Super Bowl Sunday is just around the corner and your shelves are filled with empty bowls. How do you turn these bowls into Super Bowls? That’s easy, fill them up with popcorn, it’s the perfect Super Bowl snack item—it’s not filling, goes great with beer and you can eat it with your hands. Being able to eat your Super Bowl snacks with your hands is a key element to any Super Bowl party. Some people mix beer, alcohol and other mind-altering substances (I’m not endorsing this type of behavior, I’m just telling it like it is, don’t shoot the messenger, sheesh!) with their Super Bowl festivities and if you serve snacks that need to be eaten with sharp utensils, well, someone’s likely to get stabbed in the heart and that always puts a damper on things.
So a bowl of popcorn not only makes for tasty and fun snacking during the game, it’ll also keep drunken Uncle George from causing unwanted bloodshed and mayhem when his team flubs an extra point and he repeatedly stabs elderly and kind Aunt Millie with his cocktail weenie fork out of drunken spite and furious football anger.
I always preach you should buy local here on MBIP and there’s a place right here in Peoria that’s a one-stop shop for all your popcorn needs and that’s Young’s Popcorn Heaven, located on Gale right off of Sterling Avenue. They make fresh popcorn in a variety of styles on a daily basis. So let’s just snap, crackle and stop...over at Young’s Popcorn Heaven and see how they’re getting ready for their Super Bowl crunch!
There’s the place, Young’s Popcorn Heaven. If the building looks familiar, it’s because it used to be Egg Roll Express. But get your head out of the past, that was yesterday and today it’s Young’s Popcorn Heaven! So let’s move together in a forward-like motion.
Check out the sign on the door, they were voted the “Best of the Best” from the Journal Star Readers Choice Awards. Very impressive! There’s JoAnn, who owns Popcorn Heaven, with her husband, Greg. She looks busy behind the counter right now, so let’s take a little look around till it slows down in here.
They have a huge selection of sweet, savory and specialty popcorn in here and the menu hangs behind the counter and it’s also on the front counter. Check out some of the flavors: Blueberry, Hot Cinnamon, Caramel Apple, Nacho Cheese, Dill Pickle, Hot Wings, White Chocolate Peppermint and Cinnamon Roll! All in all they have over 40 flavors in here! And it’s all popped fresh, daily. Those tins and bags are just for display, when you order you get freshly popped popcorn!
Well, JoAnn’s still busy back there...hey, that customer looks familiar, hope he shares some of that caramel corn later!
Okay, the counter is finally free, but where’s JoAnn?
Oh, she’s right here! Great to see her again!
There’s lots of sports tins to choose from in the store including a tin featuring the logo of one of the teams in this year’s Super Bowl, the New England Patriots. And speaking of the Super Bowl, Popcorn Heaven has a couple of Super Bowl specials this week including extra large bags from the sweet or savory category for $19.99 and five bucks off of a purchase for 25 dollars or more. A couple of super deals for you and your Super Bowl party!
Terry was in the back and he offered to give me a behind the scenes look at Popcorn Heaven, so here we go! As you can see, there’s an impressive industrial kitchen back here where they make the popcorn fresh every day. And they use real farm-fresh ingredients like a big stick of butter and there’s Terry climbing up to add that and other ingredients to the mix.
All of the flavors for the different styles of popcorn are stored back here in this state-of-the-art refrigerated vault.
Other steps were made in the making of the popcorn, but they said they’d have to shoot me if I published them, so here’s Terry with a final batch of tasty popcorn! All the seeds and old maids have been scraped away to a bottom container and it’s ready for the bags and tins. It looks delicious and a perfect Super Bowl snack for this Sunday!
Meanwhile, back at the front shelves, JoAnn showed me some gift ideas for the upcoming Valentine’s Day holiday. Now I’ve never been a fan of Valentine’s Day, but I might make an exception for any woman who prefers popcorn over roses! Thanks to JoAnn and Terry for a fun tour of Young’s Popcorn Heaven! We’ll see you all tomorrow!
Young’s Popcorn Heaven
3634 N. Gale Avenue