Garrett's Popcorn is THE famous popcorn from Chicago. Whenever I mention my popcorn obsession to others, they always ask, "Oh, have you had Garrett's?" Given that I have never been to Chicago my answer thus far has been no.
But, this past year, one of my co-workers went to Chicago and came back with ... yup, a giant tub of Garrett's Popcorn!
Garrett's has been making popcorn since 1949. The signature creation is Garrett Mix®, their version of Chicago Mix (which used to be marketed as such, until, lawsuit). In addition to "CheeseCorn" and "CaramelCrisp", the two components of Garrett Mix, they also offer up plain and butter, plus some nutty variations on CaramelCrisp: Macadamia, Pecan, Almond, and Cashew.
My co-worker of course brought the Garrett Mix. I was glad to try it, but, well, I don't see any reason to hop on a plane to Chicago for it.
Breaking this down into its mixed components:
CheeseCorn: "Freshly-melted, sharp cheddar cheese is stirred into each and every batch. Fans proudly display their "Cheesy-Fingers!"
Ok, wow, yes, this gave me cheesy fingers. Each piece was absolutely coated in orange goodness. It tasted like fake cheddar, but I really liked it. It required consumption by the handful. And, yes, of course I liked it better frozen.
CaramelCrisp: "Deep butter notes, sweet brown sugar and a crème brûlée crunch combine for a rich taste sensation."
Caramel corn can go so many ways. This one was ... mediocre for me. It was sweet and they get great credit for perfectly coating the kernels, but, the caramel itself was just a bit too deep of a flavor. I still did enjoy it, don't get me wrong, but it wasn't my favorite.
The interesting thing to me is that I didn't really like these when mixed together. I love mixing sweet and savory. I should have loved this mix. But, I didn't. I had the same experience last time I had Chicago Mix, from G.H. Cretors.
So, I froze a bunch, gleefully ate all the cheese corn, and eventually ate the caramel.