Popcorn Questions

What makes popcorn pop?

Heat and Pressure. Popcorn kernels contain moisture in their centers. When kernels are heated over a fire, stove, or in a microwave, the moisture turns to steam and builds up pressure. When the pressure gets high enough the kernel then explodes, turning itself inside out. Good popcorn puffs up big and flaky, and overheated popcorn pops up in hard balls. Microwave Popcorn is the best method of popping corn because it heats the kernel from the inside making a stronger explosion and makes more larger, more flaky and tender popped kernels.

What is the difference in popcorn and field corn that is used for hogs and cattle?

It is felt that the original corn used by the Indians was popcorn. 3000 year-old ears and kernels have been found in an Arizona cave. These kernels still popped when heated. The Indians also used flint corn which they parched before eating. Field corn (maize) was generally ground and made into a bread-like food. Modern popcorn hybrids are individually developed for special characteristics. Carmel corn requires a large round ball. Gourmet popcorn is usually very small, tender and high in expansion. Ready to eat, butter or cheese flavored popcorn requires a large rugged flake to avoid crumbling in the package.

What are the unpopped kernels called?

They are called Old Maids.

What brand of popcorn pops the best?

We can't say for sure! Set up an experiment with 5 different brands. You might need to try the test more than once as they can vary from box to box. Old popcorn does not pop as well as new popcorn.


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