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Kettle Corn Wars at The Big E

West Springfield, MASS (WGGB) — Some people wait all year for it — that salty-sweet symphony of just-popped kettle corn.

But who makes the best batch at The Big E?

Any kettle corn connoisseur worth their salt knows that if you want the real deal, you’ve got to get from an actual kettle.

Therein lies the dilemma — do you buy from Cloud Nine behind the New Hampshire building? Or Henry’s Kettle Korn in Storrowton Village?

“Well, let’s put it this way, I teach how to make this,” says Bob Bell, owner of Cloud Nine. “The other guys signed up, but they never came to class.”

“Surprisingly, they actually look for the hat,” says Henry Towner, owner of Henry’s Kettle Korn. “I have a lot of people that look for the hat, but I have a lot of people who look for the cooker as well and see that it’s made kind of the old-fashioned way.”

Both Henry and Bob we nice enough to share their kettle corn cooking secrets — which are pretty similar.

But if you eat enough of it — and trust us, we did — you’ll pick up on a few differences.

Henry uses a butterfly kernel, which makes his kettle corn very light.

Bob, on the other hand, uses a mushroom kernel. It gives his kettle corn more of a crunch.

We here at ABC40 would polish off either bag — but most customers end up taking sides.

Dave Wright of Longmeadow says he’s a Henry’s man.

“Always here,” says Wright. “It’s very tasty.”

But for Paul Verme of Guilford, it’s all about Bob’s Cloud Nine kettle corn.

“We come up here just to get it fresh,” says Verme, “I only come here, I don’t trust it — I’d rather just come here.”

Verme adds, “I know it’s fresh, it’s cooked in front of us and it’s nice.”

The Big E wraps up in less than a week, so you’re running out of time to choose your favorite.

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