What Chinese popcorn tastes like to me. 

Let’s close our eyes for a second and pretend you’re in Beijing for a week. You want to explore the city but start slow. So you decide to go to a bar and a movie for your first night.

Imagine walking into a bar with some friends. A nice bar that offers a complimentary bowl of popcorn before you even order your first drink. 

You get super excited at the sight of that bowl. Cause popcorn is one of your favorite snacks. So you and your friends sit at the closest table and your popcorn in your mouth. Then you nearly spit it out because of all the sugar on top.

You think to yourself, “Maybe it’s just this bar.” So you let it go.

Then you go to a movie. For realism’s sake, let’s say you go to see Aladdin. Almost every foreign movie is a Disney movie. 

There are other foreign movies, but Disney is more prominent than the others. There’s popcorn, but you’re wary after your experience at the bar.

But there’s a glimmer of hope. There’s a variety of flavors: Carmel, chocolate, cheese, and original flavor. So you buy a big bowl of original flavor popcorn and step inside the theatre. 

Then, as Will Smith makes his first appearance, you pop a precious kernel in your mouth. And chew on the sugar in disappointment.

China, we need to talk.

China has a lot of great food. There’s a hot pot, tea-eggs, fried rice, fried noodles. They even have some of the strangest pizzas I’ve ever seen. But if there’s one dish China really needs to work on, it’s the popcorn.

Sweet popcorn is not ok. It’s an abomination. A crime on popcorn lovers everywhere. It shouldn’t belong in bars. 

It shouldn’t belong in movie theatres. It needs to disappear from the world and go back to being salty.

But, why?

I grew up in a bar my whole life. My dad used to sell a lot of different snacks when I was younger. Not just greasy bar food and pizzas. 

Not a single one of his snacks was sweet. Every single one was salty. This isn’t just a trick my dad, alone, did. This is common among any bar you go to. Why? Because the salt will make you thirstier faster, so you want another drink.

In the movie theatre, one of the best things to order is hot, buttered popcorn. But then, you can put your own seasonings on it. 

But, can you imagine how gross the buttered popcorn combined with sugar would be? So, the combination doesn’t work.

Final Thoughts

Over the years, I softened on this stance. Then, a few weeks ago, my sister bought a bag of Krispy Kreme flavored popcorn, and it turned out not bad. 

Of course, sweet popcorn still isn’t my favorite thing, but I don’t think of it as the abomination I used to think it was. 

Am I going to say China needs to stop making sweet popcorn? No, but I’ll still be asking for the salt. 


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Keara Hopkins

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