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Gourmet Movie Popcorn Taste Test: IndieWire’s Critic David Ehrlich Takes the ‘Good Morning America’ Challenge

“Salt is a magical thing.”

David Ehrlich

David Ehrlich


Popcorn is delicious, portable, healthy and cheap… unless you go gourmet.

On a recent edition of “Good Morning America’s” Frugal Foodie segment, the hosts decided to examine the popular treat and whether or not paying a hefty price tag for gourmet kernels translated to a tastier product.

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A taste test was set up that consisted of three different popcorns: the gourmet bagged popcorn that costs about $5 a bag; the home and office favorite microwave popcorn; and stovetop kernel popcorn that Carla Lalli Music, food director at Bon Apetit magazine, cooked herself and seasoned with olive oil and an equivalent amount of salt to the other samples. It should be noted that it costs only 60 cents to pop the same amount that is included in a gourmet bag, and about $4 to make the same amount of microwave popcorn.

IndieWire’s own film critic David Ehrlich joined an esteemed panel of his peers as taste testers because who better to understand the power of popcorn than someone who watches movies for a living. The rest of the panel included Aisha Harris from Slate, Owen Gleiberman from Variety, Mary Green from People and Eriq Gardner from The Hollywood Reporter.

The popcorn showdown was swift and decisive. Ehrlich’s judgment was absolute: “Salt is a magical thing, and as soon as I tasted that, it was game over.”

Check out the taste test in the video below, and then stick around for tips on how to customize your popcorn flavors at home, courtesy of Adam Rapoport, Bon Apetit Editor-in-Chief:

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