. The only suggestion I have would be to crunch up the cashews and add them during the mixing process. This would ensure that more pieces of popcorn have the cashew flavor attached. The next flavor I tried was the Kettle flavor. It had just the right amount of sugar and salt, and it had a great crunch. I had a hard time putting it down. The Jalapeno Cheddar was next. I’m not a big fan of jalapenos, but this jalapeno flavor was subtle. I really liked it combined with the mild cheddar flavor. Both flavors hit your tongue at the same time as your chewing, but the overall flavor is cheddar. The Triple Mix was the last flavor, and although not really a popcorn flavor itself, I enjoyed eating the different flavors together at the same time.

I liked all the popcorn flavors from Carroll’s Corn. The Cashew Caramel and the Kettle were my favorites.

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Joe & Seph’s: Seven Days of Holiday Popcorn

joeandsephsThis holiday season I was fortunate to have a wide variety of incredible popcorn flavors from Joe & Seph’s. I decided to make it last so I only opened up one flavor a day.

Day One: Olive Oil, Truffle Oil & Truffle Salt
The bag itself was as light as a feather. I opened it up and could smell the olive oil and the earthy scent of truffle. Although I’m not a big fan of the truffle flavor, this popcorn was very light and flavorful.

Day Two: Salted Caramel with Crushed Black Pepper
I love black pepper and this flavor was a huge surprise. The first taste of sweet salty caramel only lasts a few seconds and then a very intense black pepper flavor hits your tongue and stays there for a few minutes. I couldn’t believe the intensity of the black pepper. I love this flavor.

Day Three: Camembert Cheese
I’ve never actually had Camembert cheese so I didn’t know what to expect. It had a great cheesy flavor and I loved the creamy finish. I actually prefer this flavor over some of the white cheddar flavors I’ve tasted.

Day Four: Margarita
After creating a Gin & Tonic flavored popcorn I kind of knew that Popcorn Chef and Connoisseur, Joseph Sopher would create some other cocktail flavors. The Margarita flavor starts out with a taste of lime. I was hoping for a strong tequila flavor to follow, but it just wasn’t there.

Day Five: Cosmopolitan
This flavor has a strong orange flavor with a mild tang of cranberry. It’s also my favorite cocktail flavor. But, like the other cocktail flavors I really didn’t get a strong liquor flavor.

Day Six: Mojito
This flavor started out with a mild mint and a strong lime flavor. I enjoyed the combination of flavors together but I would have preferred a stronger finishing mint flavor. The finishing flavor of rum was too mild and hardly noticeable.

Day Seven: Mince Pie
This is absolutely my favorite Joe & Seph popcorn flavor. It’s starts out crunchy and sweet and then turns into a chewy fruity brandy-infused surprise.

I am so lucky to have tasted so many different popcorn flavors over the past few years and I consider Joe & Seph’s to be one of the most innovative gourmet popcorn makers. Their popcorn flavors always amaze me. I’m also looking forward and hoping that some new flavors will be created in the coming years.

Happy New Year and Keep on Poppin’

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