Summer means it's baseball season, and whether or not you're a fan of the national pastime you've probably been sung the somewhat rude demand to "buy me some peanuts and Cracker Jack" (which, if you think about it, is a little peanut-redundant, since Cracker Jacks are loaded with them). But if you don't like Cracker Jacks (which, according to our taste test, you probably don't), don't worry -- there just might be another caramel corn out there for you.
Our editors rounded up 17 big brands of caramel popcorns to find the best. They're not all technically caramel corn -- one is coated in cinnamon-sugar, and another in a mixture of tahini and molasses -- but they fit the general description. They're crunchy, sticky, and covered in sugar.
Our winner took the blind taste test in a landslide victory, and we recommend that you hightail it to the grocery store to pick up a bag as soon as you can. (Hint: It's got a combination of cheese and caramel.)
Check out how all the brands did in the slideshow below.
As always, our taste test was in no way influenced or sponsored by the brands involved.
#1: G.H. Cretors, Chicago Mix (cheddar and caramel)
<b>Note: This won by a landslide</b> <b>Comments:</b> "The salty-sweet combination of cheese and caramel is genius." "The combo of cheese and caramel is great -- they're both good separately, too." "Mmm. Just right. Perfect balance of salty and sweet." "Love the salty-sweet pairing."
#2: Divvies, Caramel Popcorn
<b>Comments:</b> "Whoa. Very sweet and so crunchy." "Don't put this next to me or it will be GONE."
#3: Popcorn, Indiana: Caramel Popcorn
<b>Comments:</b> "Very dark caramel flavor." "Very yummy. Sweet but unconventional." "Tastes like molasses." Yummmmmmm."
#4: G.H. Cretors, Just The Caramel Corn
<b>Comments:</b> "Light and delicious, without being overly sweet." "Good texture, and not too sweet." "Just right. The perfect amount of caramel." "Good sweet shell -- it's not overwhelming."
#5: Orville Redenbacher's Poppycock, Cashew Lovers
<b>Comments:</b> "Great amount of salt in here." "Solid." "Nothing special until you get a bite of cashew." "Very toffee-like."
#6: Crunch 'n Munch, Buttery Toffee Popcorn with Peanuts
<b>Comments:</b> "Very, very strong peanut flavor. Must love peanuts to like this." "Very nice texture." "Buttery, crunchy and good."
#7: Pops A Lot, Clandestine Caramel
<b>Comments:</b> "A solid classic." "Great flavor, but a less than perfect texture." "Nice lightly sweet flavor, but not enough crunch." "Good texture, okay taste."
#8: Harlow's, Butter Toffee with Almonds
<b>Comments:</b> "Love the toffee flavor, but it sticks to my teeth." "A solid caramel popcorn." "Strange, sweet, and not that pleasant." "Very buttery."
#9: Pops A Lot, Brazilian Samba
<b>Comments:</b> "Great classic caramel corn with the addition of cashews, which I love." "Very nice." "Slightly stale." "It'd be easy to eat a lot of this."
#10: Orville Redenbacher's Poppycock, Pecan Delight
<b>Comments:</b> "The pecans need to be better incorporated." "Rich and tasty." "All I got in my handful was a giant clump of pecans. Great, if I want to make a trip to the dentist."
#11: Trader Joe's, Caramel Popcorn
<b>Comments:</b> "Dry and almost like rice cakes." "Tastes oddly like cotton candy." "Tastes like bad sugary cereal."
#12: Orville Redenbacher's Poppycock, Original
<b>Comments:</b> "Is this flavored with alcohol? Bourbon?" "Great texture, but too sugary." "Solid, but odd." "Too much. Just too much."
#13: Popcorn, Indiana: Cinnamon Sugar Kettle Corn
<b>Comments:</b> "Interesting but definitely on the dry side." "Not much flavor." "Too much cinnamon." "Tastes like apple-cinnamon Cheerios!"
#14: Crunch 'n Munch, Caramel Popcorn with Peanuts
<b>Comments:</b> "Great taste but way too much syrup." "Overly sweet." "Nutty." "Hold it on the peanut flavor. Way too strong."
#15: Harlow's, Maple Glaze with Peanuts
<b>Comments:</b> "Weirdly buttery, in a bad way." "The maple flavor seems out of place." "Sugar overload. This is awful." "Serious fake maple flavor in here."
#16: Cracker Jack
<b>Comments:</b> "Very, very burned." "Bad texture -- hard and jaw-breaking." "Sticky -- too sweet." "Too dark of a taste."
#17: Snacker Jacks Popcorn (with tahini and molasses)
<b>Comments:</b> "The driest popcorn ever." "There's something weird going on with the taste. Not appetizing." "Terrible. An odd flavor, and poor texture." "Bitter and disgusting." "This is terrible." "Tastes like dirt with a hint of spice."