Go Behind the Scenes with Our “What’s Your Flavor” Contest Winner

On March 25th, 2014, our “What’s Your Flavor” contest winner, Rebecca, had the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to turn her popcorn flavor dreams into a reality. Using her personal garden as inspiration, she came up with a unique, flavor-packed blend of ingredients for a truly savory popcorn concoction! Read about her experience at The Popcorn Factory’s headquarters, where she helped create her own batch of Sage Brown Butter Crunch, from unpopped kernel to culinary creation.

The Popcorn Factory Headquarters

How does one become inspired to take an ear of corn and transform basic kernels into wildly convivial and refined flavors? Leave it to the experts at The Popcorn Factory to conjure the taste of tradition. In huge copper cauldrons, popcorn explodes from a naked state into well-dressed buttery, sweet perfection. My kitchen is not as mystifying or sophisticated as The Popcorn Factory’s cooking kingdom, but my idea of cooking with creative flavor is just as innovative.

urban gardenThe Popcorn Factory soars beyond the cornfields and turns a crop full of corn, agriculture’s abundant ingredient, into a blank canvas. Popcornologists harness their magic like kitchen sorcerers; they make our mouths water and give us the popcorn our taste buds crave. The culinary inspiration for Sage Brown Butter Crunch came from my 19th floor balcony, my own urban backyard. To satisfy my own craving, a salty, sweet, spicy and herbal blend came to life.

For me, cooking is refining familiar flavors, like turning a simple snack food into a delicacy with fresh herbs and exotic spices. While watering plants, I plucked the only remaining herb from my garden that was still growing in abundance: the all mighty, fragrant Sage. Out of convenience I introduced the timeless popcorn-and-butter duo with its new best friends, another timeless duo, sage and brown butter.

What's Your Flavor Rebecca in the KitchenLayering flavors to stimulate all of the senses inside our mouths is what makes food appealing and exciting to eat. I figured popcorn with complex flavors, dedicated to artistic culinary appeal doesn’t have to be elite. We can all appreciate munching on good popcorn with a cold beer so why not have the perfect popcorn to go with a cocktail, wine- even Champagne? Ingredients like sage, brown butter, five spice, Turbinado sugar, and pecans make a perfect popcorn for pairing!

To me, it just made sense. I made popcorn inspired by the season and used whatever I had on hand – I got creative and it worked. Now, The Popcorn Factory is making it happen. Get ready for some awesome popcorn, Sage Brown Butter Crunch!

What's Your Flavor Behind the Scenes

Creative Ways to Use Caramel

Move over flour, there’s a new baking staple in town and it’s got an irresistibly sweet flavor few taste buds can resist! In honor of National Caramel Day on April 5, we’re celebrating all the creative ways to use caramel – from baking to decorating.

Creative Ways to use Caramel

Use as an edible adhesive. If you’re looking for an edible adhesive to take your recipes to the next level, look no further! Whether you’re looking to add fun toppings to decorate or add flavor, add a dab of caramel and press down to secure.

Use to decorate. A vase becomes a sweet centerpiece when you fill it with caramels and top with a flower! Similarly, put wrapped caramel candies in a decorative bowl for when guests come over to decorate end and coffee tables. Who knows when a caramel-loving guest will stop by and snack on these ooey gooey bites?!

Batch of Double Caramel Marshmallow PopcornUse it in recipes. Perhaps the most popular way to use this sticky ingredient, there are tons of mouth-watering recipes (like our double caramel marshmallow popcorn recipe) that utilize this sweet substance.

Infuse it with vodka. Chop up your caramels in fine pieces and throw in a glass mason jar or empty vodka bottle. Fill the rest of the bottle with your favorite unflavored vodka and let sit until the caramels fully dissolve. Once fully dissolved, add a pinch of salt to really bring out that caramel flavor; now you have salted caramel vodka!

Use it to decorate drinks. Throw a few caramels into the microwave (in a bowl) and use the melted substance to rim your cocktail glasses – it’ll add both decoration and flavor!

Use it as a Coating. There’s a reason caramel apples are so popular; there’s simply delicious! Using caramel as a coating, we created caramel coated popcorn balls on a stick – you can customize them with your own toppings if you really want to get creative!

DIY Caramel Popcorn Balls

Use it to decorate foods. Use melted caramel and a toothpick to create beautiful caramel creations on food or serve ware. Melt only a little bit at a time so it doesn’t solidify before you’re finished with your masterpiece.

Use as a dip. Finally, serve melted caramel alongside apples, grapes, and your favorite desserts for a fondue-style dipping treat! You can even set up a dessert bar with a selection of toppings for a unique dining experience at home.

20 Ways to Enjoy Sriracha

I­­f you haven’t yet had the chance to try one of the hottest culinary crazes of the year, it’s time to take the plunge and let your mouth experience the flavor-packed journey that is Sriracha.

It comes as no shock that this hot sauce is getting the attention it deserves – with its savory, one-of-a-kind flavor, paired with an irresistible kick, this spicy treat goes good with almost anything!

To celebrate the release of the hottest member to join The Popcorn Factory family, we’re counting down our favorite ways to indulge in this must-try sauce!

20-ways-to-enjoy-sriracha-2

We give you.. 20 Ways to Enjoy Sriracha!

20. On Your Food. The simplest way to enjoy Sriracha? Grab the bottle and pour it onto your favorite main dish. It will instantly take your meal to the next level of flavor!

19. To make spicy ketchup. Would you rather dip than drench? Add a few drops of Sriracha to ketchup to make the ultimate dip with a kick.

18. To bake with. Srircha’s spice may be what put it on the map, but its growing popularity is definitely attributed to its savory flavor. Sriracha in the oven dulls down some of the spice, but really brings out the flavor of this hot sauce. So go ahead, add some to your cooking and baking for a mouth-watering dish!

17. For pickling. You can even use this versatile hot sauce in your pickling techniques! (Or just pair our pickle popcorn with our Sriracha popcorn, either way!).

16. As a dip. If you’re feeling bold, dump some of this fiery sauce into a bowl for dipping. Be careful not to put too much as you might have a flavor overload!

15. As a cocktail sauce. Turn ordinary cocktail sauce into an adventure for your taste buds by squeezing in a few drops of Sriracha – the perfect pairing for those fancy shrimp you’re serving!

14. To spice up your soup. Add Sriracha to soup before it starts to boil. Again, boiling this sauce may weaken some of the spice without dulling the flavor.

13. In salads. If you’re craving a spicy salad, top with a bit of this tangy hot sauce – the perfect addition to a colorful garden salad.

12. To make brine. Add a dash of Sriracha to your favorite brine recipe to really bring out that one-of-a-kind bold flavor.

11. To Make lollipops. Who says lollipops have to be sweet? Not us, and definitely not Sriracha! Turn your favorite hot sauce into a confection on a stick with just sugar, corn syrup, and the tastiest hot sauce we ever did eat!

10. As a cupcake topping. When we first saw Sriracha cupcake recipes popping up throughout the blogging community, we’ll admit there was a bit of skepticism. Unsurprisingly, the combination of spicy and sweet makes for an unexpected treat worth trying!

9. As a jam. The combination of spicy Sriracha and sweet, succulent fruit makes for one must-try treat that will really wow your taste buds.

20-ways-to-enjoy-sriracha-drawing

8. To decorate food. The easy-to-pour tip makes creating wow-worthy food art a snap! Write edible messages or decorate your foods with a few simple steps.

7. As a marinade. Add a few drops of this spicy sauce to your favorite marinade recipe to give it that extra kick taste buds will go wild for!

6. For your wings. Buffalo may be your go-to sauce when you’re looking for wings with a  kick, but opt for Sriracha next time you’re making your favorite finger food for a unique, flavor-packed twist.

5. To make spicy cream cheese. Whether using cream cheese to dip or spread, take it above and beyond by adding some Sriracha and whipping to blend. The cream cheese flavor will act as a base for the hot sauce, eliminating some of the spice while bringing out the flavor.

4. For spicy loaded nachos. Nachos loaded with meats and cheeses are the ultimate macho snack for any event. Add a Sriracha kick by infusing that sour cream you’re serving with a few drops of rooster sauce.

3. In your cocktails. Mix up your happy hour with a satisfyingly spicy sip with the help of your favorite rooster sauce!

2. To butter you up. Adding Sriracha to your softened butter is a must-try. Spread on bread, moisten your corn, and even apply to your cooking sheet for a spicy solution!

And the #1 way to enjoy Sriracha is…..

The Popcorn Factory Sriracha Popcorn1. On Popcorn! The irresistible crunch of our savory popcorn paired with the mouth-watering flavor of Sriracha – a pairing sure to go down in flavor history!

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Super Bowl Popcorn Box Printables

There’s so many reasons to be excited for the Super Bowl this year (not just the 60 foot tall toboggan being built in its honor). This year’s rivals, the Seattle Seahawks and Denver Broncos are headed to the Metlife Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey to compete for football fame.

Whether you’re lucky enough to partake in the football festivities or just enjoying the show from the comfort of your couch, you’re going to need snacks – lots of them. While the modern celebration calls for big screen TVs and overly fancy football shaped foods, there’s no denying the classic crunch and flavor of your favorite popcorn flavor, so this year, serve up a no-fail snack that will satisfy even the pickiest of taste buds.

DIY Super Bowl Popcorn Boxes

Our team-themed popcorn tins are not only festive, but each comes with 3 gallons of our most popular flavors so you can keep your guests hunger at bay as you root for your favorites.

DIY Super Bowl Popcorn Boxes

We’ve created these DIY Popcorn box templates so you can celebrate your favorite teams while indulging in your favorite popped snack. If you’re hosting a party where guests of both teams will be attending, set up a “rival” station, with the opposing teams tins and boxes on each side. Or, if your guests are all on the same page, stick with the colors and mascots of each team when choosing elements for your décor.

Supplies for DIY Super Bowl Popcorn Boxes:

Cardstock
Popcorn box template (click here for Seattle Seahawks and here for Denver Broncos)
Glue or Tape
Scissors

Directions for DIY Popcorn Boxes

Step 1: Insert cardstock into the printer.

seahawks-template broncos-template

Step 2: Download the popcorn box templates. Open and print them onto the cardstock.

popcorn-scoop-boxes

Step 3: Using the scissors, cut out the templates. Once cut out, fold along each of the lines on the template.

Step 4: Create popcorn box and shape and apply glue to the flaps.

DIY Super Bowl Popcorn Box Printables

Step 5: Fill them up with your favorite flavor popcorn, sit back, and enjoy the game!

National Popcorn Poppin’ Month!

We must be very POPular if we get our own month! October is National Popcorn Month and we couldn’t be happier. Why October you ask? For over 30 years (Hey, that’s how long we’ve been around!), October has taken the title of National Popcorn Month because of the fall harvest in the Midwest every year. It was given the official title in 1999, under then Secretary of Agriculture, Dan Glickman. And now every year, we get an extra reason to celebrate the snack we love most: Popcorn!

 We’ve created a super-fun infographic with tons of little-known facts about popcorn. We’ll bet you had no idea that Americans eat 16 billion quarts of popcorn each year (it’s true!), or that The Popcorn Factory is in the Guinness Book of World Records for creating the world’s biggest popcorn ball. And that’s just a bite-sized sampling of all the tidbits we have to share with you!

So sit back, grab a bucket of your favorite kernels and enjoy learning everything you need to know about popcorn. When you’re done, come back and tell us which fun fact was the most surprising to you!

Kernels-vs.-Colonels-Infographic

We may be biased, but we think everyone can agree that popcorn is the perfect snack to enjoy year long, with so many variations to choose from! Our all natural butter popcorn is a staple for any movie night; mix it up and add our real cheese popcorn for a popcorn purist’s dream mix! No one can resist our secret recipe caramel popcorn, sweet and buttery and always fresh. We’re also constantly coming up with new and unique flavors to try! Our s’mores corn is a new twist on the campfire classic. Our jalapeno popcorn can rope in anyone who tries it. For any Fall fans out there, our caramel apple popcorn is a must have!

Is your mouth watering yet? Head on over to our site and look at all the scrumptious selections we have to offer! Don’t forget to try our scary good Halloween Collection while it lasts; a wide assortment of savory and sweet popcorn as well as other delicious treats!

#JustBecause

What moves you to make someone smile? Celebrate all of life’s moments- big, small, or in between and never miss an opportunity to express how you feel… “just because!”

$5 Popcorn Card

$5 Popcorn Card

Mini Canisters – Celebration Corn

Mini Canisters – Celebration Corn

Large Popcorn Card

Large Popcorn Card

Just Because Sampler

Just Because Sampler

“Just Because… Everybody loves popcorn!”

Delivering a smile is easy when you choose to send our gourmet popcorn gifts filled with sweets and treats.

Our Popcorn Card offers a bag of our gourmet Kettle Corn in an assortment of festive colors.

 

 

 

Choose from a wide selection of unique gift ideas that are perfect for any and every occasion. Our sweet & salty Cornfetti Kettle Corn blends fun and festive colors with delicious, gourmet popcorn. Choose between twelve different quirky and delicious Just Because sentiments:

•  I Shouldn’t Have, But I Did!
•  I’m Thinking of You!
•  You Deserve a Smile!
•  You Can’t Eat a Tweet!
•  I Miss You!

 

 

It doesn’t matter what you want to say whether it’s: “Happy National Friendship Day!” “Thanks for helping me move,” or “Just because I miss you,” let them know you’re thinking about them in a special way.

Our Large Popcorn Card offers a bag of scrumptious S’Mores Corn and a bag of our classic Cheese Popcorn.

 

 

Our Just Because Sampler delivers a gourmet sentiment sure to make an impression.

Don’t just wait for a holiday, birthday, or anniversary when you send an unexpected gift to your loved ones; you can send one Just Because!

Back To School Care Packages

As the dog days of summer wind down, it’s time to start gearing up for fall, which means it’s time to head Back to School! College is a big step for parents and their new students. As you send them on their way, make sure you remind them how much you care and how proud you are of them when you surprise them with one of our Care Packages filled with delicious popcorn and treats. We have a wide selection of treats they’ll be sure to love and share with their new roommates!

University of Snacks Snack Stash

University of Snacks Snack Stash

University of Snacks Snack Stash

Here’s a school you’ll never want to graduate from! The University of Snacks invites you to study these tempting munchies: Gourmet Cheese Popcorn, White Cheddar Popcorn, Sour Green Apple Kettle Corn and Buffalo Ranch Popcorn; Mini Pretzels, Chocolate Chip Cookies, Dry Roast Peanuts, Sour Stars, Jelly Belly® Beans and Sour Sassy Taffy.

 

 

 

Snack Attack Popcorn

Snack Attack Popcorn

Snack Attack Popcorn

When hunger hits, hit back! Our 2 and 3½ gallon Snack Attack Popcorn Tins come filled with freshly popped Gourmet Popcorn in our three most popular flavors—Butter, Cheese, and Caramel.

 

 

 

 

 

Deluxe Study Sampler

Deluxe Study Sampler

Deluxe Study Sampler

Whether your student is working hard at home or away at college, this Deluxe Sampler in our new Study design is sure to make them score a 100. We’ve filled this shareable snack gift box with so many delicious treats-chocolate chip cookies, honey roast peanuts, mini pretzels, assorted Jelly Belly® beans, double twist caramels, 2 Rainbow sandwich cookies, red licorice twists, robust Cheese popcorn, delicate White Cheddar popcorn, and Almond Pecan corn, it will make studying truly enjoyable.

 

 

Sweet vs. Savory: Which Side Are You On? Take Our Quiz to Find Out!

Sweet vs Savory PopcornWhen it comes to snacking, do you prefer sugar or spice … or do you think everything is nice? Take this fun quiz to find out where your loyalties lie in the sweet vs. savory debate. Then check out your results to see which scrumptious popcorn flavors we recommend just for you!

Quiz

  1. You’re on a camping trip with family and friends. What’s the first snack you reach for while swapping stories over the campfire?
    1. S’Mores
    2. Pretzels
    3. Trail mix
  1. What’s your favorite kind of food?
    1. Italian
    2. French
    3. Chinese
  1. It’s Friday night and you want to order pizza instead of cooking dinner. What’s the first kind of pizza that catches your eye on the takeout menu?
    1. Ham and pineapple
    2. Fresh mozzarella and tomato sauce
    3. Mixed veggies
  1. When you wake up in the morning, what is the first thing you crave for breakfast?
    1. Pancakes
    2. Eggs and Bacon
    3. Bagel with cream cheese
  1. After you eat dinner, you always have more room for:
    1. Dessert
    2. Cheese
    3. Coffee
  1. You’re at a restaurant and there’s no salt on the table. You:
    1. Don’t even notice; your food tastes just fine without salt!
    2. Call the waiter over and ask him to bring a salt shaker
    3. Sprinkle some pepper on your food instead
  1. What is your go-to salad topping?
    1. Fresh fruit
    2. Ranch dressing
    3. Raspberry vinaigrette

Results

If you answered …

Mostly A’s: You have a sweet tooth. Talk about a sugar rush!

No matter how much you eat, you always have room in your tummy for something sugary. If the sweet deliciousness of chocolate, candy and fruit is what you crave, try these luscious popcorn confections, made with all your favorite dessert-time flavors:

Sweet Popcorn Flavors

Caramel
Kettle Corn
Toasted Coconut
Cranberry
Chocolate Drizzle
S’Mores

Mostly B’s: Savory treats are your fave. Pass the salt, please!

When the salt shaker goes missing at the dinner table, your family knows exactly where to find it: in your hands! Your taste buds go crazy for powerful, tangy foods with a zing. Give snack time a tasty kick with these perfectly seasoned popcorn treats:

Savory Popcorn Flavors

Butter
Cheese
White Cheddar
Jalapeño
Buffalo Ranch
Cracked Pepper
Sea Salt Slim

Mostly C’s: Sweet? Savory? Who cares? You love to enjoy the best of both worlds!

Your appetite doesn’t play favorites. Your passion for food is equally divided between sweet and savory. And when the two come together to make one flavor-packed treat, you’re in snacker heaven! If you love to mix things up, try these knockout popcorn flavor combinations:

Sweet and Savory Popcorn Flavor Combos

Peanut Brittle
Almond Pecan
Cinnamon
Butter Toffee Almond
Sour Green Apple
Dark Chocolate Sea Salt

Make It Personal With Customized Popcorn Gifts for Every Occasion!

Big Day Small Canister SetHave a big day coming up? Whether you’re celebrating a Sweet 16, a wedding, a birthday or an annual family trip, nothing makes your present pop out from the crowd more than a customized label for your gourmet popcorn tins! So the next time you want to make the day extra-special, try one of these two awesome ways to personalize your snack gifts!

Big Day, Small Canister

These small custom canisters send a big message that’ll make your big event even more memorable. Each set of four canisters comes with adorably illustrated logos that can be tailored with the name and date of your event. Choose from a selection of three out-of-this-world popcorn flavors to fill your canisters with: caramel, Cornfusion (a blend of caramel, butter and cheese popcorn) and pink passion fruit popcorn. Then, pick the label theme that best fits your special day: baseball, congrats, golf, birthday, patriotic, party, summer, or wedding. These pint-sized snacks make the perfect party favors or miniature gifts for the guests of honor!

Personalized ZigZag 3-Flavor Popcorn TinCustom Popcorn Tin Labels

These popcorn tins don’t just come in super-stylish designs. You can make them even more unique for your big occasion by adding a custom photo label on the lid. There are loads of tin designs to choose from, including flowers, butterflies, patriotic stars, birthday party hats and more. Plus they come filled to the brim with mouthwatering gourmet popcorn flavors (like cheese, white cheddar, and almond pecan, just to name a few), pretzels, cookies, candy and more! Once you’ve chosen your tin and the snacks you want to fill it with, put the final personal touch on your present: a completely customized label. Whether you add a photo, a message or both, this is one keepsake gift that will last long after all those delicious snacks are gone!

How will you choose to personalize your popcorn gifts for your next big celebration?

Beat the Summer Heat With Popcorn Ice Cream Cones!

Popcorn Ice Cream ConesStepping out into the scorching summer sun with frozen ice cream could turn snack time into a hot, sticky disaster rather than a refreshing retreat. Looking for a popcorn ice cream recipe that won’t melt into a puddle? These popcorn ice cream cones are the perfectly sweet-and-salty way to cool off on the hottest summer day … without the mess!

Popcorn Ball Decorating KitWhat You’ll Need

12-ounce bag milk or white chocolate chips
The Popcorn Factory’s Popcorn Ball Decorating Kit
1 package ice cream cones
1 large bag candy
Champagne flutes (one for each ice cream cone)
2 large forks

How to Make Popcorn Ice Cream Cones

Milk Chocolate Chips Melted in a Bowl

  1. Pour the chocolate chips into a microwave-safe bowl and heat them up for about 2 minutes until the chocolate has completely melted. Make sure to stop the microwave every 30 seconds to stir the chocolate so that it doesn’t burn.
    Ice Cream Cone Dipped in Chocolate and Filled With Candy
  2. Dip the rim of an ice cream cone into the melted chocolate, and then place the cone bottom-down into a champagne flute. Make sure the ice cream cone sits snugly and securely in the glass without wobbling around. Fill the cone with your favorite candy and a few chocolate chips, and allow the chocolate to dry.
    Popcorn Ball Dipped in Chocolate and Placed on top of Ice Cream Cone
  3. Using two forks, dip a popcorn ball from your Popcorn Ball Decorating Kit into the melted chocolate and let the excess chocolate drip away into the bowl. Then place the chocolate-covered ball directly on top of the dipped cone sitting in the champagne flute.
    Chocolate-Covered Popcorn Ball Ice Cream Cone Decorated With Sprinkles
  4. Before the chocolate hardens, quickly use the giant sprinkles and decorative candies in your Popcorn Ball Decorating Kit to garnish your ice cream cone and make it look even more lifelike! Repeat steps 2 through 4 for each cone.
    Ice Cream Cone Made With a Chocolate-Covered Popcorn Ball
  5. Place the cones, along with their champagne glasses, in the refrigerator to cool off for a half hour, or until the chocolate completely hardens. When they’re ready, take the cones out of the champagne glasses and enjoy a deliciously cool snack that’s sure to beat the heat!

What other kinds of refreshing summer snacks will you make with your popcorn this summer?