Black Jewell sells a variety of specialty popcorn kernels, and their Original Black is one of their most popular. But are the smaller kernels of this gourmet popcorn worth the premium price?
Original Black is the product Black Jewell started with in small Illinois farm back in 1963. Still family owned, the company now offers 5 varieties of popcorn kernels (Original Black, Crimson Jewell, Native Mix, Mayan Gold and Pearly White), and 4 types of microwave popcorn (Natural, Butter, Kettle and No Salt/No Oil), all certified non-GMO. The product packaging and web site do not claim that their products are 100% organic.
Popping the Corn
In our testing, we popped several different batches of Original Black using air poppers and on the stove top. Each time, we had very few unpopped kernels left.
Using an air popper with Original Black can be a challenge. Since the kernels are smaller and lighter than regular popcorn, they have a tendency to fly right out of the popper, unpopped! Black Jewell recommends using a popper with reduced airflow, but we found that tipping the popper backwards a bit until popping starts in earnest was successful.
The popped corn is definitely smaller in size than normal popcorn, and this is part of the attraction of Original Black. The company claims that their popcorn is “virtually free of hulls” and we did find this to be true. If you are sensitive to the hulls in popcorn, or are bothered when they stick in your teeth, you may want to try a Original Black for this reason alone.
While the kernels are black, the resulting popcorn is white. The popcorn has a very pleasing crisp feel to it, and a very light flavor as well.
Overall, our tasters enjoyed the flavor and texture of Black Jewell’s Original Black popcorn. A healthy snack which nearly eliminates the hulls. The only negative is the cost – this gourmet popcorn costs 2-3 times as much as other non-GMO popcorns. Is it worth it? Try for yourself and let us know in the comments!