Opopop brings unique flavors to microwave popcorn

There’s always room for popcorn – it’s kind of a Jello that way. Popcorn is a perfect snack for many reasons, but it can get a little boring. Opopop aims to shake up the popcorn space with lots of interesting flavors that are as easy to make as a microwave-safe bag.

Opopop offers two different options: a smaller, more snackable size with pop cups and a slightly larger bag of Flavor Wrapped kernels. Both pop in the microwave in the same way, with Opopop’s popcorn popper and lid, which only takes a few minutes.

I wasn’t expecting to evaluate a new take on popcorn — I thought that food was done innovating. And yet I’m also someone who constantly scans the grocery aisle for new flavor powders to sprinkle on my popcorn. I still want more of it than a little butter or salt, so I’ve had a lot of fun working my way through the multitude of flavors Opopop offers. Anyone looking for a new way to snack without reaching for candy should give this homemade gourmet popcorn a try.

TL;DR

Pros

  • Many flavor options
  • As easy to make as a bag of microwave popcorn

cons

  • Cleaning up can be messy
  • More expensive than traditional microwave popcorn

Buy at Opopop.

How Opopop works

Each serving and flavor comes in its own package.
TYLER HAYES

Opopop changes the flavors of popcorn and how those flavors are applied to popcorn, but the cooking process is very familiar. Open a package of kernels in any of their available forms and dump them into the popper. Put the lid of the Opopop popper on and microwave it for about 2 to 4 minutes, depending on your oven.

I found that popping took exactly the same amount of time as a traditional bag of popcorn, but Opopop offers a test bag just in case. The pop cups contain fewer seeds than the Flavor Wrapped seed bags. I set the smaller amount 20 seconds less and it worked fine. When it’s done popping, shake the bowl a few times and it’s ready to eat. The pop cups provide a single serving not suitable for sharing, while the sachets of Flavor Wrapped Kernels are sufficient for sharing two small servings.

All flavors are gluten-free and non-GMO, and all except Fancy Butter are vegan. The popper is BPA-free and dishwasher safe. This brings me to the cleanup. Making popcorn in the popper is easy, but cleanup is a little more complicated.

The Flavor Wrapped Granules make the most mess. They splash their herbs around the popper, on the lid and in some cases on the top of the lid through the holes. The results can be a little greasy, so just rinsing the bowl isn’t an option. You have to use really hot soapy water and scrub it out of the popper with a sponge or dish brush.

Opopop Popcorn
Some flavors make more of a mess than others, and cleanup can be a bit involved.
TYLER HAYES

Cleaning the popper certainly isn’t a deal breaker when it comes to whether Opopop is worth a try, but it feels disproportionate to how easy and quick the popcorn is to make.

Popcorn Flavors

The list of current flavors includes the following options:

  • Vanilla Cake Pop
  • cinnamon-like
  • Maui Heat
  • Chedapeno
  • Fancy Butter
  • Salted Umami
  • Salty Caramel*
  • Like Buddah*
  • Vanilla Vanilla*
  • Lightly salted*

*These flavors are only available in pop cups.

Some flavors are available in pop cups and some are flavor wrapped kernels. I suspect this is because the different methods of coating the popcorn favor one method or the other. For example, I’d really like a big bag of Salty Caramel, but it’s only in the smaller pop cup.

Opopop Popcorn
Cinnalicious has a visible layer of cinnamon spice.
TYLER HAYES

I have tasted all options. Before popcorn hit my tongue, I was excited about half of the selections. After trying them, I’m still raving about half of the flavors – just not the ones I originally thought. Normally I’m not a big fan of caramel, but I think Salty Caramel is my favorite. It’s the perfect blend of sweet and savory suitable for most snacking moments. I always find it desirable, regardless of the circumstances.

I also especially liked the Fancy Butter, the buttery Like Buddahh and the Lightly Salted options. I could eat these anytime. But they are also the most generic of flavors.

I enjoyed Maui Heat (a slightly spicy pineapple flavor) and Vanilla Cake Pop, which were more pronounced and substantive than the hint of vanilla in Vanilla Vanilla, but these options are a bit more quirky in flavor. I found I had to be in the mood for a whiff of flavor.

The Chedapeño, Cinnalicious, Salted Umami, and Vanilla Vanilla were both fine to eat once, but I didn’t consider buying more. I think the Chedapeño also needs a bit of a revamp as the aroma and taste don’t quite line up as they should. It smelled like cheddar, but it didn’t taste like it. It was also the only one that made the house smell long after it was made.

After working my way through these flavors and finding a few that I really like, I want to try some more choices. Hopefully, the company will continue to release new selections and maybe even introduce some limited seasonal runs like candy corn around Halloween or peppermint around Christmas.

Opopop Popcorn
The Opopop popper is collapsible for easy storage.
TYLER HAYES

Should you buy Opopop?

Adding some flavor to popcorn will help people who hate getting the grains stuck between their teeth won’t change their mind about this food. You have to enjoy eating popcorn to see what Opopop has to offer. Plus, it’s a small investment to get started here, starting with the popcorn popper. Keep in mind that even once you start with the bowl and some grains, it’s still not the cheapest way to snack.

But people who like popcorn and are flexible enough to consider something other than a lightly salted option will find a truly enjoyable snack. The cleanup process is more involved than throwing out a popcorn bag, but I think the taste is worth it.

Buy a starter kit from Opopop for $24.99.

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