Temasek Poly students create chilli crab, chicken rice popcorn
Visitors to Artbox Singapore over the next two weekends can get to snack on chicken rice-flavoured popcorn.
Looking to experiment with Singaporean flavours, local popcorn company The Kettle Gourmet approached Temasek Polytechnic (TP) last year to develop two flavours.
The firm's founder, Mr Zac Chua, 27, said: "When we were developing new flavours, we didn't want the usual fan favourites."
With Mr Chua's input, TP baking and culinary science students Marcus Lim, 20, and Sheena Tan, 20, settled on chicken rice and chilli crab .
The students then spent a month in the school's kitchen analysing flavour profiles and sourcing for ingredients.
Apart from Mr Chua's feedback, they were given free rein to create the recipes.
"We tried using caramel coating to give the popcorn a crunchy texture but it didn't compliment the chicken rice flavour," Ms Tan said.
Though the students came up with a version of the chicken rice recipe, ultimately, the company decided to use a completely different recipe developed by their manufacturer.
For chilli crab, the students consulted their culinary instructors and were advised to add plum sauce to the recipe.
The chicken rice-flavoured popcorn will be sold at Artbox Singapore, a pop-up market that started in Bangkok, at the Bayfront Event Space in Marina Bay on May 25-27 and June 1-3.
It will also be available in The Kettle Gourmet's online store. The chilli crab flavour will be released within a few months.
Mr Chua was so impressed with the students that he offered them internships at The Kettle Gourmet.
This is not the first time the company, which was launched last year, is releasing local flavours of popcorn.
During Chinese New Year this year, it released 1,000 boxes of bak kwa-flavoured popcorn, which was sold out within four days.
It has also released teh tarik-flavoured popcorn.
The head of TP's Centre for Applied Nutrition Services, Ms Petrina Lim, 46, said its students get ample opportunities to collaborate with companies.
"The projects provide real-life experiences and demands, and if students are willing to take up the challenge, it's an enriching experience," she added.