Nature Box is one of those products I’ve been meaning to review here at Shameless Consumer for over a year now. No, seriously, over a year. I listen to a lot of talk radio, and for a long time now Nature Box has been a major sponsor of the shows I listen to, meaning I hear the ads constantly. So, I thought, I’ll give it a shot.
After all, if you can’t trust morning AM radio talk show hosts, who can you trust?
One problem: Nature Box didn’t want me as a customer. I’m not joking, I couldn’t even sign up for the free trial, they wouldn’t let me past billing. No one at NB or my bank could explain why my card was being rejected until it suddenly felt like accepting it last month.
Now the Shameless Consumer is experienced with being denied membership to things, be they culture clubs, community pools, and the buffet at Pizza Hut, but this is the first time he’s ever been pre-denied before having the opportunity to pile his plate five feet deep with cinnamon sugar breadsticks.
$20 a month for five snack bags of my choice, and full bags too. Sure it’s nutritionist approved, but is it approved by the committee of my stomach? Why do I care what my nutritionist approves of? The guy writes 50 Shades of Grey fan fiction, the kind with no sex but plenty of hamfisted lessons on the food pyramid. Write what you know, I guess.
The first review I decided to do is the Parmesan garlic pop pop, which are described as:
Our favorite popped snack is given extra oomph with real Parmesan cheese, garlic, onion, and a pinch of sea salt. The result? A half-popped crunch that’s completely unique to NatureBox. Wholesomely savory, these super crunchy corn kernels are sure to become your go-to movie night treat.
You’re probably asking the computer right now, “what the hell is a pop pop?” to which, I must inform you that this is not a two way conversation and I can’t actually hear or answer the questions being asked in your room. Domino’s is the one with the cheesy breadsticks. The remote is under the second couch cushion closest to the television. Now where were we?
Ah yes, a pop pop is like popcorn, in the sense that both are made from corn kernels. The kernel is popped only half way, so instead of a snack that is light and fluffy, you get a popcorn that is heavy and crunchy. To put it in another perspective, imagine you could order your popcorn cooked medium rare. Pop pops are that, minus the blood. Or with it, if you manage to cut yourself opening the bag like I did.
The end product is a very crunchy popcorn that has a nice density to it without ever feeling like you’re going to break your teeth off halfway through the bag. Each piece is lovingly seasoned with a mixture of Parmesan cheese, garlic, onion, and a pinch of salt. As is expected, the garlic and onion really take control of the flavor. The Parmesan is in there somewhere, you just have to sit on it a bit.
The pop pops do fall into the same drag as regular popcorn, in the reality that quality can vary heavily as not all kernels are popped equally. The entropy inherent to the cooking process ensures that no two kernels will be the same. You’ll get a few barely burst kernels, plenty that are perfectly popped, and one or two that are burned black, it’s a reality that you just have to accept.
One advantage that this has over regular popcorn is that you’ll never come across those inedible pieces that need to be spit out, saving you a lot of dirty looks and the cleaning crew at your local movie theater a lot of hassle. Out of my four ounce bag, I only had one piece that was deemed inedible by the council of my mouth, and only then because I discovered the tiniest “I voted for Ross Perot” sticker on it.
I’ve been really happy with my Nature Box subscription so far, and I’m only into the second month. The fact that I can choose what snacks I want rather than rely on the luck of the draw immediately puts this above Love With Food or the other snack boxes, and while everything is Nature Box brand, they spend a lot of time creating new and interesting products rather than just sticking healthy ingredients in things you already know and selling them at a mark up.
I’m not sure if anyone else has a product similar to pop pops, I tried doing a quick Google search and didn’t come up with anything outside of Nature Box. I’m really happy that I subscribed.
Verdict – 5/5: Fantastic snack, if only there was more.
Serving size – 1/3 cup (1/4th package)
Calories – 170
Fat – 10g
Sat fat – 1.5g
Sodium – 200mg
Carbs – 17g
Fiber – 2g
Sugar – <1g
Protein – 2g
Iron – 2%
Calcium – 2%