Gourmet popcorn: A snack trend takes off

Categories: The Sweet Life
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I'm Me: Xiao Wen
Nothing fills your cubemates with covetous lust quite like the smell of your bag of freshly popped popcorn wafting through the office. It's the perfect midday snack or after-dinner treat. 

Whether you crave insanely fattening movie popcorn or the uber-healthy homemade air-popped version, it's a pretty uninspired snack. Honestly, when's the last time you thought, "Popcorn, now that's different/new/interesting?" 

But several gourmet options filtering into the popcorn market could shake up your snack world.. 

We don't want to shock you with all of the innovative flavors out there, so we'll easy you into it with Mankato-based Angie's Kettle Corn

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Mama's Cool Things
A classic with a sweet twist.

These light, airy batches are where salt and sugar come to play nicely. The company's artisan popcorn is made in small batches in real kettles for a touch of authenticity that you can't match with microwavable bags. Even Martha Stewart has taken notice and featured the founding couple, Dan and Angie Bastian, on her show last month. Order online at angieskettlecorn.com or pick some up today from Cub or any of the other numerous local shops that carry the brand. 

OK, so maybe you've already had Angie's, and you're ready to branch out. The Oprah-endorsed 479° Popcorn is the result of a lot of trial and error that results in really unconventional popcorn flavors. 

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Interior Design Room
Mama Oprah gave this one the thumbs up.

Le Courdon Bleu-trained founder Jean Arnold experimented with her popcorn by adding exotic seasonings and fiddling with the popping temperature. When she discovered that 479 degrees is the optimal heat setting, she began creating flavors like Ginger Sesame Caramel, Madras Curry Coconut and Cashew, and Black Truffle White Cheddar. Can't decide which to try first? Choose from the four five-flavor collections: the Foodie, the Globe Trotter, the Purist, and the Sweet Tooth. Order online at 479popcorn.com.

Still not finding a creative combo that interests you? Follow Popcorn Face's (@popcornface) tweets to get a current (and frequently updated) full list of gourmet popcorn vendors. You can also ooh and aah over other people's popcorn face submissions like these in the site's gallery. 

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Popcorn Face
Do you ever get that feeling someone's watching you?
Whether it's a ghoulish vampire, a fluffy poodle, or a pig, chances are you're nibbling on a gallery-worthy popcorn face.

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