Saturday, February 13, 2010
Herr's Puff'n Corn: Cheese Flavor
We have my sister from another mother -- Net -- to thank for this review. We were preparing dinner in her New Jersey apartment, when she made the mistake of pulling out a bag of these Puff'n Corn things and asking me if I wanted to try them. Little did I know the delicious evil that lurked inside the harmless-looking cellophane!
You see, folks, until that moment -- while I had heard of the Herr's brand -- I had never tried any of their products, as they are unfortunately not sold on the West Coast. My biggest exposure to them came via the "Grief Counseling" episode of the U.S. version of The Office, in which Jim and Karen spend the day looking for her favorite flavor of Herr's chips that are sold out from the office's vending machine.
If Jim and Karen were looking for this flavor, then I completely understand why they felt the need to blow off work and hunt them down. (At my job we call such activities "getting fired," and I am not so sure Jim's job is safe any more either. After all, Jay Leno isn't on in the eight o'clock hour...yet.)
These puffs are described as a hulless puffed popped corn (that, in this case, happens to be cheese flavored). These snacks are all about the texture. Looking at them, I feared that since they looked a little like Styrofoam packing peanuts, that they might taste like them as well...oh, no!
Imagine the tasty love child of a piece of regular popcorn and an old school Planters Cheese Ball. (Modern-day cheese puffs are kinda close, but those who remember the Planters Balls will better understand). As you bite into the puff there is a crunch that, while satisfying, doesn't threaten to cut your gums open. (Yes, Cheetos Giant, I am talking smack about you). But at the same time, once you're through the outer shell, there is an almost chewy inside, rather than the scratchy nothingness that is often at the center of a cheese puff.
The cheese flavor is good. I mean, it's standard issue powdered artificial cheese flavoring. It's hard for it to be bad (or really great). It's salty, but not excessively so. And at the same time I wouldn't call it bland either. There a distinct popcorn flavor, and it's a little buttery. And it's a bright enough orange that should you need a snack for an impending hunting trip, this could be perfect!
Poor Net. She created a monster. I ate her bag, made us go get another, and then spent the night trying to sneak rogue puffs into everything from the salad to the chicken to the apple pie. I am sure that it was every bit as pathetic to watch as it is to read about. All I know is that no cheese puff from here on out will ever be as good.
(A special shout out to Tony for posing "Jersey Shore" style for this newest rating!)
Shop Rite supermarket
150 per 1 ounce serving