Hello! I’m Neha Patel, Masala Pop owner and snack master. The story of Masala Pop began with my mom. Over 30 years ago, she started spicing up popcorn in the tradition perfected by the popcorn walahs found all over her native India. After spicing the popcorn in a big kettle she added papadums (lentil chips) and peanuts. The result was a spicy-with-a-touch-of-sweet snack sensation!
Over the years, wherever I went, care packages of my mom’s popcorn snacks followed. When those packages filled with tasty tidbits arrived, my happy friends always devoured the contents on the spot, inevitably exclaiming, “Where can I get more?”
So after 15 years of working in the field of sustainability, I decided to try a new approach to saving our planet by making snacks that make people happy. With plenty of support, encouragement, and popping assistance from friends and family, and guidance from the OSU Food Innovation Center, Masala Pop was launched in October of 2011. I started by making my mom’s original Savory Masala Pop. Soon I started experimenting with different blends of spices found in traditional Indian dishes, including the distinctive Garam Masala blend and the spices found in Indian-style tea–Chai. Through these experiments the new Masala Pop popcorn flavors Tamarind Sesame and Chai Masala came into being!
The exotic flavors of Indian food seem almost limitless, and I think popcorn is the perfect vehicle for showcasing them! From Vindalho to Tandoori, Coconut Curry to Bombay Chaat and beyond, there are many more Masala Pop flavors in the works…stay tuned!