REVIEW: Angie’s Hot Cocoa Marshmallow Kettle Corn

Angie’s Holidrizzle Hot Cocoa Marshmallow Kettle Corn

Every time I see a bag of Angie’s kettle corn with the words “BOOM CHICKA POP” in gigantic type, 70’s porn music pops into my head. Why? Because “bow chicka wow wow” is like the emoji for porn movie music.

But I did not buy Angie’s Holidrizzle Hot Cocoa Marshmallow Kettle Corn because of the porn music bumpin’ in my head. I bought it because there hasn’t been an Angie’s Holidrizzle flavor that’s disappointed me, and I thought this flavor would continue that streak.

And you’ve probably figured out that by ending the previous paragraph with that sentence, I’ve pretty much told you I did not care for this hot cocoa and marshmallow-flavored kettle corn.

Opening the bag brings out a pleasant Cracker Jack—like aroma, but one opened bag and two minutes later I asked myself, “Where did Angie’s go wrong?”

The front of the bag says, “contains nothing but ingredients you’ll love.” Cane sugar…love. Popcorn…love. Sunflower oil…like. Palm kernel oil…like. Nonfat dry milk…like. Cocoa powder…love. Sea salt…love. Natural flavors…not sure what they are. Soy lecithin…I could go either way.

So I love most of its ingredients, but I don’t love its flavor. It just doesn’t taste right. It doesn’t come close to tasting anything like hot cocoa and marshmallows. At times, there’s a flavor that reminds me of toffee. But at other times, there’s a flavor that I would describe as sweet plastic. Maybe the kettle corn’s flavor is an abstract interpretation of hot cocoa and marshmallows, and the sweet plasticiness represents the marshmallow and its pliability.

Angie’s Holidrizzle Hot Cocoa Marshmallow Kettle Corn 2

Where does this sweet plastic flavor come from? My guess is that I should be blaming the chocolate drizzle, which fortunately wasn’t liberally drizzled over the kettle corn. But once the chocolate drizzle melts away, it tastes like standard kettle corn.

Angie’s Holidrizzle Hot Cocoa Marshmallow Kettle Corn isn’t gross enough to make me throw away four-fifths of the bag, go back to Target to demand my money back, or use it as coal in a Christmas stocking to punish the naughty. After all, I did end up finishing the bag, albeit slowly. But out of all the new hot cocoa-flavored products I’ve tried this year, this has got to be my least favorite.

(Nutrition Facts – 1.5 cups – 140 calories, 70 calories from fat, 8 grams of fat, 3 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 1.5 grams of polyunsaturated fat, 3.5 grams of monounsaturated fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 85 milligrams of sodium, 18 grams of carbohydrates, 2 grams of fiber, 11 grams of sugar, and 1 gram of protein.)

Item: Angie’s Hot Cocoa Marshmallow Kettle Corn
Purchased Price: $3.29
Size: 4.5 oz. bag
Purchased at: Target
Rating: 3 out of 10
Pros: Not totally gross. Least favorite hot cocoa-flavored product I’ve tried this season. Contains ingredients that I love.
Cons: Doesn’t taste like hot cocoa and marshmallows. At times it has a sweet plastic flavor. Having 70’s porn music pop up in my head every time I see a bag of Angie’s popcorn.

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

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.

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

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.

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

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

Orville Redenbacher’s Real Ranch Shakeables

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.

REVIEW: Jiffy Pop Stove Top Butter Popcorn

Jiffy Pop Stove Top Butter Popcorn

Here at The Impulsive Buy we try to find the latest products to review, but reader Taikog suggested we go old school once in awhile. Following his suggestion, we thought about doing a review on Brylcreem, but decided to review the Jiffy Pop Stove Top Butter Popcorn instead, because it looked less oily.

The instructions for this popcorn were simple. Preheat the stove for 3 or 4 minutes at medium high heat. Then place the pan on the burner. When it starts to sizzle, continuously shake the pan in a back and forth motion until the foil is fully expanded. In about 2 to 5 minutes, the popcorn should be ready.

I was just about to start popping the popcorn, when I realized that I can’t shake it, unless there’s music playing or someone is putting money in the elastic band of my boxers. Since there weren’t any women around flashing dollar bills, I needed to find a soundtrack for my popcorn shaking.

After spending about 30 minutes looking through my iTunes library, I found the perfect song I could shake popcorn to. Some of you may have guessed the song already, Outkast’s “Hey Ya!”

With my popcorn shaking song on, I got down to making some popcorn. I put the pan on the preheated burner and waited for the sizzle. When it came, I began to shake the pan and my groove thang. A few moments later, the popcorn kernels started exploding and the foil started expanding. This went on for about a minute and then the exploding and expanding suddenly stopped.

Although when it stopped, I kept shaking the pan because Andre 3000’s voice had taken a hold of my soul.

Then about a minute later I began to smell burnt popcorn and I stopped shaking the pan and my ass. I took the pan off of the stove and opened the slightly expanded foil. A cloud of steam and a strong smell of burnt popcorn arose from out of the pan. The bottom of the pan was covered with burnt popped and unpopped kernels.

A few of the popped kernels survived and I ate them. They had a decent buttery taste and a nice crunch.

I don’t know what went wrong, but I have my theories. (1) The stove heat was too high. (2) I am the Grim Reaper of Food and I destroy everything I touch. (3) I picked the wrong song to shake it to.

My money was on the third reason, so I went looking through my iTunes library again and found six possible replacements for the next time I decide to make some stove top popcorn.

1. Metallica’s “One”
2. Aqua’s “Barbie Girl”
3. Britney Spears’ “Toxic”
4. Blur’s “Song 2”
5. Buster Poindexter’s “Hot, Hot, Hot”
6. Black Eyed Peas’ “Hey Mama”

So which of these songs do you think would work best? Or do you have another song in mind?

Item: Jiffy Pop Stove Top Butter Popcorn
Purchase Price: $1.50
Rating: 2 out of 10
Pros: Decent buttery taste. Nice crunch. Buster Poindexter reference.
Cons: I followed the instructions, but the popcorn still got burnt. “Hey Ya!” might not be a good song to shake stove top popcorn with, but it is a good song to shake it to when there are women flashing dollar bills. I have a Britney Spears song.