Opopop Brings Unique Flavors to Microwave Popcorn

Opopop Popcorn
Opopop is creating a new way to make flavored popcorn at home. TYLER HAYES

There's always room for popcorn—it's kind of like Jello in that way. Popcorn is a perfect snack for a lot of reasons, but it can get a little boring. Opopop is looking to shake up the popcorn space with lots of interesting flavors that are as easy to make as a microwavable 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 the same way, with Opopop's popcorn popper and lid, taking only a few minutes.

I wasn't expecting to be evaluating a new take on popcorn—I thought that food item was done innovating. And yet, I'm also someone constantly scanning the grocery store aisle for any new flavor powders to sprinkle on my popcorn. I still want more from it than a little butter or salt, so I have been loving tasting my way through the multitude of flavors offered by Opopop. Anyone looking for a new way to snack without turning to sweets should give this homemade gourmet popcorn a taste.

TL;DR

Pros:

  • Plenty of flavor options
  • As simple to make as a bag of microwave popcorn

Cons:

  • Clean up can be messy
  • More expensive than traditional microwavable popcorn

Buy at Opopop.

How Opopop Works

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

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

I found the popping to take exactly the same amount of time that a traditional bag of popcorn, but Opopop provides a test pouch just to be sure. The pop cups contain fewer kernels than the Flavor Wrapped kernel pouches. I set the smaller amount for 20 seconds less, and it worked great. Once it's done popping, give the bowl a few shakes and it's ready to eat. The pop cups provide a single serving not suitable for sharing, while the pouches of Flavor Wrapped kernels provide enough for sharing two small portions.

All the 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 cleanup. Making popcorn in the popper is easy—but cleanup is a bit more involved.

The Flavor Wrapped kernels make the most mess. They splatter their seasoning around the popper, onto the lid and in some cases onto the top of the lid through its holes. The results can be a bit greasy, so simply rinsing the bowl is not an option. You really need to use hot water and soap and to scrub it out the popper with a sponge or dish brush.

Opopop Popcorn
Some flavors make more of a mess than other ones, and cleanup can be slightly involved. TYLER HAYES

Cleaning the popper is by no means a deal breaker when it comes to asking whether Opopop is worth trying, but it feels disproportionate to how easy and fast the popcorn is to make.

Popcorn Flavors

The list of current flavors includes the following options:

  • Vanilla Cake Pop
  • Cinnalicious
  • Maui Heat
  • Chedapeño
  • Fancy Butter
  • Salted Umami
  • Salty Caramel*
  • Like Buddahh*
  • 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 for coating the popcorn favors one method or the other. I would love a big bag of Salty Caramel, for example, but it only comes in the smaller pop cup.

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

I have tasted all of the options. Before any popcorn hit my tongue I was enthusiastic about half of the selections. After trying them, I still remain enthusiastic about half of the flavors—just not the ones I had initially thought. I'm not usually into caramel, but I think Salty Caramel is my favorite. It's the perfect mix of sweet and savory that works for most snack times. I find it's always desirable no matter the circumstance.

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

I did enjoy Maui Heat (a slightly spicy pineapple flavor) and Vanilla Cake Pop, which was more pronounced and substantive than the hint of vanilla in Vanilla Vanilla, but these options are a bit more opinionated taste-wise. I found myself needing to be in the mood for a pop of flavor.

The Chedapeño, Cinnalicious, Salted Umami and Vanilla Vanilla were each fine to eat once, but I didn't find myself considering buying more. I think the Chedapeño needs a bit of a reworking, too, because its aroma and taste don't quite align as they should. It smelled of cheddar, but it didn't taste like it. It was also the only one that made the house smell long after it had been made.

After working my way through these flavors and finding a few I really like, I want even more choices to try. Hopefully, the company will continue to put out 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 is not going to make people who hate getting the kernels stuck in their teeth change their minds on this food. You'll need to enjoy eating popcorn to jump into what Opopop is offering. Plus, getting started here is a minor investment, beginning with the popcorn popper. Be aware that even once you do begin with the bowl and some kernels, it's still not the cheapest way to snack.

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

Buy a starter kit at Opopop for $24.99.

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