I am a still a popcorn amateur so forgive me in advance for any ignorance portrayed as I attempt to critique my first example. I tried ike & sam’s kickin’ cayenne out of the 7.5oz bag on an empty stomach at about 3:30PM on 6/30/08. This was my first time having it. At first indulgence, my immediate reaction yielded a “wow this is crunchy, in a non-having-to-worry-about-making-crumbs-in-my-car kind of way.” One of the best parts of popcorn is the crunch factor which is why I have decided to incorporate it into my rating system. I was very impressed by this popcorn’s crunch output.

The thing that I am now appreciating with kettle corn is the contrast between sweet and spice. To me, this is where all the equity of the popcorn lies. This particular popcorn yielded very pleasing contrast; in fact it was awesome. It starts out sweet, but not too sweet – and eases into its climax of cayenne, but not too cayenne.

In terms of this being “kickin’ cayenne”, i don’t really feel it was kickin! I actually bought this flavor hoping for an extreme sweet/extreme kick, but I didn’t really get that with this. A more apropos name would be “not-so kickin-but-not-so-bland cayenne”. More of an in-betweenish kind of burn. Some other sites I have seen stated that the kernels varied from one to another; I honestly feel completely different. I thought this popcorn had a very consistent taste. I knew what I was getting in every bite.

The most annoying thing about popcorn is the kernel thin shell. It seems to find its way into the most annoying crevices of the mouth and palate. I hate it big time, and it often deters me from eating it. This popcorn was surprisingly easy on my mouth, and I only find myself with a few loose shells now 5 hours later (eew!). I guess it depends on the over/under cooking time of the popcorn. A more well cooked kernel will likely yield less shells but more burnt taste, while a lighter cooked corn will have more fluff but more shells. At least that’s how I feel now. Either way, this wasn’t too bad.

Lastly is the smell. Nothing drives me to the concession stand like the smell of buttery popcorn. Unfortunately, this popcorn didn’t give off a great smell, but it wasn’t too bad. It actually smelled caramel-ly, which is strange because the sweetness doesn’t really have any caramel flavor to it. Not sure what to make of it, but the smell is nothing to write home about.

Well, that’s about it on this baby!

{1-10, 1 being poor and 10 being wow!}

Verdict:

Crunch Factor – 7
Sweet to Spice contrast factor – 8
Taste true to its name – 6
Kernel shell sticking to my palate element – 7
Aroma – 4

Overall: B

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