Easter has come and gone and so has my salty crunchy fast. Yes, it's been three weeks. Never mind that. At first, I was a little concerned that my tastebuds had changed. I wasn't sure if foods were actually too salty or if it was just the shock of having salty crunchy foods again. In fact, I was a little concerned that I wasn't enjoying them as much as I did before. Or maybe I enjoyed them too much before? In any event, this reverse tastebud shock still has me questioning all my reviews of the salty crunchy until THIS not-popcorn! Needless to say since the initial writing of this review, I'm back to my old salty crunchy ways and this was the gateway snack.
Love the cartoonish packaging! Gluten free y'all!
"You know about half-baked right? But what about partially popped? This special variety of popcorn is processed using a proprietary method to produce the little crunchies usually found in the bottom of the popcorn bowl, but with a texture that makes them almost addictive and easier on the jaw! There is a crunch in every kernel, but no fluff."
From the packaging I was expecting something halfway between a corn nut and those unpopped kernels left in the bottom of the popcorn bowl, as per product description. Admittedly, they are not the best looking little guys. I definitely let out a shudder when I opened the bag. They weren't kidding about the unpopped kernels thing - I mean look at them. Not very pretty, but I'd rather have something look subpar than taste subpar. This snack is pretty much all the addicting components of a good snack - it's salty, buttery (definitely the REAL BUTTER that makes the flavor profile on point), and satisfyingly crunchy. And they're so small you can just pop 'em like no tomorow. I don't know how they made these crunchy but not jaw-breaking (unless you're a grandma or a baby who lacks teeth. Be warned it's a choking hazard for babies y'all, but it's not on the package so nobody sue TJ's okay?).
And for the nerds out there that MUST KNOW, TJ's was so kind to provide a further in-depth explanation. Apparently, the method is patent pending.
"Our supplier uses a proprietary method in which they first steam a special hybrid of so-called “mushroom” kernels (instead of the fluffier, “butterfly” variety enjoyed in theaters), before heating them in canola oil to a state of half
$2.49 for a 6 oz package is not the best deal but not terrible either. Look at them fingers. Butter dust and salt. Delicious. Happy noms. I'd totally be eating them now if not for my wisdom toothlessness.
TL;DR: Trader Joe's Partially Popped Popcorn. Half-popped, salty, buttery, and non-jawbreakingly crunchy. 8 out of 10.
*edit 2/14/17: 2 years later, perhaps my tastebuds have changed but these partially popped babies are SALTY. Like really salty. Whaaaaaat. Minus 1 point. 7 out of 10.