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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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Orville Redenbacher’s Real Ranch Shakeables

Written by | July 14, 2007

Topics: 3 Rating, Orville Redenbacher's, Popcorn

When did making microwave popcorn become so complex, like with the Orville Redenbacher’s Real Ranch Shakeables?

For years, the instructions for microwave popcorn were simple, just like the steps for using the Ronco Showtime Rotisserie Grill or the video camera used to record your personal sex tape with your spouse, significant other, or some random person from the club, which you promise to erase later — just set it and forget it. When it’s done, just pop it out and enjoy it, or in the case of the sex tape, use it also for blackmail or possible internet stardom.

Today, there are microwave popcorn with added steps. With the Orville Redenbacher’s Shakeables, after the popcorn is done in the microwave, the instructions say that I have to stick it in a bowl, sprinkle on the powder from the separate Ranch flavor pouch, cover the bowl, and then shake the bowl to evenly mix the seasoning with the popcorn.

Ugh!

I don’t have time for these extra steps. If I wanted popcorn that involved that much pain, I would go to the closest movie theater, purchase a nine dollar ticket, buy a bag of five dollar popcorn, stick the popcorn in a muzzle, lock my arms and legs to the theater chair using chains and padlocks, and then force myself to watch Larry the Cable Guy in Delta Farce.

I’m not being lazy. Laziness is not wanting to go outside and mow the lawn or being stuck on a recliner, flipping channels, ending up on a Dora the Explorer marathon, accidently dropping the remote, unsuccessfully attempting to reach the remote without moving anything below your arms, then giving up and for the next six hours you help Dora with her quests, while occasionally reaching for the remote, hoping that your arm has grown slightly within the past 45 minutes.

It’s just that these added steps take away the convenience of microwave popcorn. We don’t need no stinkin’ bowl. That’s what the bag is for. The bag is the bowl. As for adding the seasoning and shaking a bowl, if I want to shake something I’ll make my way to a dance floor and shake my thang until the break of dawn. With regular butter microwave popcorn, I don’t have to add the butter, so why do I have to add the Ranch seasoning? If we have the technology to make microwave popcorn, the iPhone, and sex dolls that look real, I’m pretty sure we also have the technological know-how to add ranch flavor to the popcorn pre-popped.

Despite the extra work it takes to prepare the Orville Redenbacher’s Real Ranch Shakeables, it does taste good and has a strong ranch flavor, which reminds me of most ranch-flavored potato chips. Some people might think that the flavor is too powerful, so for those people I would recommend using less of the flavor pouch. The shaking of the seasoning in the bowl did create an even distribution of flavor, but I think that could also be accomplished using the popcorn bag instead.

Each serving contains 150 calories, 4.5 grams of saturated fat, 17 grams of carbs, 3 grams of dietary fiber, 3 grams of protein, and a very high 550 milligrams of sodium. Speaking of salty, just like the breasts of most pornstars, the Orville Redenbacher’s Real Ranch Shakeables comes with only two salty bags per box.

So if you like microwave popcorn with a twist and are willing to do some dishwashing and low-impact shaking to get that twist, the Orville Redenbacher’s Shakeables might just be for you.

Item: Orville Redenbacher’s Real Ranch Shakeables
Price: $3.00 (on sale)
Purchased at: Safeway
Rating: 3 out of 5
Pros: Good flavor. Strong ranch flavor, similar to ranch-flavored potato chips. Zero trans fat. Made with real buttermilk. The ability to add as much or as little flavor as you want. Set it and forget it. Popcorn is a good source of fiber.
Cons: Only two salty bags. Having added steps to microwave popcorn. Delta Farce. Using a sex tape as blackmail. Being lazy enough to sit through a Dora the Explorer marathon. Shaking my thang on any dance floor.

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Orville Redenbacher’s Cinnabon Popcorn

Written by | February 4, 2005

Topics: 4 Rating, Orville Redenbacher's, Popcorn

Cinnabon Popcorn

The ONLY things I like to put on top of my popcorn are salt and artery-clogging buttah. Call me a purist. Call me vanilla. Call me Plain Jane. Call me your daddy. I just like my popcorn that way.

Recently, while checking out chips in the snack aisle, my peripheral vision noticed the new Orville Redenbacher’s Cinnabon Popcorn.

“Oh, dude, that sounds gross,” I thought to myself.

Then I thought, “Gross enough to be the PERFECT item to review.”

The popcorn is flavored with a cinnamon buttah and comes with a pouch of Cinnabon frosting, which you pour on top of the popcorn. Sounds good, doesn’t it? Of course, I could think of another use for that Cinnabon frosting, but I don’t have a lady-friend at the moment.

The first thing I noticed after opening the box was the fact that there were only TWO bags in the box. This surprised me because I could’ve sworn most boxes of microwave popcorn have four bags.

Anyway, after sticking a bag in the microwave and not burning it, I have to say that this is the first product EVER that originally made me nauseous, but I learned to love. Um, sort of like, Celine Dion.

Oh, wait. It’s the other way around. I loved Celine Dion, but I eventually became nauseous of her.

No, no, no, that’s not right. Um, Celine Dion has always made me nauseous?

Oh yeah, that’s right, she has.

Anyway, while the popcorn was popping, the cinnamon aroma of it filled the room and made me a little nauseous. However, after I added the Cinnabon frosting and began chowing it down, I felt a lot better. I guess this was due to the fact that the popcorn was actually pretty good and I couldn’t stop eating it.

Thank goodness for the show Strange Love on VH1. Seeing Brigitte Neilsen and Flavor Flav’s naked bodies instantly made me nauseous again and stop eating.

Because it was a Cinnabon-related product, I was hoping for a gooey mess, but all I got were Cinnabon-smelling fingers, which turned out to be frustrating.

Hours after eating the Cinnabon Popcorn, despite washing my hands several times, my fingers still smelled like Cinnabons. Although, during those several times, I did use the cheap stuff (i.e. generic Wally World hand soap).

However, when I used the good stuff (i.e. Method Green Tea + Aloe Hand Wash), which I only use for special occasions, the smell was replaced with the aroma of Method Green Tea + Aloe Hand Wash.

I wonder how many times I would have to type Method Green Tea + Aloe Hand Wash to get free stuff from Method?


Item: Orville Redenbacher’s Cinnabon Popcorn
Purchase Price: $3.39
Rating: 4 out of 5
Pros: ONLY TWO BAGS IN A BOX. Not as sticky or messy as actual Cinnabons. Originally made me nauseous, but they are damn good.
Cons: Smell lingers on your fingers, unless you use Method Green Tea + Aloe Hand Wash (Come on! Send some free stuff, baby!). Celine Dion and Strange Love (shutter).

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