[NFCA volunteer Annsley Klehr has been a hit over at NFCA’s staff blog, so we invited her to join our reviewers at Gluten-Free Hot Products. Annsley will be sharing her take on the newest gluten-free foods to hit store shelves.]
Have you ever dug around in the bottom of the popcorn bowl for those half-popped kernels? If so, your digging days are done! Meet Halfpops, an air-popped kernel that is naturally gluten-free and nut-free. It’s produced in a dedicated facility and certified gluten-free! According to their website, Halfpops also has zero grams of trans fat, no corn syrup, no artificial flavors, no hydrogenated oils, no preservatives, and no negativity. It’s the perfect grab-and-go treat.
Since I am always keeping an eye out for new gluten-free products, I spied Halfpops while reading Triumph Dining’s blog. I then decided to call the company and talk to the co-owner, Kevin Meagher. Kevin and his co-founder Mike Fitzgerald, a former racecar driver, began as soccer league buddies. Mike, after acquiring the patent for this product, would spend his spare time trying to perfect a half-popped kernel in his kitchen for the next 2 years. He invited Kevin over to sample his product, and together they created Halfpops, LLC. The two partners do all their own popping and bagging.
It was great fun to catch up with Kevin on the phone, but once my friend and I started sampling Halfpops, we realized the fun had just begun. The two flavors on the market are: Natural Butter & Pure Ocean Sea Salt and Natural Aged White Cheddar. Both flavors lent themselves to that satisfying crunch with a subtle punch of flavor. Though reminiscent of CornNuts, Halfpops are healthier and more delectable with a gentler but BIG crunch. For those who crave the bottom of the bowl kernels, these are as good as it gets. They are completely addicting and healthy for snacking. Even the dog couldn’t get enough of the Halfpops that fell to the floor!
The butter and salt flavor had a light, salty flavor and buttery aftertaste, while the aged cheddar had a subtle cheesy flavor. Both are equally enjoyable, depending on the kind of mood you’re in. As for me who loves cheese on everything, I prefer the natural aged white cheddar. It’s a snack the whole family can enjoy!
We thought to try Halfpops in other recipes and venues, so here are a few ideas:
As of now, the only downfall is that Halfpops are only available on the West Coast, but you can order them online.
A special thanks to Halfpops for kindly sending us samples and allowing us to review their fantastic product!
Gluten Freedoms, LLC