Popcorn seasonings – Butter and salt isn’t good enough for Canadians

When I was in college, I spent my summers in Connecticut, working as a counselor at a summer camp up in the mountains. Much of the staff was international and I got to meet a lot of awesome people from all over the world.

With that, I was exposed to a lot of quirky cultural differences, too. One night after a long day of working, a coworker and I decided to drive down into the nearest town an hour away and catch a movie. We were out in the middle of nowhere, so even though we drove an hour away, the town that was there was still relatively small and we were lucky it had a theater at all. If I remember correctly, it had two viewing rooms, although it may have only been one.

As such, you can imagine the concession stand worker’s surprise when my Canadian friend started asking him about popcorn seasonings. I asked if she was looking for popcorn salt or butter and she said no, she was looking for seasonings. Um, ok…seasoned salt, maybe? 

The guy behind counter looked nervous and even though she was a white girl who was speaking English and was technically from just across the border, he looked at her like she was speaking a foreign language. As did she, when the cashier offered her the oil and salt canisters that he used to make the popcorn with. “No, not that,” she flipped to me, asking for help, “You know? The shakers to put stuff on your popcorn? Like ketchup and stuff?”

I couldn’t help but laugh at this point. I asked some more questions and discovered that it wasn’t just something they’d have at home either, but when going to theaters, she was used to having shakers of flavorings such as pickles, ketchup, and barbecue sauce. I don’t know about the rest of Americans, but the closest you really get to seasonings around here is cheddar cheese or premade caramel popcorn. Butter and a couple variations of salt is as complex as it gets at the movies.

Row of popcorns seasonings flavors ketchup dill pickle nacho

So when I saw this row of popcorn spices while visiting in Vancouver, Canada, I had to take a picture. Check out the variety!

You probably can’t read all the labels, but here’s what this particular brand offered in the store I was shopping in. You should really click for a bigger picture because on each bottle, there’s a picture of a popcorn picture dressed up in various ways. 

  • All dressed (the popcorn man is wearing a top hat and bowtie, hehe)
  • Nacho
  • Sour cream & onion
  • Ketchup
  • Salt & vinegar
  • White cheddar
  • Sweet & salty
  • BBQ

On another funny side note, most of the bottles have the English flavor listed first and then the French word underneath. Well on the barbecue bottle, the format shows the flavor being “bbq” in English and “barbecue” in the French spot, hehe. You’ll be happy to know that most of them also say either “0 trans fat” or “no MSG.” Oooo. 


  1. Leave a Reply

    February 24, 2011

    I think BBQ would be good, but Ketchup? Pickle?

    the only thing I’ve ever put on my popcorn is Parmesan cheese or Reese’s pieces.

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