Indulgent coconut ice styled popcorn: raspberry flavour with a white choc and coconut dusting
You'll want to hide this one from the kids - it's strictly an adult-only treat. If you can keep it safe, it's perfect for snacking on in the evenings. Pairs nicely with Love Actually and a cheeky Cabernet.
This coconut ice flavour was inspired by the sweet treats we enjoyed at school fairs as children. You'll taste notes of coconut, hints of raspberry, the smooth white choc coating, and a generous dollop of white elephants and candyfloss.
Our household goes through a lot of popcorn on a weekly basis, however we normally just stick to a butter or extra butter flavour. In the past the children and I have tried salty popcorn, two children enjoyed while the other spat it out in disgust. When I found out that Dr Bugs had created some gourmet popcorn treats in various flavours I was keen to sample them.
The first flavour I decided to try was the Coconut Ice with White Choc Drizzle, and the packaging is stunning. You are greeted by a reasonable sized clear window which shows the vibrant pink popcorn balls, This packet is 120g in size and has a handy resealable top (which is handy to keep the popcorn fresh if you do not devour all in one go).
When I ripped open the top of the packet I was instantly met by a sweet aroma, with the distinct scent of coconut. The popcorn ball is easy to pick up, and does not leave your fingers sticky. The pink colour is vibrant especially with the contrast of the white chocolate over the top. Upon popping one of these sweet morsels in my mouth I was met by a raspberry and coconut mashup, and then the popcorn flavour. The texture is good, the treat is not too hard, and not overly soft. The only downside I had was bits of coconut getting stuck in my teeth - but that's no big issue. The children all loved this flavour, stating that it tastes more like candy than it does of popcorn.
The product is made in New Zealand from New Zealand grown corn, with natural colours and flavours, and is gluten free. I would recommend this as a sweet tret, but at it's cost this would be a once in a while splurge.
Coconut ice is one of those sweet treats that is so easy to learn and make at home, leading to me eating what I'm sure was a lifetimes worth of coconut ice, in my early teens alone. Popcorn is also one of those treats I enjoy but the two were not something I ever thought needed combining. It is worth pointing out that this isn't "pure" coconut ice as these use white chocolate as well, but I guess it was needed so that we didn't get a complete gooey mess. It's good to see that there is shredded coconut but just the right amount, so you don't end up with a ton of crumbs in the bottom of the packet.
With a window in the packaging it is easy to see what you're getting, though if I saw these in a bowl sans packaging, I wouldn't assume coconut ice. I found myself eating more of these in a sitting, than I thought I would, these weren't too sweet at all though some were a bit chewy and I did get a couple of very hard little chunks that I couldn't eat. My 15 year old tried one and decided it was very odd, my 12 year old thought it was nice but wasn't interested in eating more. I found them very more'ish, so I had to get one of the kids to pop the packet away, yay for a resealable bag.
I enjoyed these far more than I thought I would and may well buy them again in the future.
Of all the popcorn varieties I have tasted, my favourite up to now has been hot buttered flakes - the savoury kind. I was astounded, therefore, to find that I not only like this variety, but it is just as good as its plainer cousin. Treats will never be the same at our house now that we have discovered this gem. Although I would find it difficult to eat more than half a dozen pieces at one time because they are quite sweet, the pack is resealable which means that any extras could be kept for another day.
I started out with my daughter and her family as they are always happy to try new foods and give me their feedback. However, neither my son-in-law nor Mr 13 like coconut, so daughter, Miss 11 and I got to sit down and try them at our leisure. We took five apiece and there was silence while we evaluated them. At the start, we had registered the strong coconut scent wafting out of the bag when we first opened it. This was not borne out when we tasted the flakes; the coconut was much less apparent while the raspberry and white chocolate were dominant.
Miss 11 loved the humour on the packet description - she is old enough to realise that the manufacturers were joking when they suggested the consumer taste white elephants and candyfloss as well as the expected ingredients! But she liked the clear descriptors on the package; now that she is getting older, she has become a keen cook and is always interested in trying out new foods. One thing that caught her eye was the reference to factory tours. On looking up the website, she learned that the company does fundraiser packs. This is something she and her mother will follow up on as they are involved with fundraising both at school and for various community groups.
Having decided that we really liked the popcorn, we put some into individual dessert bowls with fruit we had on hand. (It could be any fruit but we used grapes and chopped up kiwifruit). Not only did this make the popcorn go further, but it took the very sweet edge off it and made it an even heathier snack. The fruit we used was a rather boring colour, but a combination like blueberries and rock melon would be visually amazing.
Although we had not stinted on the popcorn, we found we still had about a third left. Miss 11 sealed the packet and put it in the cupboard for later. We will watch with interest to see if it maintains its freshness; no reason why it should not as the closing strip on the packet is a good strong one. No doubt it will all be gone when I next visit them!
I had tried Dr. Bugs Mint Choc Gourmet Popcorn Treats and fallen in love with them, so I was very excited to try the Coconut Ice with White Choc flavour. Coconut Ice reminds me of my childhood and brings back memories of making this with my mum. It also reminded me that I hadn't made or eaten any coconut ice in a long time, so it looked like I was going to be in for a treat!
The resealable bags are very handy and the window at the front of the bags shows balls of pink and white popcorn. I like the fact that they have put 'Adult-Only Popcorn' on the packet, but unfortunately, this has no sway with my children who were crowded around me when I opened it. The packet says that you'll taste notes of coconut, hints of raspberry, the smooth white choc coating, and a generous dollop of white elephants and candyfloss. I was quite intrigued to know what white elephants tasted like!!
It was raspberry that I first smelt when I opened the bag, followed by coconut. The balls were pink and white and the white chocolate generously coated the popcorn. These were delicious and after being given one each, my daughters grabbed small handfuls (it was difficult for them to grab big handfuls when I was firmly holding the bag!). There were crunchy but fluffy and had a wonderful blend of coconut, raspberry, white chocolate, and popcorn. I thought there were a lot sweeter than the Mint Choc popcorn and unbelievably, had to seal the bag for another day. The whole family enjoyed these tasty treats but I think I would purchase them again for a special 'adults only' treat or a trip to the cinema with a friend. I personally think they're too expensive to share with kids and I'm not 100% sure they appreciate them as much as adults would.
So here is the thing I have learnt - it is impossible to eat just one piece of popcorn no matter how hard you try! Opening the bag was easy as tears perfectly and no sooner had I torn it than I got this beautiful coconut aroma. So my plan was to eat just one and close the bag afterwards, with its self-closing pouch - let's just say that did not happen. Before I knew it I was eating handfuls of the popcorn.
I reluctantly passed the bag around and told my husband and girls to only have one piece of popcorn and just like me that did not happen. These are delicious! The funny thing is every single one of us said it tastes just like coconut ice or as my daughter put it the pink slice that tastes like coconut. If I am honest I was not expecting much from these and I thought they would taste just ok or be extremely sickening sweet or have that gross fake taste about them but man was I wrong.
I think I could probably polish off a bag all by myself. These are the sort of things you do not let the rest of the house know about and should be hidden in a secret place where you can enjoy peacefully by yourself. It was not until I was typing up the review that I found these are for 'adult only' so that knocked two of the household out - when my youngest asked why only adults - my husband replied because adults don't eat popcorn like this - indicating at her fist full of these little pink heaven sent popcorn. I quickly hid my hand.
They are not the prettiest looking popcorn that I have seen - if I was to describe them they look like something that was mouldy or starting to rot. But when you pop them in your mouth the magic really happens.
This is definitely something I can see myself buying again. It will be perfect for nights alone or if watching a movie with my husband (and I might share some with him.) I love that it is New Zealand made and I am very curious about the factory tours in Christchurch, this has now been added to our South Island holiday agenda.
I used to make coconut ice for my kids, and it was always fun to 'shake things up a bit' by not using the traditional pink/red dye. Green was always fun, so was blue, sometimes purple would be the colour of the day, and sometimes 'rainbow' was the mood. Sometimes, throwing in some finely-diced glace and/or preserved fruit made things a bit more interesting. But popcorn? Who comes up with this sorcery?! This... this I had to try, especially after falling in lunch (sic) with their Mint-Choc Popcorn!
On first opening the easy-tear, resealable bag, I took a good deep sniff and admit I was a bit confused for a minute. It didn't smell quite right when compared to my mental map of 'coconut ice smell'... but of course that would be because it was laced with popcorn and didn't have the overpowering olfactory output that is shredded coconut. Still, it had the right colours, right down to some being white and others pink, and a few that couldn't make up their mind and wanted to be a bit of both. I liked that.
The taste was good - hints of berry, hints of coconut, hints of popcorn - and the texture was awesomely layered with smooth white chocolate, crisp sugar shell and fluffy popcorn centre all the way down to the middle. But I have to admit, I was hoping for more coconut. That is, after all, the predominant flavour in coconut ice. It is hinted at by the name I think. I found myself really craving some shredded coconut stuck to the surface to really bring it all together. So much so, that I went into the pantry, grabbed out a bag of said substance, warmed up a handful of these popcorns just enough to make the chocolate and sugar a little sticky, and rolled them until they looked like snowballs. Now these, these I liked a lot more.
Now, with the economy the way it is post-COVIDgeddon, adding more coconut to the recipe is going to mean either a higher price-point or less in the bag, so I totally understand the balancing act the makers had to go through to put out this tasty treat, so I am not saying this to 'have a go at them' in any way. I add this here more as a suggested serving choice for those who really want these nice nibbles to elevate to the next level.
Overall, I found these to be a great little 'special snack for adults' - because at this price, you can't afford to let the kids know such things exist, let alone give them a share - and while they are not quite as big a hit for me, I feel very comfortable saying that more people will love them than not. They are just too good to dismiss as 'fancy flummery'. They are a gourmet treat, and as such they should be snacked on in moderation. This, I found easy to do because they are quite sweet and thus I found that having them one at a time, or maybe two, and pausing between grabbing the next one was what made them enjoyable. If I inhaled them like the Mint-Choc, I think it would have been too much sugar overload. These will be perfect at a mid-Winter gathering to share with friends and family who really need to know you are way more awesome than ready-salted and synthetic-butter-flavoured microwave-popped rubbish.
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