Snack Review: Jolly Time Healthy Pop Caramel Apple Popcorn
I’ve been on my Fall foods kick as of late, chowing down on all the classic tastes and textures that we associate with Autumn. Two of those classic fall flavors are those of caramel apples and kettle korn, childhood favorites of mine that always seems to bring me back to Fall festivals and apple orchids in Western Maryland. But what to do if you can’t get fresh caramel apples or kettle korn?
The answer is to give Jolly Time’s Healthy Pop Caramel Apple Popcorn a try, especially considering that October is National Popcorn month. I had actually heard about this product a couple of years ago, but only just recently found a supermarket that carries it. Already a fan of the butter and kettle korn flavors of Jiffy Pops “Healthy Pop” line, I just had to try out this seasonally appropriate flavor.
A fair warning: this flavor is particularly hard to find, although the box of three bags I bought was on sale for $2.29 (plus I had a .50 cents coupon), making this a pretty good deal. Many companies make “94% Fat Free” popcorn which usually come in at 5-6 grams of fat and 250-300 calories per bag, but most of the butter flavors are pretty bland, because, well, actual butter tastes good. Not so with the Caramel Apple flavor. In fact, I found it a great break from ordinary ‘butter’ flavored microwave pop, and found myself digging the unique salty-sweet-spicy flavor. My first helping was, admittedly, a little bland and burnt, as the caramel apple ‘goodness’ apparently didn’t completly cover the kernals in the front part of the bag. Somewhat disappointed in my first mini bowl, I went back for seconds and thirds and found both the caramel and apple flavors more pronounced. The popcorn didn’t seem overly greasy or salty, and I would say that the lingering apple flavor reminded me of a nice cinnamon appleflavor you get from a tea packet. The caramel flavor (and the sweetness for that matter) came off as slightly artificial (because, let’s face it, they are), but I didn’t find it overly chemical tasting or off-putting, and didn’t have a problem with it. The one thing that did bother me was that the popcorn seemed to burn a little more easily than regular microwave popcorn, while the caramel-apple flavor “formula” didn’t disperse as well in the bag during popping as would have been ideal.
Whether you’re looking for a relatively healthy treat or aiming to celebrate National Popcorn month, Jolly Time’s Healthy Pop Caramel Apple has a little bit to offer for all snackers. No, it’s not the authentic, all-natural experience of a crisp fall day at your local corn field maze or apple festival, but then again nobody expects microwave popcorn to be. At around 250 calories and 5 grams of fat per bag, this is a more than reasonable snack that breaks from the ordinary, and will become a regular snacking buy for me in the future.
Pros: Unique salty-sweet flavor gives a great break from ordinary and bland popcorn. Healthy, only 250 calories per bag. Good balance of flavor with sweet caramel leading the way and spicy apple hints giving a good finish. Not greasy or overly salty.
Cons: Flavor doesn't always disperse throughout the bag with ideal consistency. Tends to burn easier than regular popcorn. Somewhat artificial taste may bug popcorn and health nut 'purists.' Partially Hydrogenated Oil.
Price: $2.29 per 3 bag box (on sale)
Overall GrubGrade: 8.00/10
More Info: JollyTime.com
Serving Size: 5 cups popped (2.5 servings per bag)
Calories from Fat: 20
Total Fat: 2g
Sat Fat: 0g
Trans Fat: 0g
Total Carb: 23g
Dietary Fiber: 7g
Sugars: Less than 1g