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REVIEW: G.H. Cretors Popped Corn (Kettle Corn and Chicago Mix)

Written by | April 23, 2012

Topics: 7 Rating, 8 Rating, G.H. Cretors, Popcorn

GH Cretors Kettle Corn and Chicago Mix

Bounce. The Air Up There. In Love and War. Blue Streak. What do all of these films have in common? There were all hideously terrible movies that I saw in a movie theater, and they all were made much, much more tolerable with the addition of popcorn.

I love popcorn. Love it. So salty and buttery. I’ll pop it at home in the microwave. I’ll eat prepackaged bags of it. And I’ll lick my fingers raw to get those last delicious remnants of that glorious yellow syrup provided by movie theaters everywhere. The self-serve butter station at movie theaters was the greatest thing to happen to movies since movie. There’s nothing better than sitting down to the latest Bret Ratner abomination with a bucket of Cherry Coke and what Stephen King refers to as a “heavy bag.” Popcorn so loaded with butter it might as well be classified as a soup.

One area of popcornery that I am constantly neglectful of is kettle corn. I like kettle corn, but I never eat it. I don’t know why. It has just never been able to find a permanent spot in my mental filofax of snack options.

Really. I only ever encounter the stuff at flea markets and fairs, and let’s be honest, kettle corn can’t really compete with corn dogs and deep fried Oreos. It just can’t.

This week, I had a few bags sent to me by G.H. Cretors, and as my deep fryer is currently on the fritz, I was able to give the popcorn my full attention.

G.H. Cretors has a history in popcorn dating back to 1885, and currently has five popcorn products up for consumption: Caramel Corn, Kettle Corn, Cheese Corn, Caramel Nut Crunch, and Chicago Mix (a combination of Cheese and Caramel corns). Their products are all natural, non-GMO, and Kosher, if you care about those things.

I got to sample some Kettle Corn and some of the Chicago Mix.

GH Cretors Kettle Corn Closeup

The Kettle Corn was great. The sweetness level is light and in excellent balance with the sea salt, and the sugary shellac provides a pleasant crispness. If you like kettle corn, this is it. I had to wrestle the bag away from my wife. She was going at it full DeLuise.

As a man of science, I took to the bag of Chicago Mix a little more methodically. First, I separated the Cheese from the Caramel and sampled them individually.

GH Cretors Chicago Mix Cheese Closeup

The cheese corn was a solid effort, but I didn’t find it much different than any other cheese powder-coated popcorn product. It was cheesy and salty. What else would it be?

GH Cretors Chicago Mix Caramel Closeup

The caramel popcorn was also good on its own. The caramel coating was indeed nicely caramel-y. It was appropriately sweet and offered a great crunch, though nothing teeth-jarring. But again pretty similar to most caramel corns.

GH Cretors Chicago Mix Closeup

Trying them in equal parts together didn’t really do it for me. It ended up being a nebulous mash of indistinct flavors, mostly dominated by the caramel. That seems scientifically predictable as the caramel coating is denser than the cheese coating. Right? Seems reasonable. Given a choice, I’d just buy the flavors individually.

Obviously G.H. Cretors earns bonus points for being all natural and not using mutant corn. No one wants to stare at a list of impossible to pronounce ingredients when they are about to sit down for a delightful home cinema experience. I don’t think the Chicago Mix will take away all of the pain of a Trapped in Paradise or a Penelope Cruz, but the Kettle Corn will definitely get you through any scene with Salma Hayak.

(Editor’s Note/Disclaimer: We received these G.H. Cretors Popped Corn samples for free from the PR company that represents this popcorn maker.)

(Nutrition Facts – 1 1/4 cups (28g) – Kettle Korn – 130 calories, 7 grams of fat, 0.5 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 210 milligrams of sodium, 18 grams of carbohydrates, 2 grams of fiber, 6 gram of sugar, and 2 grams of protein. Chicago Mix – 140 calories, 8 grams of fat, 2 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 10 milligrams of cholesterol, 220 milligrams of sodium, 17 grams of carbohydrates, 1 grams of fiber, 10 gram of sugar, and 2 grams of protein.)

Other G.H. Cretors Popped Corn reviews:
Read Food Traveler
Buttermilk Press

Item: G.H. Cretors Popped Corn (Kettle Corn and Chicago Mix)

Price: FREE

Size: 7 oz. (Kettle Corn)

Size: 6.5 oz. (Chicago Mix)

Purchased at: Received for free from G.H. Cretors

Rating: 8 out of 10 (Kettle Corn)

Rating: 7 out of 10 (Chicago Mix)

Pros: All natural. Non-GMO. Kosher. Great salty/sweet balance in Kettle Corn. Available outside of dirt malls. Kevin Bacon playing basketball with African tribes. Science. Classy old timey package design.

Cons: Unnecessary flavor mixing in Chicago Mix. Martin Lawrence. Salma Hayek.

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REVIEW: Popcorn, Indiana Classic Popcorn (Movie Theater Popcorn, Cinnamon Sugar Kettlecorn, and Sweet and Tangy BBQ Kettlecorn)

Written by | March 23, 2012

Topics: 7 Rating, 8 Rating, 9 Rating, Popcorn, Popcorn Indiana

Popcorn, Indiana Movie Theater Popcorn

All things considered, I abhor going to the movie theatre. Chalk it up to a lifetime of being, shall we say, vertically “challenged,” or trace it back to one too many awkward 8th grade dates, but either way you slice it I’d just as soon skip the peering around tall peoples’ shoulders and not replay memories of my 14-year-old awkwardness. Besides, a steady diet of kids’ cereal and Coke Zero keeps my attention span short, so much so that I tend to lose interest in things even before the Raisinets stop dancing (wait, do they still do that?)
 
Needless to say, I haven’t endeared myself the American cinema. But that’s not to say I wouldn’t walk into a movie theatre. I just wouldn’t go in for the movie. No, I’d go for the popcorn.
 
Few things in the world are as addictive as movie theatre popcorn, and to my knowledge, almost none of those things are legal. Considering a large popcorn from AMC packs nearly 60 grams of saturated fat before a refreshing shower under the butter pump, and we might soon be seeing the end of that as well. That’s okay though, because thanks to some place called Popcorn, Indiana, I can partake in the buttery and salty crunch of popped kernels without having to change my current relationship with theaters or pump liquid heart attack into my veins.
 

Popcorn, Indiana Classic Popcorn New Jersey

I’m not sure where exactly Popcorn, Indiana is. Considering the bags they sent me came from New Jersey, I’m not exactly sure what to think. Typically speaking, I don’t get too caught up in snacking according to the bag’s suggestions, but in this case I took Popcorn, Indiana’s advice and decided to put on my favorite flick. Choosing to relive the carnage of the Battle of Hoth from the comfort of my own recliner, I popped in the Empire Strikes Back DVD and broke out my sample bag of their Movie Theater Butter.
 

Popcorn, Indiana Classic Popcorn Movie Theater Popcorn Closeup

Let’s just say that even before the ellipses following “a galaxy far, far, away” had faded, my bag was half empty. Clearly, this was the sign of an addictive snack. The crunch is lighter than those off-putting microwaved popcorns, while the flavor is simple but classic. Like sweet cream butter over corn on the cob there’s just a richly satisfying and milky sweet taste to each piece, which, thanks to a liberal application of superfine salt, commands your fingers to an almost automatic motion of stuffing your face. The taste only intensifies as you pass over the busted shards of what was once the kernel, with the golden hues bringing you closer to the quintessence of butter. Dare I say, this is more buttery than a bear hug from Paula Deen, and even before the Imperial probe droid found itself smashing into the frozen tundra housing the rebel base, I had all but finished my bag, pausing only to satiate the primal need to lick my fingers.
 

Popcorn, Indiana Classic Popcorn Cinnamon Sugar and Sweet and Tangy BBQ

Finding myself at an impasse in my home theatre experience, I decided to check out the other two samples Englewood, New Jersey Popcorn, Indiana sent me. I have to say, I was impressed on both accounts.

Popcorn, Indiana Classic Popcorn Cinnamon Sugar Kettlecorn Closeup

The Cinnamon Sugar Kettlecorn is a bit lighter than the Movie Theatre Butter, and lacks the richness and salty undertones of the latter. But it’s admirably sweet and bursting with crunchy cinnamon specks, far surpassing any microwaved kettlecorn I’ve ever tried. Unfortunately it lacks a real ballpark sweetness, a point which kept me from downing the entire bag.

Popcorn, Indiana Classic Popcorn Sweet and Tangy BBQ Kettlecorn Closeup

That wasn’t the case with the Sweet and Tangy BBQ Kettlecorn. I didn’t pick up so much on the tang, but a smokey flavor which hits you right off the back and a piquant backheat make a tremendous foil for the sweet tomato-based BBQ powder. Like Boba Fett keeps you off guard throughout The Empire Strikes Back, the salty-sweet-spicy-smokey taste manages to intrigue you to ponder a more unique backstory.
  
My only complaint is the obvious health halo surrounding a company which bills itself as being “wildly fanatical about healthier, whole grain snacking.” That’s all well and good, but after downing a 560 calorie “sample” bag of their Movie Theater Butter popcorn even before General Veers is done vaping the shield generator (not to mention polishing off the Sweet and Tangy BBQ bag) – let’s just say moving on to the “grown up” bag they sell in stores might not be such a step up nutritionally from the theatre experience. But given that it won’t come with awkward memories and a cramped neck, I’ll take it.

(Editor’s Note/Disclaimer/Reason To Use Forward Slashes – Popcorn, Indiana samples were provided by the PR firm that represents Popcorn, Indiana. We did not receive any monetary compensation for this review. Although, to be honest, I would totally sellout for $1 million, which, of course, I would totally disclose to the FTC…and the IRS.)

(Nutrition Facts – Movie Theater Butter – 2 cups – 160 calories, 12 grams of fat, 2 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 5 milligrams of cholesterol, 170 milligrams of sodium, 13 grams of carbohydrates, 2 grams of fiber, 0 grams of sugar, 2 grams of protein. Cinnamon Sugar Kettlecorn – 2.5 cups – 130 calories, 4.5 grams of fat, 0 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 115 milligrams of sodium, 21 grams of carbohydrates, 2 grams of fiber, 7 grams of sugar, 1 gram of protein. Sweet and Tangy BBQ Kettlecorn – 2.5 cups – 130 calories, 4.5 grams of fat, 0 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 160 milligrams of sodium, 21 grams of carbohydrates, 2 grams of fiber, 7 grams of sugar, and 1 gram of protein.)

Item: REVIEW: Popcorn, Indiana Classic Popcorn (Movie Theater Popcorn, Cinnamon Sugar Kettlecorn, and Sweet and Tangy BBQ Kettlecorn)
Price: FREE
Size: 3.5 ounces
Purchased at: Received from nice PR folks
Rating: 9 out of 10 (Movie Theater Butter)
Rating: 7 out of 10 (Cinnamon Sugar Kettlecorn)
Rating: 8 out of 10 (Sweet and Tangy BBQ Kettlecorn)
Pros: All that natural junk that won’t kill me. Movie Theatre Butter has a strong sweet cream butter taste. Licking salt from your fingers. Light crunch with no chance of burning in the microwave. BBQ is smokey and spicy, like Boba Fett. AT-AT domination #getsomeGeneralVeers.
Cons: All that natural junk which won’t kill me as fast. Hugging Paula Deen. Kettlekorn could use more sweetness. Not really getting the tang in the BBQ. Geographic confusion. Billy Dee Williams’ mustache.

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REVIEW: Orville Redenbacher’s Flavor Singles (Sea Salt & Vinegar, White Cheddar, and Extra Cheese)

Written by | November 14, 2011

Topics: 1 Rating, 3 Rating, 7 Rating, Orville Redenbacher's, Popcorn

Orville Redenbacher’s Flavor Singles

Orville Redenbacher’s Flavor Singles gourmet popcorn introduces three new flavors to the line-up: Sea Salt & Vinegar, White Cheddar, and Extra Cheese. The hook is not only that they are sold separately in single packages, but also the fact that they come with little flavor packets, which you’re meant to sprinkle over your popcorn.

Some things aren’t meant to be experimented with. I get it — snack foods are the interminable guinea pig. There will never be a time when a snack food manufacturer won’t have the desire to tweak their signature item with a new flavor or texture or shape. Their goal is to create a need where there was never one before; to lure the itinerant snacker over to their side of the grocery aisle and convince him or her to lay down their hard-earned cash for their latest Frankenstein-like creation. But damn it, Orville, you sort of beefed with this one.

Orville Redenbacher’s Flavor Singles Extra Cheese Pouch

Let me explain. The only flavor I actually liked was Extra Cheese. Despite the neon orange glow of the cheese powder, the Extra Cheese popcorn possessed a rather robust cheese flavor, which, when applied to a bag full of freshly-popped, already-cheesy popcorn, made things quite delicious… and doubly cheesy. But when it came time to sample the other two, I was terribly disappointed.

Orville Redenbacher’s Flavor Singles  White Cheddar Pouch and Packaging

To start things off, the White Cheddar popcorn was really just regular white popcorn with no seasoning. All of the white cheddar flavor came from the packet of seasoning, but when I sprinkled it on, it tasted… well… a little mature. That is, the White Cheddar popcorn was a tad bitter. Now, I know that white cheddar itself has a more distinguished cheese flavor than regular cheddar, but on microwave popcorn, I don’t think it’s the best combination.

B-b-b-but wait, it gets worse! Sea Salt & Vinegar popcorn must be the popcorn they serve in Hell’s movie theater that only screens From Justin to Kelly on a loop. For $50 a pop. And it’s mandatory. Once again, the popcorn is unflavored, white popcorn to which you must add seasoning. I evenly distributed the flavor packet’s contents on my popcorn and was startled to taste nothing but vinegar. I couldn’t taste a bit of the sea salt. This was the ultimate in disgusting. I think the problem may be the popcorn itself. Sea salt and vinegar potato chips and French fries with sea salt and vinegar are sometimes an acquired taste (one which I have… ahem… acquired), but there is something about the base flavor of the fried potatoes themselves that I think balances the tanginess of the vinegar with the bite of the salt. That does not exist here with this popcorn. It is like eating straight-up vinegar on Styrofoam. Now, some of you may like that kind of flavor experience, but I will tell you right now, I am not a fan.

Orville Redenbacher’s Flavor Singles Closeup

I would probably go back for the Extra Cheese flavor again, since it fulfills my expectations of what a cheesy snack food should look and taste like. However the other two flavor experiments, White Cheddar and Sea Salt & Vinegar were not as satisfactory, with one of them being an abject failure in the realm of culinary innovation. I could only manage a couple bites of each, and boy, those were some rough bites. Looks like my friends will be receiving tins of leftover popcorn this Christmas! It will be mandatory.

(Nutrition Facts – serving size varies – 2 Tbsp (about 5 cups – 6.5 cups popped) – Sea Salt & Vinegar – 150 calories, 7 grams of fat, 3.5 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 1 gram of polyunsaturated fat, 2.5 grams of monounsaturated fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 280 milligrams of sodium, 21 grams of carbohydrates, 1 gram of sugar, 3 grams of fiber, and 2 grams of protein. White Cheddar – 140 calories, 8 grams of fat, 3.5 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 1 gram of polyunsaturated fat, 3 grams of monounsaturated fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 350 milligrams of sodium, 18 grams of carbohydrates, 1 gram of sugar, 3 grams of fiber, and 3 grams of protein. Extra Cheese – 150 calories, 8 grams of fat, 4 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 1 gram of polyunsaturated fat, 3 grams of monounsaturated fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 330 milligrams of sodium, 19 grams of carbohydrates, 1 gram of sugar, 3 grams of fiber, and 3 grams of protein.)

Other Orville Redenbacher’s Flavor Singles reviews:
Junk Food Guy (Salt & Vinegar)

Item: Orville Redenbacher’s Flavor Singles (Sea Salt & Vinegar, White Cheddar, and Extra Cheese)

Price: $1.49
Size: 3.24 ounces
Purchased at: Albertson’s
Rating: 1 out of 10 (Sea Salt & Vinegar)
Rating: 3 out of 10 (White Cheddar)
Rating: 7 out of 10 (Extra Cheese)
Pros: Two words: Extra Cheese. Doubly cheesy snack foods. Mandatory gift-receiving. Apparently there’s money circulating in Hell, so at least you can save up for something nice down there.
Cons: Three words: Sea Salt & Vinegar. White Cheddar flavor is a tad bitter. The popcorn itself in the White Cheddar and Sea Salt & Vinegar packages is unflavored. Paying money in Hell to watch an American Idol reject sing and dance.

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NEWS: New Orville Redenbacher’s Flavors Lets You Decide How Much Sodium You’re Going To Consume

Written by | September 26, 2011

Topics: Orville Redenbacher's, Popcorn

Popcorn

When I first heard about self-serve butter dispensers at movie theaters I thought, “Finally, I can grease up my popcorn like they’re the bare chests of Chippendales dancers.” With these dispensers, I could use a little butter or I could drown pieces of popcorn like I’m celebrating Lobsterfest at Red Lobster.

Orville Redenbacher’s is also allowing popcorn lovers to flavor their microwaveable popcorn with as much seasoning as they want with their new line of Orville Redenbacher’s Flavors.

The new variety is offered in individually wrapped bags of microwave popcorn with a separate powder seasoning packet, and come in three flavors: White Cheddar, Extra Cheese, or Sea Salt and Vinegar.

Orville Redenbacher’s Flavors retails for $1.19 to $1.29 for individually wrapped, single 3.24-ounce bags and are now available at selected retail outlets.

Source: Orville Redenbacher’s website

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REVIEW: Orville Redenbacher’s Smart Pop! Butter Pop Up Bowl

Written by | May 26, 2011

Topics: 8 Rating, Orville Redenbacher's, Popcorn

Orville Redenbacher's Smart Pop! Butter Pop Up Bowl

I’m surprised the Pop Up Bowl wasn’t invented until now. My mind boggles when I consider all the inventions someone thought of (and capitalized upon) before this quite practical invention. You know, stuff like curly straws, dog goggles, and miniature Sharpies. I am certain when I say that no canine ever in the entire history of puppy-kind ever really desired goggles. OK, maybe the cosmonaut dogs shot into space by the USSR needed some, but those little guys already had a lot on their plates, what with having to demonstrate Soviet might beyond the stratosphere and all. Reducing glare probably wasn’t a priority.

Orville Redenbacher offers the new Pop Up Bowl with their Butter, 94% Fat Free Butter, and Movie Theater Butter microwaveable varieties. The Pop Up Bowl is basically a standard microwave popcorn bag, except it is made with a red, plastic tear-off cover on one side that gives you direct access to your snack when removed.

Orville Redenbacher's Smart Pop! Butter Pop Up Bowl Lid

The “bowl” does actually stand up by itself, and it’s very cute. Thick red-and-yellow stripes and a festive, gold band make the Pop Up Bowl look like something from an old-timey movie theater… which is nice if you’re nostalgic for that sort of thing. It’s nothing like the oversized, top-heavy cups they give you at the movies now with a Quantum of Solace Aston Martin or Johnny Depp’s pirated-up face on it, so that’s a plus.

The Pop Up Bowl’s plastic covering was a little harder to tear off than I anticipated. It’s attached with industrial strength glue and is stuck to the corner pocket of the bowl in such a way that it twists up and doesn’t just shear off when you tug it. This can be a bit of a problem when you take into account the fact that this is a heaping bowl of popcorn, filled with kernels ready to fly everywhere at the first errant yank.

Truthfully, it wasn’t that big of a production to get the bag open, but I think they could’ve made it a little simpler to remove, since that’s the whole point. If Orville Redenbacher went through all the trouble of touting the “Easier Snacking, Sharing & Clean-Up” motto, they could at least keep you from spilling your popcorn everywhere.

Orville Redenbacher's Smart Pop! Butter Pop Up Bowl Bowl

Despite the cleverness and practicality of this concept, I can’t really think of a real reason why we needed the Pop Up Bowl. Sure, it saves you the effort of having to wash a plastic bowl and makes popcorn feasting a little cleaner, since you no longer have to reach deep inside a greasy bag and get butter all over every inch of your hands… but as nice and as water-saving as those perks are, we’d be fine without them.

Maybe the creation of this Pop Up Bowl speaks more to the fact that despite record-setting opening weekends for movies, audience numbers are way down. People are staying home, renting movies and enjoying their popcorn on the couch. But I realize Orville Redenbacher can’t comment on that. “Easier Snacking, Sharing, Clean-up, and Destruction of the Movie Studio Business Model” doesn’t seem like it would fit on the label.

(Nutrition Facts – ½ bag (about 7.5 cups popped) – 120 calories, 2 grams of fat, 0.5 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 0.5 grams of polyunsaturated fat, 0.5 grams of monounsaturated fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 240 milligrams of sodium, 300 milligrams of potassium, 25 grams of carbohydrates, 4 grams of fiber, 15 grams of sugar, 4 grams of protein, 8% iron.)

Item: Orville Redenbacher’s Smart Pop! Butter Pop Up Bowl
Price: $3.49 (on sale)
Size: 3 bags
Purchased at: Ralphs
Rating: 8 out of 10
Pros: Cleaner than a normal popcorn bag. Dogs in space. Bowl does actually stands up on its own. Movie theater nostalgia. Aston Martins.
Cons: Functional but unnecessary. Dog goggles. Plastic lid can be difficult to tear off. The modern movie studio business model. Johnny Depp dressed as a pirate, again.

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