We go in destination places such as the carnival or in movie theaters and smell that very buttery flavor traveling to our nostrils. What do most of us do when that scent reaches our noses? Get hungry and invest in that wonderful and tasty, fluffy corn that we know as simply popcorn.
At each minute that popcorn is eaten, one cannot help to wonder how can a simple little piece of corn could turn into these big and fluffy edible little superstars. The process is easier that what it appears.
Everyone knows that popcorn comes from corn, obviously. What really makes corn turn into this stuff? Well, the corn makes its expansion from the kernel and becomes inflated when it becomes hot. But unlike other types of grains, popcorn kernels are equipped with a hard moisture-sealed hull and a filling that contains a certain amount of starch. With the hard covering on the kernels, it lets pressure build inside until it expands and the popcorn and its sound are born.
There are many different ways in which popcorn is served. It can be served sweet, buttery, salty, or whichever suits the to-be popcorn consumer. When we go in our local supermarkets or a convenience store, we see that in terms of popcorn, there are various flavors to choose from. The flavors usually range from white cheddar, regular cheddar cheese to original, which are usually plain. Caramel popcorn are also sold. However, expect to pay a higher price for them–at least from my experience.
Popcorn sales go beyond the supermarkets and the convenience store. There are shops that specializes in popcorn. For example, Garrett’s Popcorn in downtown New York City and Chicago, they have a variety of popcorn styles (i.e. Caramel, Chicago Style Mix, etc.). The popcorn at Garrett’s are tasty and addicting; however it is quite expensive.
There is the story with the microwaveable popcorn. Thank goodness for these portable little kernel bags. We can carry it everywhere we choose to go, providing if a working microwave is available! It is the perfect tool for the popcorn cravings. Many of us know that the microwaveable popcorn contain many flavoring agents, such as butter. The downside to some of these agents are that it contains diacetyl, which is responsible for some people suffering from respiratory dilemmas.
As far as nutritional value is concerned, the air-popped popcorn tends to be much higher in terms of fiber, lower in fat and in calories, sodium is almost non-existent, and no sugar added. When it comes to the good old flavor, large amounts of fat, sugar, and sodium are added to the already-fixed popcorn. As a result from all of this “preparation,” the nutritional value can be much lower, but those flavors give the popcorn the “enhancement” that many people are looking for. When people are eating this stuff, the least thing that he/she is worried about are poor diet choices; it is the taste that is being craved.
Speaking of health risks, popcorn is one of those foods that according to the American Academy of Pediatrics, children under the age of four should not be eating popcorn because of their chances of choking on it is very likely. I do notice that when there is a popcorn commercial, the children are usually over the age of four. Children that are under four years old do not realize when popcorn is eaten, part of the popcorn particles can break apart. This part is usually the cause of choking, even with many adults.
Regardless of the ups and down of consuming popcorn, it is still a must-have fluffy snack, especially when going to see a potentially good (or boring) flick at the local cinema. I will eat popcorn to that!