Posted by on Sep 12, 2012 in Desserts & Chocolate, Field Notes | 1 comment

Moose Munch® Popcorn. It’s the reason the smell of sweet caramel fills the parking lot on our beautiful Southern Oregon campus a few times a week. Deliciously rich and chocolaty, it’s always a treat to see a bowl of fresh Moose Munch® Popcorn in the break room when walking into work. Apart from our Royal Riviera® Pears, to me it’s the product that says Harry & David.

I decided to take an official tour of our candy kitchen to see how this Moose Munch® Popcorn business is done.

First of all, I’ve never seen so much popcorn in my life. Enormous steel vats are filled with the kernels, and I learn we use three different shapes to create that ideal crunch. They then pour gallons of gooey, delicious looking caramel into the mixture, add a blend of nuts and then add the chocolate for certain batches.

It truly looks like something out of Willy Wonka’s chocolate factory. And I might even be more impressed than the 10 year olds on the tour.

After the tour I sit down with our head chocolatier, Charlie Douglass, to get the scoop on the history of Moose Munch® Popcorn.

He explains that the day they produced their first successful batch of Moose Munch® Popcorn in the late ’90s was one of his favorite days at Harry & David. They loved caramel corn. But wanted to put a spin on it. This recipe had been in the works for a long time. They even had to fly down to Dallas, Texas, to test out some industrial equipment, which they eventually shipped to Southern Oregon once they dialed down the Moose Munch® Popcorn recipe.

Playing inventor and being a part of the Moose Munch® Popcorn process was definitely a perk to Charlie’s already awesome job.

With over 15 Moose Munch® Popcorn flavors on shelves already, I ask Charlie what new flavors he has in mind to try out next. I should’ve seen it coming as he shakes a finger at me. “Top secret,” he says.