Vermont Maple & Sea Salt Microwave Popcorn from Quinn Popcorn

Posted: December 16, 2012 in Foodzie, Product Review
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quinnpopcorn

Photo from Quinn Popcorn.
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Product Description:

Subtle, sweet, salty, and slightly addictive, our Vermont Maple & Sea Salt is a little like kettle corn excpet with the smooth sweetness of maple.

Like all of our popcorn, we never use GMO crops, coatings or chemicals on the bag, or any other scary stuff! This is truly microwave popcorn reinvented.

Learn more about Quinn Popcorn on their website.

Tea Suggestion:

I generally like iced tea with popcorn, because I like something I can drink easily (not so hot that I need to blow on it to cool the surface!) to help tone down the saltiness as it builds on my palate.  I wanted something crisp and clean, something that wouldn’t interfere with the yummy flavors of the popcorn.  I chose to chill some Dragon Well Tea from Foxfire Teas, and it was just perfect.  The tea was sweet and mild, slightly vegetative, and allowed the flavors of Maple from the popcorn to really shine through.  Yummy!

What I Think:

This review is LONG overdue.  I received this popcorn in my Earth Day Foodzie box (yes, that’s right, back in April), and I did eat one bag of the popcorn back in April.  It was so good, and impressed me so much, but the flavor was so distinctly autumnal, I decided to save the second bag of microwave popcorn for an evening later in the year, when the maple flavor would be something I really savored.

This popcorn reminds me a little bit of the original Orville Redenbacher’s flavored microwave popcorn varieties that were released a few decades ago … back when the cheese powder or the caramel were packaged separately from the popcorn, and you’d first pop the popcorn and then add the caramel or cheese powder.  Not in flavor or quality, mind you, because this is infinitely better than anything I’ve ever tasted from Orville Redenbacher’s, but because the flavoring comes in a separate pouch and you sprinkle it on yourself after the popcorn has been popped.

But that’s where the similarities end.  First of all, unlike the microwave popcorn that you buy in the grocery store, this is not all caked onto the center portion of the bag, because there is no oil or whatever that congealed gunk is in the microwave popcorn bag.  The popcorn in this compostable, chemical-free bag is loose, freely roaming in the popcorn bag, not stuck together in some weird goop.

After the popcorn has been popped, you open the bag, and pour in the package of canola oil.  According to this, the oil used is supposed to be good for you, or at least better for you than aforementioned caked gunk that is in the other microwave popcorn bags, and I’m inclined to believe it.  I don’t know why I believe it, I just do.  congealed goop versus clear, pourable, expeller pressed canola oil.

This canola oil doesn’t really impart a lot of flavor, but it does keep the powdered flavor of maple sugar and grey sea salt on the popped corn kernels.  I like that these flavor pouches come separately, and I can choose how much of each ingredient I want in my popcorn.  I used half the pouch of the oil, and I still very much enjoyed the popcorn.  This did result in some of the maple and salt ending up loose, in the bottom of my bowl rather than stuck to popcorn, but I didn’t really seem to mind as the bowl of popcorn vanished in record time.

The popcorn – underneath the flavored sugar and salt, underneath the canola oil – is the key to what makes this popcorn so much better than any popcorn that had been popped in a microwave.  It is light and fluffy.  Tender yet crispy.  The hulls are thinner and not as hard as some other microwave popcorn.  Even without the flavoring, this is easily the best microwave popcorn I’ve ever had.

But the flavoring!  Oh wow!  Maple sugar and grey sea salt.  Do I need to say more?   This is the best kettle corn ever!  This flavor of popcorn could easily be a vegetarian’s substitute for bacon.  All that’s missing is a little bit of smoke, which could easily be supplied by tea if you choose a Lapsang Souchong like the one I mentioned above.

My Final Thoughts:

I requested an air popper for Christmas, because I do prefer air popped popcorn.  I like the option to serve popcorn without any additives (although occasionally, I’m sure I’m going to melt some butter and have a little sea salt on it), but, for the times when I want flavored popcorn, I’m probably going to order some Quinn’s Popcorn online.  I want to try the other flavors too!   This stuff is outstanding!  My one complaint:  I wish there were fewer unpopped kernels in the bottom of the bowl.  Other than that, this popcorn is without fault!

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