02/03/2014 10:57 am ET Updated Apr 04, 2014

The Ultimate Buttered Microwave Popcorn Taste Test

Going out to dinner and a movie has always been a classic dating past-time. It is often through these activities that a date is eased out of their comfort zone. But for couples who may have been around the block together a few times, there is the new thrill of doing a "date night-in." This is when snuggles and sweatpants are far more appealing than expensive dinners out and LBDs. There are very few requirements for a movie night: take-out, comfy pants and a tub of gratuitous popcorn.

Click Here to see The Complete Ultimate Buttered Microwave Popcorn Taste Test

But believe it or not, all packaged and microwaved popcorn is not created equal. There are a ton of options to select from and a variety of ways to enjoy them. So to figure out which popcorns are best for date night, we decided to put 9 microwaveable packages of classic butter-flavored popcorns to the test for an ultimate popcorn taste test.

The Ultimate Buttered Microwave Popcorn Taste Test
The Ultimate Buttered Microwave Popcorn Taste Test

We selected nine bags and had them complete the same nuking time in the microwave. We then had our team dive into the different bowls and judge the popped kernels on texture, smell and over all buttered flavoring. Well-known brands like Pop Secret, Jolly Time and Orville were pitted against one another and landed in surprising ranked spots.

Another surprising fact is that popcorn, though frequently cited as a healthy snack, can get rather unhealthy rather quicky. For instance with Pop Secret brand, just 2 tablespoons of unpopped popcorn can be 170 calories. Even organic popcorn brands like Whole Food's 365 contains 140 calories per 2 tablespoons unpopped popcorn. What is even more frightening is the sodium content, which can get as high as high as 370 milligrams in brands like Act II.

Most tasters felt that a number of the samples were "too artificial tasting" or "weren't crunchy enough," but some found the artificial tasting to be "comforting" and "satisfying." We took this into consideration and even included nutritional values to help make your date night decision an easy one. To find out which popcorns made our team cringe and which ones made us nostalgic for our favorite old movie theaters, check out our slideshow and pick the best popcorn for your date!

-Lauren Gordon, The Daily Meal

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