I often get asked the question, “What is gourmet popcorn?”
But, before I give you my definition, I’d like to let you know that there are many varieties of popcorn kernels and lots and lots of ready to eat (RTE) popcorn flavors. The market has become saturated with so many choices for popcorn lovers. Some companies just harvest the popcorn and sell kernels, while the companies who create RTE popcorn get their kernels from a vendor and add a multitude of flavoring, some good, some bad.
Before gourmet popcorn, there was gourmet popping corn (the kernels), which was coined by Orville Redenbacher when he created an exclusive hybrid popcorn kernel that pops up lighter, fluffier, and bigger. Unfortunately, bigger is not always better. There are a lot of other companies who harvest a better kernel. Some of these varieties pop up small, but they have a much better natural popcorn flavor. They are also easier to digest and have a higher nutritional value.
So, what is gourmet popcorn?
Gourmet popcorn is created when someone uses a great popcorn kernel for popping and then adds the finest ingredients to make a flavorful combination. The key is getting both correct. You can use a crappy kernel and great ingredients, and you can use a great kernel variety and mediocre ingredients, but this won’t create great gourmet popcorn. You need to have both — a great, consistent popcorn kernel and a “wow-factor” combination of the best ingredients you can find. It is only when you have both that you can claim that you have “gourmet popcorn.”
It was back in the beginning of 2010 when I wrote by first popcorn review and since then I’ve reviewed over 100 different companies and tasted well over 500 different kinds of popcorn flavors. Many of these, in my opinion, are gourmet popcorn flavors. I’m not going to mention any companies by name, but you know who you are and you make some incredible gourmet popcorn flavors.
Thanks and Keep on Poppin’