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13 May 2015

the popcorn connoisseur

i am a popcorn fiend, it's true. if there's a snack to be had, chances are high that it's going to be popcorn. i have a packet almost daily in my meal deal. i can eat a whole box of half-and-half at the cinema. i used to buy the microwave stuff to keep at home, and then pour candarel (powered and calorie-free sugar replacement) over it while it was piping hot so it would kind of caramelise in the bag, and then devour it all in one sitting - no joke. at christmas time, i was even given a popcorn machine and an array of flavour pots; my absolute best present to date. i haven't yet tried all of the flavours, but i am sure as hell getting there.

every time i go to a food festival or to local produce markets, i am constantly on the hunt for new popcorn flavours. i remember the last festival well - the taste of christmas at tobacco dock, and i remember it so well because it's where i was introduced to the newest addition to my popcorn brand repertoire - joe and seph's. with a host of incredibly infused flavours of freshly popped corn on offer, it was only right to taste test as many of the flavours as possible, right? personal highlights of that day were maple syrup and roasted pecan, and smooth caramel and white chocolate.

i mean, are they even popcorn flavours? in my world, they suddenly totally were. and gourmet, no less.

joe and seph's range of flavours is so comprehensive, you could essentially build an entire menu around them...which is genuinely the thought that ran through my head when i saw their new cocktail flavours, and also the 'cheese platter' flavours like goats cheese and cracked pepper, and blue cheese, walnut and celery. again, yes, all actual flavours available to buy. with gourmet flavours ranging from sweet to salty to down right alcoholic, it got me thinking. i wonder if i ~could create a three (or more!) course meal based solely around the current selection. so then, naturally, i tried.

with the savoury and finger-foody flavours like camembert cheese, olive oil, mozzarella and tomato, and cheddar and smoked paprika, there are your starters. or at the very least, your welcome snacks while you munch on your cosmopolitan or g+t flavoured corn. the thai style peanut satay or madras curry flavoured snacks would definitely be suitable for the main course, if not simply the sea salt and cracked pepper flavour - imagine that tossed in a salad or side of greens. i know it's crazy, but this is what popcorn does to my brain. ~plus, i have genuinely had popcorn in a fresh salad in lieu of salad dressing (seriously, it's amazing), and i can highly recommend it. 
as for dessert, there are tooooo many flavours to choose from. strawberry cheesecake, toffee apple and cinnamon and smooth caramel, coconut and cinnamon are the sorts of flavours you wish you had to complete a meal. sprinkled over ice cream, or on the side of a fresh piece of cake, well...that's just perfection. again, i once had a sticky toffee pudding that came served with peanut butter ice cream and sea salted popcorn. delicious or what? i digress. there are enough dessert flavours in the shop to sink a ship, so dessert is likely where the trouble will be; narrowing down such an amazing line up will be hard. my current personal favourite is the belgian white chocolate and madagascan vanilla bean. it just about made my teeth rot on impact, but it's totally worth taking a bullet for.

and then there's the afters. mint chocolate; caramel macchiato and whisky; smooth caramel and espresso. all perfectly acceptable highs to end any taster meal on, and certainly flavours deserving of their own course, don't you think? having had to peep through the selection of flavours just now to accurately plan this popcorn fest of my mind, i am completely shocked at how many different flavours their are. i mean... when "sweet or salty?" is usually the only option available, isn't it any wonder that independant brands are popping (excuse the pun) up out of nowhere and smashing the competition out of the park when they're this committed to delivering everything anyone could ever want from their favourite snack?

sorry if i'm gushing, and ok yeah - joe and seph were nice enough to send me a couple of bags as compensation, but... popcorn is something i ~clearly feel pretty impassioned about. i guess they knew that. maybe that's why they got in touch. who knows. all i do know is, gimme all the popcorn.

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