The history of popcorn is deeply tangled with America, where corn is a staple food. But, the oldest popcorn known to date was found in New Mexico. In 1948, Herbert Dick and Earle Smith discovered small heads of corn and individually popped kernels deep in a dry cave known as the “Bat Cave.” The kernels have since been carbon-dated to be approximately 5,600 years old. There are lots of varieties and types based on shape, size, family and their add-ons. Here’s a list of types of popcorn for you to try out.
Caramel corn or caramel popcorn is a confection made of popcorn coated with a sugar or molasses based caramel candy. Typically a sugar solution or syrup is made and heated until it browns and becomes thick, producing a caramelized candy syrup. This hot candy is then mixed with popped popcorn and allowed to cool.
Sometimes, a candy thermometer is used, as making caramel is time-consuming and requires skill to make well without burning the sugar. The process creates a sweet flavoured, crunchy snack food or treat. Mixes of caramel corn sometimes contain nuts, such as peanuts, pecans, almonds, or cashews.
There are many commercial brands and forms of caramel corn available, such as crackerjack and crunch ‘n munch. The Maryland-based fisher’s popcorn, Ohio-based Chesapeake popcorn and Chicago-based nuts on Clark are examples of speciality caramel corn and popcorn companies.
It is a sweet-and-salty variety of popcorn that is typically mixed or seasoned with refined sugar, salt, and oil. As it was traditionally made in cast iron kettles, it got its name kettle corn. But in modern times, other types of pots and pans are used. The lighter, sweet but un-caramelized kettle corn, maybe a North American colonial predecessor to caramel corn.
Some popcorns are labeled as “hulless.” This is a bit of a misnomer, as the hull is the outer layer of the kernel—all popping corn has a hull. Varieties known as hulless are generally smaller with a thinner shell.
Yellow is the popcorn you will find at your local grocery store. It is large, yellow in color, and exactly what you think of when you think “popcorn.” Yellow popcorn, even the organic varieties, is inexpensive. We always have some on hand. This is also what movie theaters use.
This yellow popcorn is dainty. If you love the tiny pieces of popcorn at the bottom of the bowl, you will love ladyfinger. The small size makes this type good for topping soups or baked goods.
It is perfect for confection-coated applications. Its sturdy baseball which can withstand the processes of candy-coating, and because of its exceptional surface area, accepts other flavours very well too. The resulting products are less prone to crushing, and once coated, will tend to stay fresh and crispy much longer than their uncoated butterfly popcorn counterparts. This is exceptionally used for flavours with cheddar cheese.
It has another name as well, “snowflake popcorn”, and is well known for its use in theatre-style and home-made popcorn products. You usually offer it up with nothing more than a little salt and perhaps some melted butter. Its relatively delicate shape means butterfly popcorn is best-consumed fresh-popped for maximum crunch and freshness.
And currently, the plunge from movies to microwaves is incredible. According to the Popcorn Board, Americans eat approximately 13 billion quarts of popped corn per year or 42 quarts per person. In this COVID-19 situation, “Netflix and chill with popcorn” became the most popular phrase among children and adults.
That list might have made you feel hungry. You can check out our post on the Ruby Chocolate, for a new experience with chocolate.