Casual gourmet snack: A bag of Halfpops and a glass of Samuel Adams Irish Red Ale. Photography by Jaclyn Nussbaum | THE NIBBLE.
|WHAT IT IS: Half-popped popcorn kernels.
|WHY IT’S DIFFERENT: It combines the softness and corniness of popcorn with a crunchy outer “shell.”
WHY WE LOVE IT: It is so addictively good—and as a whole grain, it’s good for you, too.
|WHERE TO BUY IT: Halfpops.com, 16 two-ounce bags, $23.84; 12 seven-ounce bags, $45.48. There is currently free shipping.
Halfpops: A Crunchy Popcorn Delight
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CAPSULE REPORT: If you grew up loving CornNuts,* as we did, take note: The gourmet version has arrived.
Some people dig through the popcorn bowl to find those crunchy, half-popped kernels that taste even better than the fully popped corn.
Halfpops is an entire bag of them. Smaller than a fully popped kernel, they’ve got the soft popped portion on the inside while the kernel remains crunchy on the outside.
It was love at first bite for us. These little nuggets are a go-to snack whenever we need something crunchy and salty.
We’re now addicted to Halfpops, but that’s a good thing: Halfpops are healthy snacks (more on that below).
We use Halfpops as recipe ingredients, too. Try them:
- At Breakfast: With a bowl of Cream of Wheat or Cream of Rice cereal (or with Halfpops’ fellow whole-grainer, oatmeal). Cook the cereal, stir in a tablespoon of grated Parmesan cheese and garnish with Halfpops.
- At Lunch: Add Halfpops to salads and soups, instead of croutons.
- At Dinner: Embellish any vegetable or grain, from mashed potatoes to green beans to rice; or scatter Halfpops as a plate garnish.
- For Dessert: Sprinkle atop ice cream or pudding (sweet, salty and crunchy: yum).
- An Anytime Snack: With anything from beer or soft drinks to wine or Champagne.
*Corn nuts are a different product: They are deep-fried corn kernels, not air-popped popcorn like Halfpops.
Halfpops Are Good For You
Halfpops are certified gluten-free and are also nut-free. They’re all-natural, with zero sugar or preservatives. As a whole grain product, each bag contributes 3g fiber/serving. (See why you need whole grains.)
To those who avoid milk products: Halfpops contain butter, milk and buttermilk.
Halfpops are currently available in two flavors, Natural Butter & Sea Salt and Natural Aged White Cheddar. Each one-ounce serving contains 130 calories and 260 mg salt. You can vote for the next flavor (we hope it will be Kettle Corn).
The Seattle-area company is in the process of rolling out nationally. For now, you can order online or ask your retailer to contact them directly. Don’t wait.
Personally, we’d like to buy them in a large bulk sack.
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We recommend the History Of Popcorn, a favorite snack since 3600 B.C.E.