18 April 2012

May The Crunch Be With You!

Bacon + Popcorn = Winning!
Hello, my name is Rick, and I'm a popcornaholic. Popcorn and I go way back. Way, way back. While I don't recall when I first tried some, I do remember it being my afternoon snack all through elementary & middle school. Maybe even into high school. Most weekday afternoons, I enjoyed relaxing with some popcorn and afternoon cartoons before doing my homework.



Popcorn pot similar to the kind I used growing up
Mom would use a popcorn pan on the gas stove to cook the kernels in butter or canola oil with some salt. Before long, I popped my own. It was a sad day if no kernels were available for popping.


Fast forward to today and I still love me some corn. There's no popcorn pan but there's usually at least one microwave bag in the pantry. No, it's not an every weekday afternoon treat. Every so often, G will request some as her after-school snack and we'll share some. But more often, I reserve my cravings for the popped goodness found at the movie theater. Since we don't go to the movies often, I find sharing a rather large amount acceptable.

However, after eating CrunchDaddy popcorn, I'm clearly now spoiled to all other forms! Oh. My. Pop. Corn! This stuff is amazing and addictive.

CrunchDaddy is the the manifestation of Dan Bazis's dream. I already adore this dude just because he loves popcorn. And he has made a local business out of it! And it's unbelievably good! Do I sound excited?

At first, I thought CrunchDaddy might be a local store. So many of these exist in Columbia, Maryland, we're always finding a new and unique retail store in some random business strip. I love me some local businesses! While Dan may wish to do retail stores in the future, this passion right now is delivered via mail and free delivery in Howard County.

Using the CrunchDaddy website is super easy and little did I know at the time that my order would reward me with a free 1/2 gallon of Peanut Butter popcorn! Epic score!

The order took four days to fill which is an eternity if you have a hankering. However, I went into this understanding that Dan makes his dreamy creation when it's ordered. So, I'd be getting some pretty darn fresh popcorn delivered to my door!

It arrived when the family was out to eat which was a bummer because I wanted to meet Dan! The bounty contained two 1-gallon ziplock bags. One containing Caramel & Peanut Crunch and the other with Sweet Butter Crunch. Also there were two half-gallon bags. One containing Chesapeake Crunch and the other with Maple & Bacon Crunch. Yes, each name ends with crunch. This is CrunchDaddy, after all.

I had to try the Maple & Bacon Crunch first. Bacon on popcorn?! Oh, glory, yes. There's little bits and chunks clearly visible. The half-gallon bag was sealed for freshness and what I found inside exceeded my expectations. Neither the maple or bacon flavors are over-powering. The blend is like a Saturday morning breakfast, coating fresh popcorn with crunchy-chewy perfection. Yes, I said chewy but not in a stale popcorn nor in a stick-to-your-teeth way. This is a perfect chewiness. You won't be digging corn from your teeth and your fingers won't be coated in sticky residue as common experiences with some flavored popcorn experiences.

I had to walk away from the bag. There were other flavors awaiting sampling.

Next up, the Chesapeake Crunch. Unsealing the bag, my nose detected the ever-slight aroma of Old Bay. Now, even a true-Marylander might be concerned about Old Bay on popcorn. But this mixture is outstanding because it's not just the salty-spicy seasoning. There's also some sweetness mixed in which is unexpected and tones down the Old Bay. Again, no sticky fingers and any seasoning that gets on your fingers easily comes off with a couple finger-rubbings.

Moving onto the Peanut Butter Crunch. Every exploded kernel is coated with finely ground peanuts. That's right! Not Peanut Butter flavored seasoning - that's the real deal, baby! It's delightful! Again, the flavor isn't overpowering and it doesn't stick to your fingers!

Next up, the Carmel & Peanut Crunch. Imagine any caramel corn you've tried. Anything from Ocean City or Cracker Jack. After trying this flavor, you'll never want another version. The caramel itself is nothing short of the smooth, rich goodness of Werther's Original Caramels. No light coatings either. Again, every exploded kernel is well-dressed in the delicious caramel. Still there's nothing sticky about these delights, and you won't have kernels mashed into your back molars.

Last, but not least, is the Sweet Butter Crunch. Imagine kettle corn but popped by angels. Wow. It's buttery. It's sweet. It's crunchy. Being the slightest of the flavorings, it'll make you want to devour more.

There's several other flavors to try and we'll try them in the near future, I'm quite sure. But for now there'll be plenty of sharing of the current flavors. CrunchDaddy is too good not to share. Plus, sharing keeps Dan's masterful dream alive. His ways of the Crunch are strong. May the Crunch be with you...soon!