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.

popcorn_pilotknob_shamanblue

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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CrunchDaddy Popcorn

saltedCaramelCrunch_CrunchDaddyI love popcorn during the holidays and every Thanksgiving I bring some exciting popcorn flavors to share with my family. This year I had some from a few of my most recent reviews, as well as the new flavors from CrunchDaddy Popcorn — Salted Caramel Crunch, Honey Sesame & Ginger Crunch, and Bourbon & Bacon Crunch.

We had an incredible Thanksgiving feast and needed two turkeys to feed a group of nearly 30. After dinner, I broke out the popcorn when everyone was looking for dessert. There were all kinds of pies, cakes, and cookies — but everyone wanted to try the popcorn. So, I opened up the Salted Caramel Crunch, took a big handful and passed it around. It was awesome!! The added extra salt really makes the caramel flavor pop!! When the container got back around to me it was just about empty. The next flavor we tried was the Honey Sesame & Ginger Crunch. I really liked the combination of flavors, especially the ginger. I saved the Bourbon & Bacon Crunch for last. With real bits of bacon and a hint of bourbon this flavor was an instant hit. Just about everybody wanted more.

I loved all the new popcorn flavors from CrunchDaddy Popcorn and everyone else did too. My favorite is still the Honey & Cinnamon Crunch, but that Salted Caramel Crunch is a must try if you love caramel popcorn. Popcorn makes a great gift for the Holiday Season and CrunchDaddy Popcorn has some fantastic flavors.

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Portlebay Popcorn

portlebayPortlebay Popcorn sent me a box that contained samples of all eight of their flavors — Classic Kracklecorn, Lemon Sherbet, Cinnamon Swirl, Very Berry, Smoked Cheddar, Wasabi & Sweet Ginger, Crispy Bacon & Maple Syrup, and Chili & Lime.

I began my tasting with the Classic Kracklecorn. It’s very similar to kettle corn in flavor, but a little sweeter and crunchier. I really liked it. The Lemon Sherbet was up next and, like the Classic Kracklecorn, it was sweet and crunchy and it had a great lemony flavor. The Very Berry flavor turned out to be my overall favorite. It had a mild berry flavor that contained a fruity combination of blackcurrants, cranberries and raspberries. I tasted the Cinnamon Swirl flavor next and I could have easily eaten this flavor for breakfast. I moved on to the Crispy Bacon & Maple Syrup flavor. I could taste a faint flavor of bacon and maple, but the flavors were just too weak. I wanted more flavoring… and, more bacon. The Wasabi & Sweet Ginger flavor was also very lightly flavored. I liked the two flavors together, but it just wasn’t strong enough and most of the spices fell to the bottom of the bag. The Chili & Lime had just the right amount of flavoring — I really like the combination of these two flavors together. The last flavor I sampled was the Smoked Cheddar. I didn’t care too much for this flavor — it tasted weird. There were also a few unpopped kernels in about half of the sample bags. Because I was emptying the contents directly into my mouth I ended up crunching on a few unpopped kernels. It’s really not a big deal, just make sure you empty the contents into a bowl before you start eating.

Portlebay has some very interesting popcorn flavors. My two favorites were Classic Kracklecorn and Very Berry.

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