There’s a Super Bowl buzz around the offices of realfoodtraveler.com and we’ve found the perfect Big Game Snack – G.H. Cretors popcorn. With five flavors, there’s sure to be one (or more) to please your game day crowd.
Now let me first say that I’ve never been a fan of commercial popped corn. I mean, why not just fire up the popcorn popper and make your own? That was until I tried G. H. Cretors’ line of ultra-fluffy popcorn. I am sold.
Never heard of G.H .Cretors? We hadn’t either. They’re a new brand launched by a company called Cornfields, Inc., a private label manufacturer based in Waukegan, Illinois. According to their history, Great Grandpa Cretors invented a popcorn making machine in 1885 and started perfecting the art of popping corn. In 1893, his machine was featured in the Chicago Columbia Exposition. Now, five generations and 126 years later, another branch of the Cretors family is following in his corn popping footsteps, with the launch of G.H. Cretors.
The first thing our RFT editors noticed about G.H. Cretors popped corn is the large and fluffy kernels. They use special “mushroom” kernels and just the right temperatures to create big, fat kernels that are much more substantial and chewy than popped corn from your home popper.
We also appreciate the fact that the company uses no artificial colors, flavors, or preservatives in its popped corn. When you read the label on G.H. Cretors popped corn products, you won’t find long, unpronounceable words for chemicals, additives, or preservatives. Instead, there are ingredients like corn, butter, safflower oil, sweet cream, and sea salt. These are ingredients you’d use in your own kitchen.
They also pop their corn with all-natural sunflower and safflower oil that is not hydrogenated. With the studies showing trans fats are really not healthful, we appreciate a company that uses healthy oils. In addition, none of the products they use in their popped corn have been genetically modified and they use brown rice syrup (not corn syrup) to make their caramel corn.
Five Popalicious Flavors
G.H. Cretors makes five flavors of popped corn: Caramel Corn; Cheese Corn, Caramel Nut Crunch, Kettle Corn, and their flagship combo, Chicago Mix (caramel and cheese corn).
Caramel Corn– Ever since my grandmother made me caramel corn when I was young, I’ve been a caramel corn fan. However, most caramel corn is too sweet; so sweet it makes your teeth ache. Not so with the caramel corn made by G.H. Cretors.
They make their caramel corn in small batches in copper kettles and coat the big, round kernels with brown sugar, cane sugar, and brown rice syrup, which lends the popcorn a richer sweet flavor and a satisfyingly crispy coating. Because the brown rice syrup doesn’t cause the big blood sugar drop that occurs with corn syrup, I found eating a half-cup serving left me feeling surprisingly satisfied.
Cheese Corn-G.H. Cretors Cheese Corn has the same fat, rounded kernels as the caramel corn with a light cheesy flavor. Unlike other cheese corn made with artificial heese flavor or super processed “cheese food,” the real cheese used in this popcorn gives the cheese corn a genuine cheesey (not chemical) taste.
Caramel Nut Crunch– They’ve added candied almonds and caramels to their delicious big kernels of sweet, crunchy caramel corn. What’s not to love?
Kettle Corn– Unlike the caramel, caramel nut, and cheese flavor’s big, rounded kernels, G.H. Cretor’s kettle corn kernels are more like those you’d pop at home. The corn kernels are big and light with a subtle crispness and sweet-saltiness that comes from mixing the corn with a light coating of cane sugar and sea salt.
Too often, I find commercial kettle corn mega-sweet. The G.H. Cretors’ kettle corn is subtly sweet and has become one of our editor’s absolute favorites.
Another plus is that you can eat an entire two cups of this kettle corn for a mere 130 calories! Now that’s a sweet snack that won’t leave you feeling guilty.
Chicago Mix– Our editorial panel was skeptical when we saw the mix of cheese corn and caramel corn that comes in the Chicago Mix. In fact, several editors actually first picked out the caramel corn. However, when the panel actually tasted the sweet-crispy, cheesy combo, they were pleasantly surprised. The cheese flavor cuts the sweet of the caramel corn and creates a truly addictive sweet-salty snack.
Want to buy some? G.H. Cretors Chicago Mix is available at natural food stores and select mainstream markets across the country. Their entire popped corn lineup can be found online at Amazon. For more on these outstanding, all natural popcorn products, check out www.ghcretors.com.