Treat to Try: Snacks By Max Gourmet Kettle Corn
Maxwell’s Original Gourmet Kettle Corn is several steps up from your regular box of Cracker Jack. You can forgive the comparison between the two: the kettle corn’s rich, brown, caramelized hue and sweetness make the association with the classic treat inevitable. And yet, there’s a lighter hand and a toasty accent that sets Maxwell’s handmade version apart from a big box product. Moreover, there’s a relentless crunchiness that distinguishes Maxwell’s as a version of kettle corn, as opposed to a stickier caramel corn. Not to mention, it lacks a plastic treat.*
It’s understandable that you might not have spotted the snack on local store shelves. The packaging on Maxwell products (properly known as Snacks By Max) couldn’t be more modest. The kettle corn is sold in plain brown paper bags — literally, the packages are grocery-bag brown and stamped in black ink that proclaims the Maxwell name, ingredients, and not much more information. There’s mention of a coconut element, but you have to concentrate to identify it in the flavor palate; the popcorn is cooked in coconut oil.
The marketing on its social media mentions high quality, non-GMO and organic ingredients. You can verify that by checking out some of its product information on the package. Indeed, the coconut oil used to pop the corn is organic. More importantly, the snack-maker uses real chocolate (with cocoa butter) to make the chocolate version of its popcorn. You don’t see that very often in a modern snack scene that’s built around mockolate and disappointment.
Snacks by Max is based in Columbus. In addition to its regular Kettle Corn and Chocolate versions, you can also find it in a flavor it calls “Sweet and Savory.” The plain brown bags have been spotted at Hills, Weiland’s and Oats & Barley.
For more information, visit snacksbymax.com.
*Cracker Jack phased those out in 2016 anyway. Now all you get is a code for an app you have to download.