Recently my mother came to stay with me and mentioned she’d had some savoury popcorn and wanted to try some more. The next time I was in the supermarket guess who came to the rescue? Correct – it was Heston. He has 2 varieties of popcorn a sea salted caramel flavour and a curry spiced flavour. I grabbed a bag of the curry spiced stuff for mother and as it was nearly Christmas and I was about to go and weep at “It’s A Wonderful Life” in the cinema I bought a bag of the sea salted stuff too.
I settled into the cinema seat with tear ducts loaded and as the trailers started I opened the bag of sea salted caramel. I stuffed a handful in and they were delicious, sweet, sticky and buttery. In fact there was not much between this Heston offering and Butterkist, in a blind tasting I reckon i’d have been pushed, maybe Heston’s were a bit firmer but taste wise they were not far apart. This is no bad thing, Butterkist is great, I love the stuff so if Heston can’t better it then no problem. There is a problem though; Heston promised me sea salted caramel popcorn, not just Butterkist in different packaging and I could not taste the sea salt. My cinema companions Sally and Naomi (www.naomiishungry.wordpress.com) had differing opinions Sally fell on my side and was struggling to find the salt, Naomi with her palate of distinction said she could detect it so perhaps i’m being unfair to poor Heston.
Anyway onto the curry spiced stuff – this is more familiar Heston territory, a popcorn flavoured with curry – outrageous. First of all it tastes just like the sea salted stuff i.e. Butterkist, but then it moves away from the sweet and into spicy hot with coriander mixed in. It is disgusting and weird. Not one to be put off by first impressions I keep eating this nasty stuff, after time my palate adjusts and I find it less and less offensive although I never tip into enjoyment. Just to be sure I keep trying it every few hours, and each time the horror hits me afresh. I share the stuff around to get a concensus and everyone agrees it is grim and won’t be bought again.
Heston from Waitrose Popcorn – £1.59 for 125g bag.
Sea Salted Caramel – 6/10
Curry Spiced – 2/10