An Open Letter to Angie

Hey Ang,

I hope that summer has treated you well and that the world of artisan treatmaking is thriving! I myself am finding that this fall is already rife with opportunities in both seasonal and artisan treat-eating, and of course for the latter I largely have you to thank. Now that winter is fast approaching I’m sure that you have several icing-drenched Holidrizzlepopcorns all queued up to torment me and my willpower. And gosh Angie, you know I love you for it. But until then I’m afraid I have a bone to pick with you.

Now Angie, like I said, you know I love you. You know I love your kettle corn, and I also from time to time even eat your plain popcorn and I don’t even like plain popcorn. And yourmagical iced popcorn is nothing if not delicious. But lately, Angie, I gotta say. You have become a bit shifty. You are no longer keeping it real, and more recently also I think you may have lost your mind. I am here to intervene, as a friend, before it is too late.

I think we both know where this all started: Boom Chicka Puff. Cute name, like Boom Chicka Pop! But you are making cheesey puffs now, so of course you’ve gotta pounce on that cute little substitution. Angie being Angie. So clever. But these aren’t just cheesey puffs, they are ANCIENT GRAIN cheesey puffs. What you only put corn in your cheesey puffs? Pshaw! For peasants! We shall have quinoa and sorghum in our artisan cheese puffs, or artisan cheese puffs they shall not be.

And you didn’t just stop at Boom Chicka (Cheesey) Puffs, you broke the mold and opened our eyes to a whole new world of puffs. Boom Chicka Barbecue Puffs. Boom Chicka “sweet and salty” puffs (btw Angie you aren’t fooling anyone my wife figured out like immediately that this is just Waffle Crisp cereal in cheesey puff form). We feasted on ancient grains and laughed in the face of gluten and lived in blissful denial of our Cartman-esque existence and it was good.

And then, today, I step into Target, and discover a new monstrosity on the shelf. Boom Chicka Bites by Boomchickapop Ancient Grain Popcorn Clusters. Angie, girlfriend, you are like a snake eating its own tail. Angie, you ARE NOW GLUING GLUTEN-FREE ANCIENT GRAINS TO YOUR GLUTEN-FREE POPCORN WITH GLUTEN-FREE DRIED CANE SUGAR SYRUP. Get ahold of yourself, woman. The day you slapped the Ancient Grain logo on your motherfucking sugar-coated flavored popcorn is the day I lost all respect for you. I am urging you to see the light. I am urging you to slowly back away from the puffed amaranth, set down the vat of tapioca syrup, take a deep breath, and look at what you have created. I am about to smack you in the face with a cold hard dose of reality.

Angie. ANGIE.

Let’s call a spade a motherfucking spade.


Yes Angie, it contains nothing but ingredients I will love. I know Angie, it is cholesterol free, whole grain, and certified gluten-free. AND IT IS 100% COATED IN SUGAR.


Yes Angie, I know. It IS, totally fantastical, yes. You are totally fantastical. You are the pride of North Mankato, Minnesota. I’m just asking you to dial back a bit on the ancient grain talk and admit it when you act like you are re-inventing a food item so old that it appears prominently in a song that is part of the public domain, and while you are at it maybe also stop pretending it is healthy.

It’s ok, Angie, it’s gonna be ok. They’re still delicious, and I’ll always be here for you.


The Curious Shopper

PS Please let me know where I can find the Mixed Berry Boom Chicka Bites and also the Salt and Vinegar popcorn.

PPS And the Sweet and Spicy popcorn.

PPPS And the Caramel Cheddar mix. Kthx.

Sriracha Yo Mouth

Oh gee wiz, your football team just got manhandled by nerds again and your hopes of a respectable season have been trampled up the middle by [insert QB here] playing against Justin Wilcox’s defense.

What are you gonna do? Are you gonna wallow on your couch drinking Fireball whiskey watching a Chris Rock hosting SNL rerun? No, that is what you did last season! This season you are going to man up and review some miscellaneous things that contain popcorn and/or sriracha while watching a Chris Rock hosting SNL rerun! And remember, it could be worse: this heartbreaking loss could have ended at 2am and there would be no SNL rerun to be had. Count your blessings, grab some popcorn, lets go:

Trader Joes Sriracha Ranch Dressing


Contains: Sriracha

If you are the kind of person who eats a salad and thinks “hey, what this needs is about a quarter cup of Sriracha doused on top” you are the only person who should buy this Sriracha salad dressing. Except you actually shouldn’t, because you probably already have Sriracha in your fridge and you should just go ahead and use that. And if you don’t you should just go to the store and buy some more sriracha because you like it and you should have it around and it probably has way less calories than this salad dressing anyways and also you are weird.

Sriracha Peanut Gelato


Contains: Sriracha

I found this, of course, at the amazing Marty’s. I had high hopes. I am not sure if this is at all related to the phenomenon where you drink milk to alleviate spice because the capsacin in your mouth is lipophilic (yeah take that, FurdNerds, I know science too) and is better washed away by milk fats than water, but this ice cream is not spicy at all until it hits basically the back of your throat/top of your esophagus. It made me cough, kind of like the weird olive oil I tasted in Madrid. Oh god this is the Prince episode of SNL. Anyways, it is a quite unpleasant sensation. So essentially, not anything that Prince would know anything about. Basically the opposite of a kiss on the neck (when she doesn’t expect it).

Trader Joes Pickle Popcorn


Contains: Popcorn

Full disclosure: I have called a LOT of hypothetical readers weird in the year that I’ve been writing this blog (fun fact: today is the one year anniversary of this blog!) Well here is (one of) my weird things: I love drinking juice out of pickle jars. Don’t worry, germaphobes, I don’t do it until the jar is empty. But yeah, if you like pickles, and particularly if you like drinking juice out of pickle jars, then this is the popcorn for you. A++ excellent transaction would do business again. Buy a bag every time I go to TJs. I’m sure they’ll discontinue it tomorrow.

Maple Bacon Popcorn


Contains: Popcorn

My mom sent me this. My mom is awesome. I couldn’t find it and chronicled my search for it and my mom sent me two bags in the mail last spring. I ate it all, forgot to review it, but then I found it again, here in Boston! Great. Now I can have maple bacon popcorn whenever I want! This popcorn walks a fine line of not living up to my expectations but also not disappointing me. It is like the Ed Orgeron of popcorns. For one thing, I think this popcorn is too smoky/bacony. It mapley enough, but there is not quite enough sweetness to bring out the maple properly. BUT, it can be fixed! If you mix it 1:1 with the kettle corn of your choosing, you have popcorn magic. Don’t be afraid to get creative with your popcorn, folks. YOLO.

Wasabi Popcorn


Contains: Popcorn

Jesus Mary Joseph don’t eat this it is the single most unpleasant wasabi experience I have ever had in my life and I have possibly drunkedly snorted it on a dare in college.

Sriracha Peas


Contains: Sriracha

Jesus Christ! Too spicy! This is terrible!

Now at this point you are probably thinking, ok, Lauren, it is just really clear at this point that you are like the Justin Wilcox of spicy food, you are just a wimp and can’t handle anything thrown at you that is probably why all the reviewers of @Chili Thai Bistro are mad at you for saying the food was too spicy on Yelp. But wait! There is one more!

Sriracha Popcorn


Contains: Popcorn AND Sriracha

Holy crap this stuff is delicious! Salty! Spicy (mildly)! Buttery! The kernels are a LITTLE small:


but unlike Steve Sarkisian and Pat Haden, I forgive them. This stuff is great, but good luck finding it. I got it at Wegmans and it isn’t there anymore. Oh well. Maybe next season.