Tuesday, December 13, 2011

This Pop Rocks!: Jody's Gourmet Popcorn Review

Photo Credit (All): Jody's Gourmet Popcorn

When I was a kid, one thing I could always count on at Christmas was Grandma's popcorn tin. Each year, without fail, someone would give my grandmother one of those ubiquitous tins, filled with caramel, cheese, and butter flavored popcorn. Well...maybe "flavored" is too strong a word. The caramel coating was spotty and hard; the cheese popcorn was vaguely orange and mostly just smelled funny, and the buttered popcorn was...well, let's just say we never ran out of buttered popcorn and leave it at that. Eventually, after months of collecting dust in the den, the snacks would get tossed out, and the tin repurposed into a toy organizer or hair ribbon catch-all. These days, whenever I see one of those popcorn tins, I, out of pure reflex, shudder...

...until last night. Last night, I had the opportunity to try some of Jody's Gourmet Popcorn out of Virginia Beach, and all I can say is, "Wow!" This is not your grandmother's popcorn.

I tried the Four Flavor Tasting Pack, which consists of one small bag (1.5 servings each, at between 100-150 calories per serving--not bad at all for this dieter) of each flavor: Kettle Corn, Recipe 53 Caramel Corn, Cheesy Jalapeno, and Double Cheddar. I threw on my jammies, cued up a My Fair Wedding, and snuggled down in the couch, ready for a little tasting party.

I started out with the Kettle Corn because, frankly, I hate kettle corn and wanted to get it over with. Seriously, I have always hated kettle corn. It just never sat right with me, for some reason. Anyway, I opened the bag, popped in a couple of pieces...and fell in love! I couldn't stop eating it! This kettle corn has a sugary glaze for a satisfying crunch, and just the right amount of salt to counteract the sweetness. It's perfection, and I literally had to force myself to put down the bag and move on to the next flavor.

The next bag on my list was Cheesy Jalapeno. I'm not a huge fan of heat, (I even have the sauce left off at Taco Bell, for crying out loud) but the idea intrigued me. The first thing I noticed was how well-coated the pieces were, then how absolutely natural the jalapeno flavor was. There is a fair amount of heat, so bear that in mind. I couldn't eat very much in one sitting, but I'm also a wimp, so take from that what you will.

Moving on, it was time for the Double Cheddar. Again, each piece was extremely well-coated for a very strong, natural flavor. Yes, you will end up with orange fingers. No, you will not care. The popcorn was so tender it practically melted in my mouth, and again, it was a hard flavor to set aside. However, in the interest of science--er, blogging, I had to be a big girl and put down the bag. 

The last stop on my popcorn tour was my all-time favorite, Caramel Corn. I saved it for last because I figured I'd finish the bag, and I could have. I really, really could have. The caramel, which, according to the website, was the 53rd recipe Jody's husband, Alan, (yes, after reading the About page, I feel close enough to be on a first name basis) tried in his search for the perfect glaze, was one of the richest, creamiest, most flavorful caramels I've had the pleasure of trying. The butter and cream flavors are very pronounced, and the textures of sticky caramel and soft popcorn meld beautifully. The pieces did stick to my teeth, but I consider that a plus. It's caramel! If it didn't stick, I'd be worried. By the way, my grandmother's caramel popcorn never stuck to my teeth.

This is my kind of open bar!

This is some darn good popcorn. One of the main things I love about it, though, is how "mom and pop" this company is. Jody and Alan founded the company over a mutual love of caramel corn, and still run things together today. Their motto is, "Amazing or Bust!" and Alan--a doctor and scientist--creates the flavors in their test kitchen. The menu has been expanded to include fudge, gourmet apples, and other candy-coated delectibles, and just last year Jody's was granted Kosher certification (just in case you need something cool for Hannukah).

Prices are reasonable (starting around $3.95 for a 7.5 oz. bag of popcorn and going up), and a wide assortment of gifts, tins (of course), and other goodies are available on the site and in each of their two stores. In fact, if you have a Farm Fresh or Ukrops grocery store near you, check there for Jody's Gourmet Popcorn. Getting married? Jody's has their own wedding representative to help with all of your reception and gift-giving needs.

I know one thing: if I got a tin of this popcorn for Christmas, it wouldn't have time to collect dust. Now, if you'll excuse me, I'm going to go polish off that bag of Kettle Corn and rethink every opinion I've ever had.

*Editor's Note: Adorable Napalm was not compensated in any way for this review. Jody's Gourmet Popcorn supplied product for review with full knowledge that any review would be unbiased and completely truthful. If you have a product you would like to see reviewed on this site, please contact Erin through the Adorable Napalm Facebook page (link in the sidebar on the right). 

1 comment:

  1. i remember those tins so very, very clearly. this sounds like a major upgrade.

    and kettle corn? really? how did i not know your feelings on this? i could've brought it all those times to movie night and then been "forced" to eat it alone. hee, hee. :)


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