Now, we can't merely consume snacks. Our snacks must be microcosmic examples of our lifestyles: Paleo. Keto. Members of a nostalgia-prone internet generation. We must wear our snacks on our hats and t-shirts. We must be our snacks.
I am Bjorn Qorn.
Like Bjorn Qorn's founder, Bjorn, I am a person of the corn. He's a Minnesota corn farmer's son and I'm from Kansas and was a horse girl. He went to Bard, bringing his family popcorn recipe. I, too, have a family popcorn recipe. During a game of catch, he met an artist and innovator named Jamie who would become his cofounder, and they make artisanal popcorn together using solar power and topped with nutritional yeast. I, too, moved east to study the liberal arts, met artists and innovators, and learned to put lots of nooch on my popcorn.
You don't have to share all that Bjorn and I share to love Bjorn Qorn and eat a lot of it like I do. It's not a hard sell.
It's the best packaged popcorn available to be purchased and I'll go one step further—I say this without an ounce of hyperbole—it's actually the only packaged popcorn that's worth eating.
Most bagged popcorn from the grocery store is flavorless and reminiscent of packing peanuts. But Bjorn makes popcorn like he knows what he's doing, like a true man of the microclimate-inducing corn sweat country. Except the process is much more complex and peak 2019: Bjorn and Jamie use giant mirrored reflectors to collect solar power, which is then directed at mirror-lined kettles that hold the popcorn kernels. The literal power of the sun pops the kernels. The result is a popcorn that's perfectly crispy and airy.
But he and Jamie also know what the hippies in California knew first and the millennials in New York co-opted: that the best topping for popcorn is nutritional yeast. It's perfectly seasoned: salty and laden with umami thanks to the nooch. (In case you're not already on board, nutritional yeast refers to vitamin-enriched flakes of yeast that have no leavening power but manage to taste like all the best savory stuff: Dorito dust, parmesan, MSG, etc.) Bjorn Qorn is a vegan snack that's easily as addictive as Doritos. When I'm near some, I enter a fevered snacking state. I consume it handful after handful and can't stop or think of anything else until the bag is done. It's scary and great.
I'm not the only one. My fellow popcorn enthusiast Becky Hughes—who once made me go with her to multiple locations to find Bjorn Quorn in order to sneak it into a showing of A Star Is Born—had this to say when I interviewed her over text message: "I’ve been making popcorn with nooch at home for years. And when I found out that Bjorn Quorn was doing it even better than me, I knew from that point on that our existences would be inextricably linked." Boom.
The original version contains just four ingredients: corn, safflower oil, nutritional yeast, and salt. But you can also get a spicy version now that has a bit of red pepper added. The spice is satisfying, but mild enough that you can still consume the entire large bag. And they now have a new variety called Cloud Corn, which was apparently an accidental product caused by cloudy weather. When the sky was overcast, the solar-popped popcorn would take a long time to pop and get extra crispy and white in color. It was deemed overdone for their regular batches, but Jamie and Bjorn ate it themselves, and liked the way it tasted with salt.
There is a bit of a rub there, though. Bjorn Qorn is pretty widely available on the Eastern seaboard and at a scattering of places throughout the rest of the country, but you often have to go to specialty shops (or the internet) to find it.
Sure, I still frequently make popcorn on my stovetop. Someday maybe I'll lay popcorn kernels out on my rooftop and learn to solar pop them myself. But for now I'll buy Bjorn Qorn. And maybe throw in a hat, too. Be a person of the corn.
Originally Appeared on Epicurious