Made in Vermont: Stewart Maple Popcorn

Published: Dec. 26, 2022 at 3:31 PM EST
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CUTTINGSVILLE, Vt. (WCAX) - It’s hard to describe the scent that comes from the popcorn kitchen at Stewart Maple in Cuttingsville, but if you were to try and pick a word...

“Mouthwatering,” laughed Alyssa Stewart.

Well, that pretty accurately sums it up.

Alyssa Stewart has been at the helm of the Stewart Maple Popcorn empire since 2018, but her mother-in-law, Gina, came up with the sweet treat long before that.

“The maple popcorn kind of just started as something that she was making at home for the boys to have and they’d bring it to school and all the classmates would have some, and it kind of escalated into, ‘Man, you should really bag this and sell it,’” she explained.

That’s exactly what they do, along with a wealth of other maple products made by the Stewart family. Stewart Maple boasts 1,200 acres and around 45,000 maple taps nestled in Rutland County.

“We’re definitely most well known for our maple popcorn, though we do dabble quite a bit in maple syrup as well,” joked Stewart.

When it comes to making the popcorn, there’s no dabbling here. It’s more like a drenching of delicious, mapley caramel sauce, that gets dumped on before being baked to crunchy perfection.

“It has really simple ingredients, no preservatives, so it’s everything that’s satisfying and nothing that’s not,” she said.

Stewart took us through the relatively simple process that results in such a complex and tasty flavor, and while we won’t give away the recipe, there is a lot of the sweet stuff.

“Definitely having Vermont pure maple syrup in the ingredients as such a major component in the ingredients also is going to give it that kind of level up from just your typical carnival corn,” she said.

Stewart Maple Popcorn has people from all over ordering online, taking to retailers that stock the stuff, or hoofing it to Cuttingsville to get a taste. Alyssa Stewart says most visitors won’t leave empty-handed.

“It’s one of those products they will often just be like, ‘We’re just going to get one bag, we’re going to try it, see how we like it,’ and then typically before they get into their car they’ve broken into it and they come back to make sure that everyone in the family has a bag,” she said.

Stewart tells us that this popcorn is not sharable, so they’ve got bags big and small. That way, every family can enjoy these sugary snacks, that you can only find in Vermont.