Stock Up: Three brands of popcorn you’ll want to try

Spicy barbecue popcorn from CaJa Popcor.  Courtesy of CaJa Popcorn

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Spicy barbecue popcorn from CaJa Popcor. Courtesy of CaJa Popcorn

If your snacking has become routine, these three brands of popcorn will change that.

Spicy barbecue popcorn from CaJa Popcorn

Too many crunchy snacks are full of artificial flavors that just knock you over. After a handful or two, your taste buds are overwhelmed and, soon, all you taste is the overpowering spice mix. Nick McCormick, the chef and “chief popper” of Atlanta-based CaJa Popcorn, understands how to season in a way that tantalizes. His spicy barbecue popcorn is flavored with a mix of barbecue seasoning, cayenne and salt that gives you the sweet, salty, smoky and spicy elements of good barbecue, with just a bit of cayenne kick at the end. Yes, we could — and did — eat almost an entire bag by ourselves, but, sated, we were able to share the pimento cheese and sea salt caramel flavors with friends. We haven’t tried the vadouvan curry flavor yet, but that’s next.

$5 per 1.5-ounce bag. Various flavors available at the Local Exchange, Spotted Trotter, Provisions on Main, Kelly’s Market and at cajapopcorn.com.

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Wine- and spirit-infused popcorn from Eatable Popcorn. Courtesy of Eatable Popcorn and Everything Branding

Credit: Handout

Wine- and spirit-infused popcorn from Eatable Popcorn. Courtesy of Eatable Popcorn and Everything Branding

Credit: Handout

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Wine- and spirit-infused popcorn from Eatable Popcorn. Courtesy of Eatable Popcorn and Everything Branding

Credit: Handout

Credit: Handout

Wine- and spirit-infused popcorn from Eatable Popcorn

In 2018, Charlene and Vince Li of Ontario-based Eatable Popcorn left their day jobs to start a company that would produce an indulgent snack that infused popcorn with the flavors of wines and spirits. Their first creation was a Scotch whisky-infused caramel popcorn, but it wasn’t long before they were producing Pop the Salt & Tequila, Pop Goes Sangria and Poppin’ Peach Bellini, among other varieties. The fruit flavors were a surprise, since we don’t often think of fruit and popcorn in tandem, but our testers enjoyed the burst of fruity flavor. Pop the Champagne is infused with both champagne and white chocolate, and sprinkled with sugar crystals that pop while you chew — lots of fun. And, the popcorn comes in a clever resealable package, although we’re not sure you’ll have enough left over to store away.

$8.99 per 100-gram bag. Available at eatable.com.

ExploreMade in Georgia food products
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Asheville mix popcorn from Poppy Hand-Crafted Popcorn. Courtesy of Poppy Hand-Crafted Popcorn

Credit: Handout

Asheville mix popcorn from Poppy Hand-Crafted Popcorn. Courtesy of Poppy Hand-Crafted Popcorn

Credit: Handout

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Asheville mix popcorn from Poppy Hand-Crafted Popcorn. Courtesy of Poppy Hand-Crafted Popcorn

Credit: Handout

Credit: Handout

Asheville mix popcorn from Poppy Hand-Crafted Popcorn

Ginger Murphy Frank of Poppy Hand-Crafted Popcorn started her company in 2014 in Asheville, North Carolina, with one flavor: salted caramel. Seven years later, her popcorn still is made in Asheville, but now comes in a dizzying array of flavors: chili cheese; parmesan and black pepper; Kansas City barbecue versus Texas barbecue versus honey barbecue; cotton candy; Southern pecan pie; dark chocolate pretzel. We could go on, but we stopped with the Asheville mix. It’s a combination of salted caramel and white cheddar. The combination is addictive, and just a bit tilted to the salted caramel side. The combination of sweet and salty just might be, as they claim, the perfect pairing. Purchase the AVL Artist Bag and $2 is donated to the Asheville High School Hands Up program, providing students and families with educational resources. With bags also labeled for Florida, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee and Texas, and each filled with salted caramel popcorn, we’re hoping a Georgia bag will be available soon.

$5.50 per snack bag containing 2.5 cups of popcorn. $6.25 to $11.50 per market bags with 5 cups of popcorn. $13 per AVL Artist Bag with 9 cups of popcorn. Available at Whole Foods Market, Archer Paper Goods at Ponce City Market, Atlanta Botanical Garden, Sweet Inman’s Candies at Krog Street Market, Intown Ace Hardware in Decatur, Oak Grove Market, Erika Reade, Simply Fresh Market, the Front Porch Market and Swoozie’s Buckhead. Also available at poppyhandcraftedpopcorn.com.

Explore3 fun ways to enjoy Georgia popcorn

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