A regular tent at the Findlay Market in Cincinnati’s Over The Rhine neighborhood, Mama Made It Kettle Corn is a farely straightforward operation. As you can imagine, it sells kettle popcorn, a very popular snack item commonly seen in county fairs and street fests. The red tent commonly seen in the market is the only place the popcorn is sold in a dedicated business sense, though it can also be found in a number of other grocery stores throughout Cincinnati.
So, the gist of kettle corn is pretty simple, it’s made in a kettle and sweetened with sugar or honey and salt. Like most other popcorn, this variety is light and fluffy, but Mama Made It has three or four varieties of the stuff to try or buy — an original version, a caramel version, a cheddar version commonly seen in stores, and a spicy version known as “Chicago Style.”
The normal, simple version is run-of-the-mill kettle corn (which is still very tasty) while I actually found the caramel version a little plain. It’s all beside the point though, because the Chicago Style kettle corn is out of this world. It’s cheesy and sweet like you would expect from kettle corn, but then there’s a spice that kicks in afterward. Unbelievable. I’ve never had kettle corn that has tasted so good. If you like spicy food, this variety is absolutely a must to try — you won’t find a better spicy popcorn in the area.
The cramped little tent evokes memories of county fairs and the festive employees are more than happy to give you a sample to try before you buy. At $4 a bag, I would definitely suggest getting a sample before you purchase.