I’m the Grocery Editor at Kitchn, and This Snack Is the Best New Thing I Tried All Week
If the broken-down cardboard boxes in my hallway are any indication, it’s been another exciting week for new and new-to-me groceries. I’ve been sampling my way through as many bags, pouches, containers, and cans as possible — including an unmarked can from Spindrift with their new top-secret flavor. What is it? Your guess is as good as mine!
One night I was ambitious and made a mushroom cream sauce (from scratch!) to complement the earthy flavor in the porcini trumpet pasta from our friends at Sfoglini. On another night, I took an easier route and mixed the perfect tuna salad with Pole and Line as my base and a brioche roll as my bun. Of course, there were snacks in between: crispy kiwi and apple chips from RIND, chocolate peanut butter cups with the most creamy filling from UNREAL, and a two-pound assortment of melt-in-your-mouth, handmade saltwater taffy from Cabot’s Candy. (I’m still making my way through that last one.)
The best thing I tried this week? It’s crispy, airy, and takes just two minutes to make in the microwave. Yes, it’s popcorn! Let’s take a look.
Opopop takes popcorn so seriously that it doesn’t just make popcorn: The company went and engineered a popcorn bowl for us to use in the microwave! It’s bright yellow, like melted better, and dubbed the official bowl of happiness on the company’s site. It definitely made me smile when I took it out of the box — and that was before I read that it was dishwasher-safe or even popped a single kernel. It’s made of silicone and is collapsable (great for storing when you’re not using it). It also includes a white plastic cover with holes, for venting, and a wraparound handle, to prevent you from burning your hands when removing the popcorn from the microwave.
What about the popcorn itself? Well, it come in two forms called Pop Cups (left) and Flavor Wrapped (right). The main difference is that each Pop Cup comes with a puck of seasoning that melts over the kernels as they pop, while the Flavor Wrapped pouches contain kernels that have already been covered in seasoning. Both are available in multiple, distinct flavors, although there is some overlap. For example, there’s a Like Buddah (Pop Cups) and a Fancy Butter (Flavor Wrapped). Sounds great. But how do they taste?
I don’t have a microwave, so I waited patiently for my partner to be COVID-free before I could co-opt the one in his apartment. It was worth the wait. I skipped the practice Test Launch, which in hindsight was not wise. I ended up slightly burning the first batch. (I got excited and then distracted by the pop-pop-pop noises.) A mistake I did not and will not make again!
The non-burnt pieces were warm, savory, and buttery. I could have eaten the entire bowl, but I resisted so I could try other flavors and forms. Chedapeño (Flavor Wrapped) and Salty Caramel (Pop Cups) are the two others I’ve sampled so far. Between them I lean towards the latter, mainly because the caramel flavor hits that sweet spot. Pun intended. It’s pronounced without being sticky to the touch or sickly to the taste. And the interplay between salty and sweet had me reaching for another handful over the more savory cheddar flavor. Next up, I’m eyeing that Maui Heat and Vanilla Cake Pop.
Buy: Opopop Pop Cups Discovery Kit, $29.99 for 12 pop cups and microwave popcorn popper
It’s true that Opopop is more expensive than your average microwave popcorn, but if you’re a serious snacker I honestly think it’s worth it. The flavor options are just so different from what you’d usually find in the microwave popcorn realm. Even if you “just” want butter, you won’t be disappointed.
What new groceries have you tried this week? Tell us about it in the comments.