Popcorn: Game Time Decisions
with Stephanie Bullen
Chief Flavor Advisor
popcorn salty savory snacks spicy sweet
From air popped to microwave popcorn, movie theater buttered popcorn to carnival kettle corn, the fluffy kernels are ingrained in American culture. Both easy and delicious, it’s easy to see why this snack is so widely loved.
National Popcorn Day was January 19th and with both the Super Bowl and the Academy Awards fast approaching, we thought we’d give you a few ideas for a popcorn smorgasboard. Flavored popcorns can be sweet, savory, salty, or spicy. These littler kernels are great vessels for big flavors and there is absolutely something for everyone when it comes to popcorn.
Sweet: For a sweet treat, use just about any of the spices or blends in Savory Spice Shop’s baking section. Honey powder has a slight stickiness that makes it perfect for popcorn, with a flavor that is very similar to kettle corn. Double up on the sweetness by adding just a bit of Mexican Cocoa with honey powder. The hint of cinnamon and vanilla would make this great with a glass of red wine.
Savory: There are plenty of savory options for popcorn but cheeses are by far our most popular. Herbs and cheese are a great combination; try Paris Cheese Sprinkle on popcorn. A great salt-free flavor for popcorn is roasted granulated garlic. The sharpness of garlic is slightly tempered in the roasting process, leaving a toasty and savory garlic flavor. Peruvian Chile Lime Seasoning is one of our customer favorites because, as many people have described it, “It’s great on everything!” Popcorn is no exception.
Salty: Many people associate truffles with luxury and our Italian Black Truffle Salt is heavenly. For a decadent snack, liberally sprinkle truffle salt on your slightly buttered (but unsalted) popcorn. We’ve already mentioned cheeses as a savory option but they have a bit of a salty flavor too. Romano cheese powder gives popcorn the perfect balance of cheesy and salty, reminiscent of a white cheddar flavor.
Spicy: Sure, you could just sprinkle some ground chiles onto your popcorn for a spicy kick. But how about a more balanced blend instead? Piri-Piri Style Spice has lemon peel and garlic in addition to chiles, making it hot and tangy. Red Cloud Peak Seasoning is a chile based blend with a bold barbecue flavor that’s great for game time.
Even better than choosing just one flavor is to mix and match. Try some of the following ideas, or check in your pantry to create your own unique combination!
- Sweet + Savory: Swap out some of the cereal for popcorn in our recipe for Pumpkin Pie Party Mix.
- Sweet + Savory + Spicy: Vanilla & Curry Spiced Caramel Popcorn gives a new twist to the traditional caramel corn flavors with the use of both a curry and a southwestern inspired blend.
- Savory + Salty: Italian Dressing Blend isn’t just for salads, it has a salt base that makes it a perfect popcorn seasoning.
- Savory + Spicy: Add some heat to the savory flavor of cheddar cheese with Nacho Cheese Dip. This familiar cheesy flavor is a big crowd pleaser.
- Spicy + Sweet: Spiced Popcorn Bars feature the chile and chocolate flavors of our Mexican Mole.
- Spicy + Salty: Three words here…Ghost Pepper Salt! (If that’s a bit too spicy for you, make a milder blend with salt and Aleppo crushed red pepper flakes.)
In the coming weeks, we encourage you to pull popcorn off the bench and let it lead your party to victory. Pull out some of your favorite seasonings and let your guests and friends create their own award-winning snack!
As always, we love to hear your feedback! If you have tried these or other Savory recipes, please visit the recipe pages on our website to leave a recipe review.