This time of year, when everyone else is screaming for ice cream, I crave one thing: kettle corn. Give me the sweet and salty, the ying and the yang, and I’ll show you a happy camper. For a long time, I thought all kettle corns were created equal. How much different could it be from one art fair to the next? But as my addiction to kettle corn has grown, I’ve become more sensitive to the times when I have to root around for the “good” pieces—those glossy, extra-sugary kernels (akin to the cheesiest chips in a bag of Doritos. You know what I’m talking about.). Other times, the corn isn’t salted enough to counter the sweetness, which results in a blandness that reminds me of Kix cereal.
This week, on impulse, I picked up a bag of Angie’s Kettle Corn at Whole Foods. I had no idea it was made by a couple in Mankato, MN, until I was elbow-deep in the bag. Angie and Dan Bastian started popping it in their basement nine years ago—now they’re the official kettle corn providers of the Twins and Vikings. They only use four ingredients: popcorn, corn oil, cane sugar, and sea salt. And it totally works. Each big fluffy kernel is laced with the perfect balance of sugar and salt. I’ll take two scoops, please.