As an AMC Stubs A-Lister who maximizes my three movies a week, I know my way around a bucket of popcorn. The smell alone is tantalizing; I’m like a cartoon character being dragged across the lobby by my nostrils. I’d hop the concessions counter plunge my head directly into the popcorn maker if I didn’t think I’d have my A-List status revoked. Truly, nothing beats the movie theater popcorn and candy experience, but if you’re staying in and streaming the latest Marvel movie (there’s always a latest Marvel movie, right?), we can help you get pretty close. We paired some of the best popcorn and candies we’ve tried in our taste tests to create the best popcorn and candy pairings you can buy. And if you sneak these into the theater, we won’t tattle.
The best popcorn and candy pairings can be a matter of personal preference, but we can all agree that buttered popcorn and Peanut M&M’s are the quintessential pairing. Perfecting the taste of movie theater popcorn in a home kitchen is a Herculean task but, boy, did Pop Secret pull off some witchcraft. As Sporked contributor Danny Palumbo put it, “it mimics the alchemy of delicious movie theater popcorn.” Pop a bag of Pop Secret Movie Theater Butter and dump some Peanut M&M’s directly into it. If you like a sweet-and-salty combo, you can’t do much better than this.
If you want to mix up the best popcorn and the best candy, but want more savory flavor than sweetness, opt for this combo. I mean, with a name like “Cousin Willie’s Buttery Explosion,” it was destined to be the main event and there’s certainly nothing wrong with that. According to Sporked editor-in-chief Justine Sterling, the kernels “practically dissolve in your mouth leaving a buttery, salty sensation on your tongue,” and M&M’s Minis play their part as a supporting character by delivering small jolts of sweetness throughout. This pairing proves that searching for the best popcorn and candy experience doesn’t always have to lead to a 50/50 balance.
A popcorn and candy pairing for the vegans! This cruelty-free combo combines a cheesy-salty popcorn we love with a sweet-salty candy bar we also love. Lesser Evil’s popcorn gets its “‘No Cheese’ Cheesiness,” aka a totally dairy-free savory flavor, from nutritional yeast. I know, I know. That doesn’t sound good, but, trust us, it is. To go with that complex goodness, we’ve got a chocolate bar that isn’t your average chocolate bar. When he ranked the best dark chocolate, Danny said HU Salty Dark Chocolate was unlike anything else we tasted, with a flavor he described as “bitter, salty, creamy, and strongly roasted.” Bust out this combo the next time you’re watching something artsy.
I’m sure everyone’s first experience with the surprisingly magical pairing of cheddar and caramel comes from the twisted individuals who make their living peddling popcorn in malls across the country. Anyway, that’s our inspiration for this popcorn and candy pairing. Jolly Time The Big Cheez is bursting at the seams with flavor and, admittedly, an off-putting neon orange liquid, but it was the Sporked team’s favorite cheesy bag of microwave popcorn. Alternate bites of this cheesy popcorn with bites of a Whatchamacallit—it’s one of those candy bars that kind of has everything, including a nice, chewy caramel layer. If you worship at the church of Garrett popcorn, you’ll like this pairing.
Senior writer Jordan Myrick called Popcorn Indiana Sweet & Salty Kettle Corn “the perfect balance of sweet and salty,” and it’s only right to pair it with the most balanced candy bar out there for this best popcorn and candy creation. This candy bar kind of has it all—chocolate, pretzels, Reese’s signature peanut butter, peanuts, and caramel. Basically, it has everything except popcorn, but that’s where Popcorn Indiana comes in. You’re going to love this kitchen sink popcorn and candy pairing.