1) I don’t like microwave popcorn: I like it popped with just enough oil to keep it going, on the stove, in a pot. I like the butter, if there is any, to be butter. I like the salt to be light.

2) I don’t like sweet popcorn, generally — if I’m putting anything but butter and salt on it, it’s cayenne or garlic. The exception is caramel corn, which I feel is an entirely separate thing.

3) I don’t like Cinnabon at all: it looks decent on the webpage there, but they make probably the worst cinnamon rolls I’ve had, and I’m including even generic store-brand cinnamon-rolls-in-a-tube in that “probably.”

4) I wouldn’t say I’m a cinnamon snob, exactly, but ever since discovering Ceylon cinnamon — real cinnamon, as opposed to the cassia (aka Chinese cinnamon, aka bastard cinnamon) that usually passes for it, at least in the States — I’ve had different expectations for it. Ceylon cinnamon has an almost citrusy note that made me understand why Cuban, Persian, and Mexican cooking all combine cinnamon and citrus.

And yet, I kinda sorta liked it.

You get a bag thing of microwave popcorn, you know, the kind that microwaves up into these puffs splotched with yellow from the dyed canola oil, only in this case it also has cinnamon on it — and I haven’t checked the ingredients, but I’m not even sure if it’s real cinnamon. It might be a cinnamon-inspired powdered topping with trace amounts of cassia oil, I don’t know. What it tastes like is the cinnamon they use in cereals and whatnot, your Cinnamon Toast Crunch, your Cinnamon Life, your Cinnamon Fruity Bombs A Go Go.


I mean, that white frosting that goes over cinnamon rolls? The stuff that SHOULD be pretty much confectioner’s sugar (icing sugar in the UK, I think, right?), water, and maybe some kind of stabilizer, but for some reason always has shortening and xanthan gum and beetles in it, or whatever? Yeah, it comes with a pouch of that that you drizzle over the popcorn.

Remember back in high school, when you’d come home from the bus stop, pop some popcorn, and pour some frosting over it?

No, you don’t. Because that would have been really dumb. Even when I was completely in the thrall of adolescence, microwaving marshmallows with chocolate chips to eat with a spoon, pouring butter on my French fries, even then, I wouldn’t have put frosting on my popcorn.

I don’t know if it’s the courtesy of giving me frosting for my popcorn, or the audacity of it, that made me kind of warm up to this Cinnabon popcorn. I mean, it’s a nice surprise at first, and then you realize you have a bowl of popcorn with frosting on it. And that you’d look dumb eating popcorn with a fork. But if you don’t, you’re going to get frosting all over your fingers. It’s like this weird evolutionary pop quiz.