This week I planned to share with you a Sweet featuring Velvet Creme Popcorn. You know those giant tins of popcorn you see at the holidays? Well, those were originally the creation of Velvet Creme Popcorn, a company founded in 1937 in Kansas City.
Way back in 1954, Velvet Creme first offered popcorn in a decorative tin. In the KC area, Velvet Creme is one of our local gems. I’m not sure how Kansas City came to have two well known popcorn companies, but we are also home to Topsy’s Popcorn, a company that once had over 500 locations in the U.S. and Canada. Using popcorn in a Sweet seemed to be a good way to give a nod to one of our local products. I had planned to use Velvet Creme cinnamon popcorn to make cupcakes, grinding the popcorn into flour like Stefani at Cupcake Project did earlier this year.
John and I made a trip last week to Velvet Creme’s store in Westwood, Kansas. It was fun looking around at all of the flavors of popcorn, snack mixes and brittles. They had lots of fun gift items on display, everything you would need for a great movie night at home!
John is a big fan of cinnamon popcorn and we bought a couple bags plus a bag of white chocolate almond caramel corn and a bag of popcorn to pop at home. There were folks ordering large tins of popcorn to ship across the country and even a lady who brought back a tin from many years past to have it refilled. She said it was her holiday tradition.
And now…for the learning experience. As I always do, I read the labels on the ingredients in everything we bought. No wheat, no mention of being processed in a facility that also processes wheat. This morning, on our local news, the reporter said Velvet Creme wanted to share with its customers undeclared soy, milk and wheat in a few of their products. Yikes. While the list does not include the flavor of popcorn I bought, I’ve decided it’s probably best for me to not incorporate this ingredient into a Sweet, just to be safe. Sounds like there is wheat used in their facility and that’s not a good thing for me. I’m a little bummed.
Each day eating gluten-free is a challenge, reading labels, questioning restaurant staff, clarifying ingredients to make sure I am eating in a way that is healthy and necessary for my body. What I learned from this experience is to make sure I am absolutely vigilant about reading labels and asking questions, even when I don’t want to be a bother. I also learned that there are companies who want to make sure their customers stay healthy, voluntarily issuing statements like Velvet Creme has done. While I will avoid their popcorn this year, John will continue enjoying it, now having a second bag of cinnamon popcorn that was previously reserved for cupcake making. So there’s no Sweet this week, just a learning experience.