by Cory Schulz, Grocery Staff Member
Could this be the snack food of choice? The never-watch-a-movie-without-it snack? Well, personally no. I think that chocolate is the all-time snack food. But because I come at this topic with a clear bias I bring you this article with the support of our bulk buyer, Laura B. So let’s see what information Laura can provide us with to intrigue even the most avid of popcorn eaters.
In Laura’s family popcorn was never really considered a snack but more like a staple. One of her favorite meals growing up was tomato soup and popcorn. Her grandparents used to watch Lassie and eat tomato soup and popcorn every Sunday night when Laura’s mother was growing up. Of course this predated the “air popper” and so, like most, relied on the stovetop for preparation.
Try making Garlic Butter & Cheese Popcorn by mixing 3-4 cloves of minced garlic sautéed in 3-4 tablespoons of unsalted butter or olive oil and pouring it over two quarts popped popcorn. Sprinkle a half-cup finely grated parmesan cheese and some salt to taste over it and enjoy!
Other alternatives include popping it in coconut oil to give it a coconut taste or using Earth Balance and nutritional yeast as flavorings. You can also add your favorite spices such as curry to create different flavors.
As some of you may already know, stovetop preparation requires a medium or medium-high heat and therefore you will need to choose appropriate oil that can handle higher heats. One possibility would be a coconut oil; I know we happen to carry a couple—First Quality Organics and Spectrum. Coconut oils can handle medium cooking temperature having a smoke point of 280ºF. Another acceptable oil would be grape seed oil with a light flavor and smoke point of 485ºF.
You will need melted butter, a four-quart pan, popcorn kernels, salt, and vegetable oil.
Begin by coating the bottom of your pan with a few tablespoons vegetable oil. Add a half cup of popcorn kernels. Cover pan. Turn burner to medium or medium-high heat. Let kernels cook, shaking occasionally to prevent burning. When frequency of popping decreases to three to five seconds between pops, remove the pan from the burner. Cool for a minute or two. Place popcorn in a large bowl and add your desired flavorings.
Yellow kernels give a larger-sized popped kernel. White kernels give an end result that tends to be softer than that of the yellow kernels. Baby rice popcorn pops in a small kernel with a tender texture that melts in your mouth. Baby rice may be referred to as being “hull-less” because the hulls are so fragile and soft that they virtually disappear during popping.
A benefit of eating popcorn is that it’s high in fiber and low in calories. Of course this latter portion is going to change with regards to individual preferences in flavoring.
As for the variety of popcorn, we see mostly yellow and white kernels with the occasional red. Our bulk aisle carries organic yellow and white kernel popcorn. In aisle 5 you can find Newman’s Own microwave popcorn in three different varieties. Also located in aisle 5 are Natural Value’s organic yellow and white kernel popcorn and the locally made Krinke’s Family Farm Market Red Baby Rice and Baby Rice Popcorn.