Corny Snacks


Here’s a light post on snacking alternatives… then a few other posts including a Cebuano Torta up next, before I return to the European trip… Florence being the next stop. Many posts ago, a few of my readers (mostly abroad) asked me if I had tasted Boy Bawang or garlic flavored corniks. Not sure if corniks are a local phenomenon but I recently spotted some Boy Bawang in the grocery korn2and decided to bring a medium-sized bag home. I have definitely tasted these before but just in passing. On closer inspection, the packaging was attractive and noticeable, the corniks “plumper” and lighter and not too oily and the flavor of garlic intense. Pretty good if you are a corniks fan as my wife and the Kid definitely are. Personally, I have never been a huge fan of corniks but I do understand the addiction for others. A few days after the Boy Bawang taste test, my daughter brought home 24 mini packs from the grocery for snacking and they were priced at less than PHP2 per pack…now that, is a bargain if you ask me!

I am often totally “huli sa balita” or the last to know, so when one of my daughter’s friends showed up at the house munching popcorn out of a nice waxed paper bag and I tasted it and was korn3 totally blown away by the light, fresh and not overly sweet taste of Kettle Korn, I thought the stuff had just been miraculously invented. Apparently not, it has been around for a while now. And their most convenient retail spot (for me) is at the gas station on the corner of McKinley and EDSA in Makati. At about PHP60 a bag, it’s a bit pricier than corniks but it’s still a deal. It tastes like premium corn kernels, popped at high (dry heat?) and it is coated with sugar that tends to caramelize when in the high heat. It makes a terrific snack for kids and adults alike. Also perfect for road trips. Isn’t it just amazing what you can do with a few corn kernels, oil, heat, salt, sugar and garlic?


44 Responses

  1. I have to agree Boy Bawang is good. . . Have you guys tasted Chef Tony’s Popcorn they make great caramel popcorn, and my favorite, pesto popcorn (which i think is caramel popcorn with pesto) you have to try it, it is good. . .

  2. I only got on the Holy Kettle Corn bandwagon this year too. A friend brought three big bags over and got me hooked. At work, I’m sandwiched by two HKC retailers. I prefer it to the oily/salty tasting popcorn in the theaters that feel like they’ve been sitting reheated for hours.

    For chichacorn/corniks, I like the ones from Ilocos, a colleague brings us cheese flavored ones whenever she comes down for a visit.

  3. Hi MM and Wlison,

    Yup, I work just across one of the retail stores of Chef Tony’s and I can personally vouch for the quality of their popcorn.

    Btw, Wilson, have you tried the other flavors like the one with pecan and is that white chocolate? I think there’s also one with white cheddar? how did they fare up?

    MM, you must also try Chef Tony’s.

  4. Hi Lei and Wilson,
    Where can we get Chef Tony’s popcorn? I have read rave revies about this and am curious enough to want to try it. Thanks :)

  5. it might interest you to know that at the sm mall of asia branch they cook the popcorn on the spot as people wait in line..watching the very sweaty cook transform the kernels into golden beauties brought out the kid in me and almost all the adults who patiently waited their turn to be served (most famous comment:”wow! ang galing)…it will leave you wondering though when the Popper (cook) will get sick from all the sweat and heat.

  6. I also like Chef Tony’s popcorn. My only thing is, there isn’t any info on the container – like ingredients, fat content etc.. Isn’t this a requirement?

  7. I tried Holy Kettle Corn when it first introduced in 2004 (i believe?) and was eating it on a weekly basis after the gym. It then became a staple on weekend getaways! a similar sweet-salty popcorn is being sold under the RFM brand as well. I find the the kernel slightly over sugarcoated and not too salty unlike the balanced taste HKC has. Will try Chef Tony’s. Uh-oh, the battle of the sweet/salty popcorn has begun!

  8. oh and you should try the Boy cheese and Boy chili cheese cornick flavors of Boy Bawang.;)

  9. Meg, I’ve seen Chef Tony’s popcorn in Metrowalk (outside Pancake House) and Podium. They offer the 3 main flavors in these branches and you can order the special flavors (chocolate with nuts) from them. Call them at 0917-500-CORN

  10. i bought my chef tony’s popcorn at metrowalk but they were a bit “makunat” already, just after opening. maybe because they’re just in a plastic container, not that tightly sealed, unlike holy kettle & the other brand kettle corn (red plastic).

  11. Tei,

    Do not fret!!! Since I have been a regular customer, I can attest that they have a couple of days assurance, do not specifically know the exact number of days but still I have been guaranteed that in case you open one that is not that fresh anymore, just return to them the next day or within a reasonable number of days and they will kindly replace it.

    Hmm…..seems that I have also to try holy kettle.

  12. I got my first taste of Chef Tony’s popcorn at…PriceSmart. (OT: They don’t have the meat and seafood section anymore, and their pizza stall doesn’t even sell bottled water!!!) Their pesto flavor is very good.
    Frayed, re nutritional information, I don’t think that’s mandatory yet? I was wondering about the same things.
    In my opinion, HKC still tastes better than the local copycats.

  13. Make mine Holy Kettle!

    I love it when I arrive at the stall while the corn is popping, filling the entire area with its to-die-for aroma. I position my self in front of the stall and wait for the popcorn man to scoop the large and newly popped kernels in a bag. I do not even ask him to seal it. My hand dives into the bag and I’m in holy kettle heaven.

    I taste-tested Chef Tony’s at Cost U Less. Maybe it’s the absence of the whole popping experience, maybe its the strange, not-quite right flavor combos but I didn’t at all have the urge to buy a bucket…

  14. mia, I did a post on Price Smart several days ago that got a lot of attention…it’s decline, that is. Nutritional information is required in the U.S., but to my knowledge, not yet in the Philippines. Geez, didn’t know there was so much fervor for one popcorn or the other. I think I had chef Tony’s from Price Club and it was okay but older…

  15. Ok, no nutritional info but not even the ingredients are mentioned? Normally even something like cornicks or local biscuits would have ingredients

  16. I’m a HUGE fan of Kettle Corn, and have been for a while now. Everytime I buy, I have to make sure I buy two additonal bags one each for my mom and dad.

    When I first tried it the only place they had a stall in was Alabang Town Center and I would order it from an officemate who lived in the area. Now they’re sprouting up all over the place. Yay!

  17. Hi! I was googling for recipes that could have Boy Bawang or corniks as an ingredient and came upon your website.

    I was wondering if it is even possible to use Boy Bawang in a gourmet meal?

  18. Francesca, honestly, I haven’t even thought about boy bawang in a gourmet meal. But I could see it as an added crushed topping to lugaw or pospas or perhpas after you saute fresh bean sprouts you could sprinkle crushed oby bawang on top. You could always crush the corniks and try and use it as a coating for fried shrimp or perhaps pork chops? But that exhausts my creativity on uses of boy bawang… thanks for asking.

  19. I love popcorn! I can say that HKC is the best one i ever tasted. Hope you come up with other flavors. I also want to know if you are open for franchise? If so, can you please email me some info about it…thanks!

  20. Greetings….To everyone here that has spoken so highly of HKC, I’d like to thank you. If your name appeared before July 5th 2006 on this website, I would like to give you all a couple large bags of HKC! for FREE. Please email me at for details…

    Please check out our website

    Thanks again

  21. Wow! that’s nice. i hope other companies would follow suit in giving away freebies to loyal patrons. i guess i would have to try HKC and chef tony’s, am missing out on the whole craze!! luckily, my sister just sent me two big boxes of Orville Redenbacher’s Popcorn that’s why i don’t usually buy popcorn when am out at the mall. but i do love boy bawang, and the ones you can buy on mini-packs are the one which tastes better. it has more of the garlicky flavor and real bits of garlic. my sister who visited last may who comes from las vegas even brought back 2 large bags of the mini-packs since according to her it is sold for $1 by a fellow filipino nurse at the hospital!! she would want to give it as pasalubong instead of the usual chichacorn.

  22. Well, I guess I’m too late for the free HKC. ha ha ha! But I just like to say that I first tried it in Cebu (the Ayala mall) when I went there for graduate school and had to lug back so many paper bags with me – a week’s supply! – to last till my next class in Cebu. I was very happy when I found it at Glorietta while I was on vacation in Manila. Now I am ecstatic because we have it in Bacolod City. As for Boy Bawang, I got introduced to this because it was my students’ bigtime favorite – they endlessly munched on it so the whole classroom smelled garlicky!

  23. Wow, cornik-coated pork chops?! Will MM be the next iron chef? :-)

    What do you think of cornik-coated catfish fillets? Or cornik cornbread?

  24. trish, if I ever went on an iron chef episode they would be filming this crazed whirling dervish that hadn’t the foggiest clue what to do…it would make great entertainment, comical, that is!

  25. I must confess that I didn’t really get addicted to Holy Kettle Corn. It was ok but I prefer salty or spicy flavor. I’m more addicted to microwave popcorn, in particular, a flavor called “sassy salsa”. I forgot the popcorn brand though. You can buy it at Hi-Top Supermarket along Quezon Avenue.

    I guess I’m somewhat a one-direction person since I do the same thing with coffee: brewed, piping hot with 2 spoons of sugar and no cream. No frappuccinos for me!

  26. Where is Makati can we buy Chef Tony’s popcorn?
    Price Smart in The Fort has already closed shop.

  27. fiona, I don’t know if they have a branch in that area, I hope other readers see this question and leave a comment…though the thread is a bit old…

  28. Have you tried the bawang na bawang, there are whole galic that is toasted and it is similar with boy bawang…My mom asked me to try when I went to Philipippines and it is not salty as boy bawang, but you can really taste the garlic kernel…

  29. I want to franchise holy kettle corn in Makati or Manila area. pls e-mail to me the cost of Franchising a holy kettle corn and the kettle corn. Thanx

  30. I love Holy Kettle Corn!!! i dont share my small bag coz i can finish it alone! :P

    I like Chef Tony’s too.. their light corn and original recipe! i wanna try the roasted almond mochacino soon.. and their white cheddar. hope they come up w/ new flavors too.. hmmm.. like something w/ macadamia or peanut butter? :P

    im addicted to these 2 brands right now!!

  31. Hi! Does anyone have a complete list of Holy Kettle Corn brances? Thanks! I’m craving for this bigtime =P

  32. mmm i’m munching on chef tony’s cinnamon butter flavor ATM. not exactly my fave but enough to sate my cravings. yummmeh. :)

  33. I LOVE HKC! I have a whole bag for myself at least once a week! Question though, is one small bag just 30 grams and equal to just one serving?

  34. I love Chef Tony’s. They take something as ordinary as popcorn and make it spectacular. The flavoring is consistent from top to bottom, kernels well popped (and bilog-na-bilog). It’s more expensive – but you get what you pay for (the flavors are “real” not powdered… and when they say there are nuts, hindi bitin). I try the other flavors every once in a while (I learned that I’m not into Pesto or Cinnamon) – but I always come back to the ever reliable Almond Mochaccino and my current favorite: White Cheddar (perfect blend of sweet and salty – with a nice sharp cheddar taste at the end… yummy!!!). Try it at least once :-) Warning: it’s not your everyday popcorn and I’d wager it doesn’t appeal to everyone. Particularly, if you’re sharing with kids, stick with the original. But for the grown up palate – knock yourself out!

  35. I Love to eat Pop Corn from Chef Tony’s because It taste good and I’m addicted with the guy there, I think I,m in love with him already. He’s so nice and good on customer service. I love ED’s and the popcorn he was selling.

  36. im a very big fan of chef tony’s popcorn! by the way, can i know the estimated total assets and number of employees? thanks:D

  37. oops..and also can i also know where is their manufacturing plant here in the philippines and where?:D



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