Popcorn Palooza: Part 1
Someone from the internet was in a generous mood for the holidays, and sent my family a box of popcorn! Specifically a variety pack of popcorn from Fireworks Popcorn, which comes with these nine different popcorns:
Here we have High Mountain Midnight, Orchard Blossom, Sunset Fire, Red River Valley, Autumn Blaze, Baby White Rice, Savanna Gold, Harvest Blend, and Wisconsin White Birch.
I’ll be honest, I don’t really know anything about popcorn, and I never considered the possibility that there could be varieties of it. So, after seeing this variety box, I decided to see what exactly the differences were between all these popcorns by taste testing and comparing them.
I have decided to do three at a time, making for a total of three posts since there’s nine varieties. For this post, I tried Autumn Blaze, Red River Valley, and Baby White Rice.
I was excited to try the Red River Valley one, as I’d never seen red popcorn before. The Autumn Blaze was also pretty looking.
Before we dive in to the cooking and taste testing, I just want to say thank you to the person that sent these along! We really appreciate your kindness! ‘
So, I decided to cook all the popcorns in the same type of oil and in the same pan to get consistent results. I used Colavita Extra Virgin Olive Oil, and a small pot with a lid, and followed the instructions on the bottle, which say to add 1/3 cup of popcorn to 1-3 tbsp of oil (I used 2 tbsp). I did not add any salt or butter, I just tried everything plain. This was also my first time ever cooking popcorn on the stove!
For each popcorn, I would say it took about ten minutes before it started popping, and then once it started, it only took about three minutes for it all to pop (give or take a few kernels).
Up first was Autumn Blaze:
I thought it was neat you could clearly see which pieces were which color as a kernel.
I noticed that this popcorn was like, oddly small.
After I tasted it, I thought that it was extremely neutral. I’m not saying that it’s bland just because it’s plain popcorn or something, I really mean it has a very neutral flavor. It tastes like the poster-child for popcorn. I think this would be a good popcorn to turn into kettle corn.
Following that, I whipped up a batch of the Red River Valley popcorn:
Don’t ask me how or why, but somehow there was a lot more of this kind of popcorn! It filled the entire pot, where as the previous variety (and the next variety) only filled the pot halfway with popped corn! I couldn’t even fit it all in the bowl.
For this one, you can really tell that this was the red variety, as all the popcorn is dark in the center, giving it an almost burnt look.
This was the moment of truth for me. Was this popcorn going to taste the exact same as the previous corn? Or was it possible for popcorn to have different flavors?
The answer is, it was actually very different. I couldn’t quite place it at first, but I settled on that this one had a richer taste, and a bolder flavor that made itself much more known to your taste buds.
I actually preferred the more mild flavor of the previous corn, this variety tasted a bit too much on the robust side.
Finally, the Baby White Rice:
This one looked the most normal, with its uniform light brown centers.
I was surprised that this one turned out to be my favorite. It had a mild flavor that was something more than the neutral-ness of the first one, but much less than the robustness of the second one. This one just screamed movie theater to me.
After tasting all three, I wanted to see if the website had descriptions of the popcorns, and if my judgements of them had been in line with their descriptions.
Lo and behold, I found a characteristics page, and a whole comparison chart. I had been right on the money with saying that the Red River Valley one had a particularly rich/deep flavor compared to the other two mild ones.
And the characteristics page even mentioned that their popcorn is so small because large popcorn is less flavorful and has a Styrofoam-like texture!
Anyways, that’s three down, six to go! I think out of the six left, I’m most excited to try the Orchard Blossom popcorn, because it’s pink! Who doesn’t want pink popcorn?
Which one of these three sounded best to you? Are you a fan of kettle corn or caramel corn? Let me know in the comments, and have a great day!