Or, For the Love of Popcorn!
Who doesn't love popcorn?
Think of popcorn and you may think of sitting in a darkened movie theater. Perhaps it reminds you of a carnival. Or the circus. Does it bring to mind watching a baseball game at the ballpark? Or, maybe it's just a yummy treat that you enjoy at home.
No matter what you associate with popcorn, you may be surprised to learn that popcorn has been around for a very long time. Evidence has shown that popcorn was an important food to 16th century Aztec Indians, and was part of their culture, being used in ceremonies as decoration in headdresses or worn as necklaces. The oldest ears of corn ever found were discovered in a bat cave in Mexico and have been dated to be about 4,000 years old!
Did You Know?
Americans consume nearly 17 billion quarts of popcorn per year!
No, it's not magic
Popcorn is a type of maize (aka corn) and is a whole grain. There are four types of corn, but only popcorn can pop. This is because this type of corn is the only one with a hull that is just the right thickness to allow that to happen.
So what makes it pop?
Essentially, inside each kernel of popcorn is a tiny drop of water. This itsy bit of water is surrounded by a soft layer of starch. When you heat the kernel, the water begins to expand. When it reaches a certain temperature it changes the consistency of that layer of starch, and as the temperature rises higher it can no longer be contained by the hull until...POP! You have popcorn.
So why the funny shape of popcorn?
As the kernel explodes open, steam is released. The soft starchy stuff is inflated by the steam, but cools immediately upon meeting the air outside the kernel and that's what forms it into that odd shape that we know as popcorn!
in popcorn lingo, refers to the percentage of popcorn kernels that pop
Some helpful tips
Successful popping is all about the moisture inside the kernel of popcorn, and that's why proper storage is very important to achieving maximum popability.
To guard against moisture loss, store your kernels in an airtight container - plastic or glass - and keep in a cool, dry place. Contrary to popular belief, you should not store the kernels in a refrigerator, as this can dry them out and that will result in poor popping.
Popular popping methods include:
- air popping
- stovetop popping
- machine popping
- microwave popping
If using oil in your popping, choose one with a mild, neutral taste such as canola oil. It has a high smoke point so it won't scorch the corn, it's inexpensive, and it's low in saturated fats.
No matter which method you choose, it's best to remove the popcorn immediately when it's done popping. But beware of the steam. If you don't remove the popcorn right away, that steam can't escape and it will make your popcorn soggy.
What are "Old Maids"?
That's the term for those unpopped kernels you find at the bottom of the bowl!
Top Rated Popcorn Poppers
There are different methods and poppers available for popping popcorn, and these devices are all rated highly in their categories for ease of use, efficiency, speed, or ease of cleanup.
This popper uses oil and has a non-stick heating surface that's a snap to clean. Fast and easy, with consistently great tasting popcorn.
A microwave popper that can be used with or without oil, it receives high ratings for easy of use, and the ability to make light, fluffy popcorn.
Did You Know?
The average American eats 54 quarts of popcorn per year.
Which method is your favorite for popping corn at home
You can't go wrong with popcorn!
Do you know someone who really enjoys popcorn? Then these two products are perfect.
Popcornopolis is already popped and is so delicious. Not many pre-popped popcorns can retain freshness and be delicious like Popcornopolis can.
For those that like to make their own, Fireworks Popcorn gourmet popping corn is the way to go. Each has its own flavor so there's no need for fancy seasonings - just a little salt to taste. Yum!
This gourmet sampler pack gets high ratings for being fresh-tasting and delicious. Fun sweet and savory flavors include such favorites as Cinnamon Toast, Pecan Caramel, and Cheddar Cheese, to name a few.
Fun facts about this tasty snack
The first commercial popcorn machine was invented by Charles Cretors in 1885
Many movie theaters make more money from popcorn sales than they do from ticket sales
The scientific name of popcorn is Eva mays everta
Popcorn is a whole grain
Popcorn has more iron than eggs, spinach, peanuts or roast beef
Unbuttered popcorn only has between 25-55 calories per cup
Which states produce the most popcorn?
Ilinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Michigan, Missouri, Nebraska and Ohio.
with these fun products!
National Popcorn Day
January 19th is widely regarded as National Popcorn Day!