1. Preheat oven to 250°F.
2. Add the oil to a large dutch oven. Heat over medium heat and add 3 to 5 kernels of popcorn. Cover and wait until all kernels have popped, about 1 to 2 minutes.
3. Remove the popcorn with a slotted spoon and throw away.
4. Reduce the heat to medium low and add the rest of the popcorn kernels. Sprinkle with salt. Cover and allow the popcorn to pop until there is a couple of seconds between each pop, about 2 to 3 minutes.
5. Transfer the popcorn to a large roasting pan. Set aside.
6. In a heavy-bottomed saucepan, combine brown sugar, corn syrup, butter and salt.
7. Bring the mixture to a boil over medium heat, stirring constantly.
8. Stir in the baking soda and continue to cook until the mixture is thick.
9. Remove from heat and pour the caramel over the popcorn. Toss to coat evenly.
10. Bake the popcorn for 1 hour and 10 minutes or until crispy. Toss the popcorn every 15 minutes while it bakes.
11. Remove from heat and pour the popcorn onto baking sheets lined with foil. Let cool and break up the popcorn.
12. Once the caramel corn has cooled completely transfer it to airtight container where it will keep for a week or two.
Caramel corn is the perfect accompaniment to this cheese board. The Havarti cheese with the caramel corn is a match made in heaven!