Sweet Heat Salted Caramel Popcorn!
Right before moving from Minnesota, we were at a gluten-free trade show. There were all kinds of fun things to try, but one that stood out was a popcorn. Two popcorns, actually - both salted caramel, but one was "Sweet Heat", and the other was "Moroccan Twist". They were SO good - but apparently unavailable in Canada.
So, I did what anyone with a "replicate from taste" superpower would do - I bought an extra bag of each and put them aside to replicate once we had a new house and were settled in. Well, that was in May of 2018. I finally got it in my head that maybe I should do that... 2 full years later. You know, when both bags were expired by well over a year.
I shook the bags, and was happy to hear that it sounded like the popcorn was all separated and dry. That meant little chance of mold... but no idea how it would taste. I was really relying on the source material being intact, as I'd only had it once, and hadn't developed any real kind of taste memory for it, 2 years later.
Well, it smelled like ... old. Not mildew, not really dusty, just.. old. Staleness. Crap. I smelled it several times over a few minutes, trying to work past that additional smell, to be able to pick out the actual scents present. Eventually I was able to, and also got brave/stupid enough to lick one. It.. wasn't very good, but there was enough remnant of flavour to be able to trigger a little bit of taste memory.
Brains are weird.
The degradation of both source material and taste memory for it means that I likely didn't end up with a perfect replica, but I DID end up with an amazing popcorn, so I'm considering it a win anyway. This is sweet and spicy with a complexity that comes from a few seasonings that you don't normally see in a caramel popcorn.
It disappears fast... fast enough that you shouldn't have any worries about eating stale, 2 year old caramel popcorn 🙂
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