There’s a story behind every CrunchDaddy Popcorn flavor, because each one evolves and is always considered a work in progress. We play around with original taste combinations for our gourmet popcorn, savory and sweet, as we never use the common, artificial flavorings that so many popcorn makers use.
Most of my fellow Marylanders would agree that the definitive taste of our great state is the Chesapeake Bay seasoning that we use on our steamed crabs, shrimp and other seafood. We in Maryland love the taste so much that we put in on our chicken wings, our French fries, in barbecue sauces, in our soups and stews… and on our popcorn!
One of our most recent CrunchDaddy flavor releases is Chesapeake Peanut Crunch. It’s a kicked-up version of our Caramel & Peanut Crunch… dusted with Chesapeake seasoning for a sweet, spicy, peanutty, crunchy and salty experience that immediately rings the flavor bell for the locals in Maryland.
It sounds like an easy product to develop, but we’re very picky about our ingredients… and the common Chesapeake spice blends that we found in the local supermarket just didn’t work well for us. By the time we developed Chesapeake Peanut Crunch we were also producing Maryland Crab Feast Crunch (with Chesapeake seasoning, vinegar and sea salt) and had retired an old kettle corn variety that used the same seasoning. Each flavor had merits, but lacked something that always left us feeling as though these flavors could be improved.
As luck or providence would have it… CrunchDaddy has a great friend and customer, Jennifer, who lives in Frederick, Maryland. Several months ago she messaged me to ask if our products were made with “J.O. Spice” from Baltimore… and if not, could she introduce me to her connection at J.O. Spice and perhaps get a sample of their product to me. After a busy holiday season it was time to look into what was lacking in our flavors that use Chesapeake seasoning and time to get a taste of this wonderful J.O. Spice seasoning that Jennifer raved about.
Through some experimentation we discovered that the gourmet popcorn products we were working on tasted much better when made with sea salt rather than common iodized salt… and that a finer spice blend would adhere to the popcorn more consistently. With these issues in mind we finally got the opportunity to try J.O. Spice and meet with the owners of the company, Don and Ginger Ports. I shared with them my experiences with using other Chesapeake spice blends and my desire to create a better tasting, better seasoned and overall more consistent product that would represent our beloved taste of Maryland.
By the end of our meeting at their Baltimore headquarters, Don and Ginger agreed to produce a custom blend of J.O. Spice to our specifications, with sea salt, that would give our Chesapeake Peanut Crunch and Maryland Crab Feast Crunch the exact savory kick that we were looking for… and they delivered brilliantly! The difference in taste and quality were obvious and we knew immediately that our gourmet popcorn products would be made with J.O. Spice from here on.
You won’t find J.O. Spice in every grocery store, but in Baltimore, Annapolis, Ocean City and beyond you can count on finding it in the crab houses and seafood restaurants that feature the bounty of the Chesapeake Bay, because J.O. Spice is the overwhelming choice for those who know how our crabs and seafood should taste.
Count us at CrunchDaddy Popcorn among those in the know, as we are proud to represent the state of Maryland by using J.O. Spice on our gourmet popcorn!