It’s one of America’s favourite good for you snacks. Well… it’s good for you until you add whatever it is you add to it. Me personally, I’m a fan of fresh popped popcorn with m&m’s… when I’m not at the movies, that is. Then it’s just however my best mate makes it. I don’t know what he puts in the popcorn, but he always makes it perfectly. Not too buttery, not too salty, just right. Thus, it’s a good thing that when we go together, we usually get the refillable bucket because the way we nosh on popcorn is ridiculous. Anyways, anecdores aside; the inspiration for this came from a few nights ago. I was eating popcorn and noticed that Orville Redenbacher had created something wickedly awesome: the pop up bowl. Naturally, as I came to discover while writing this, there’s more to popcorn than brands and tastes. It has quite the history.
Some facts about popcorn for you…
- Popcorn is really old. Somewhere between 1948-1950 the oldest ears of popcorn were found in “The Bat Cave” west of Central Mexico. These ears were over 4,000 years old. So… I guess if that saying “Older is better” holds true, that popcorn must be pretty darn good, right?
- You all know how the movie industry thrived during the great depression, right? Same thing with popcorn. While everything else was failing under the depression, popcorn vending flourished. I mean… you can’t really have a good movie without popcorn.
- Surprisingly, popcorn and movies haven’t always gone together like peanut butter and jelly. It wasn’t until the 1920’s that grudgingly theatre owners added a popper to their lobbies. Before then, vendors would sell it to patrons on their way in. Who would have known?
- They say that movies killed the radio star, right? The same can be said about television and popcorn. In 1950 with the introduction to television at home, popcorn sales slumped. This was due to less people going to the theatres. So, less time at the movies meant less popcorn sales.
- When people began eating popcorn at home while watching television, popcorn sales soared through the roof.
- These days, popcorn is one of the top reasons people use their microwave, thus it has the “popcorn” button. How clever, eh?
- Popcorn is widely consumed, Americans consuming over 17 billion quarts a year. If you average it out, that’s around 54 quarts a person, give or take.
- There are two types of popcorn: mushroom and snowflake. Snowflake is used in ball parks and theatres do to the fact it pops and looks larger, thus more appealing to the consumer. Mushroom, on the other hand, is used in the stuff you buy for your house and both look as such. Next time you’re at the theatre, stop and look at the popcorn. Same with when you’re home, you’ll notice a slight difference.
So continuing on, have you ever noticed when you’re at the grocery that there’s a variety of popcorn and makers. You’ve got more than a handful of popcorn creators… Act II, Butterkist, Cracker Jack, Dale & Thomas Popcorn, Healthy Choice (What don’t these people put their label on!? I’ve seen it on soup… frozen food… now popcorn? Good God), Jiffy Pop, LesserEvil, Market Pantry, Newman’s Own (Isn’t he the maker of salad dressing? Alright then… not asking questions), Orville Redenbacher’s, Pop Secret, Pop Weaver, and finally, Smartfood.
(If I missed any in the above list, please do tell me. Until recently, I’d not heard of LesserEvil or Jiffy Pop.)
My personal preference for popcorn has always been Pop Secret or Orville Redenbacher’s. Mr. Redenbacher, or whoever has created that company, really is quite genius. As of late, I was looking for a snack to just nosh on whilst reading through Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows(just in time for the movie to come out in 17 days) and I went upstairs to raid through the pantry. Noting that my mother had bought popcorn, I blindy popped the bag in the microwave and pressed the popcorn button. The last time I’d had popcorn at home, it was out of the bag at my boyfriend’s place and the bag was.. well, a normal bag. This is where Orville’s bag confused me. The sides weren’t off the same material as the rest of the bag. Pausing to looks at the directions on the box (as only I would), it said to turn the bag on it’s side and tear off the top seam. Say what? I did as directed, a bit confused, mind you, and grasped the seam, tearing it off. What stood before me now was something of pure genius: a bag/bowl of popcorn. I don’t know about you guys, but eating popcorn out of the bag makes for greasy fingers as your hand scrapes the side of the bag, thus I prefer eating the popcorn out of a large bowl. This innovation, whoever made it, is genius. The next thing they should work on is making the bags ecofriendly, but I’ll save that for another day.
I mentioned earlier different ways in making your popcorn. Smartfoodbrings two of the best things together: white cheddar and popcorn, in an absolute delicious cheddary mess. That’s great on occasion (or however the bag lasts when you buy it), but there are so many different ways to make popcorn. Also mentioned earlier, candy and popcorn. But these are only a few of the simpler ways to enjoy your popcorn.
In doing research for this post, as I’ll be honest, I was completely unsure of what on earth I could talk about popcorn, I came across this website that has a good bunch of ideas for popcorn.
If you follow the link above, it’ll give you a whole plethora of ideas about the various ways to dress up one of America’s favourite snack foods. However, I’ll be posting my favourites, here.
Recipe #1: Bacon Cheddar Crisp
This is more of party popcorn. You could definitely serve this next to the nachos and I have a feeling it would go just as fast.
2 quarts popped popping corn
1 cup cooked, chopped bacon
4 cups shredded cheddar cheese
1/4 cup chopped green onions (totally optional)
How Ya Do It:
Preheat the oven to 275 Fahrenheit.
- If you haven’t already done it, pop the popcorn. Upon doing so, let it sit for a few moments so as it’s not too hot to the touch and divide it evenly in two batches. Take each batch and put it in a baking dish spreading it so it covers the bottom of the dish.
- Divide the bacon and cheese in two equal parts and spread them into each of the mixtures, making sure everything is nicely coated in bacon-cheesy goodness.
- Place both baking dishes in the oven and let them cook for 8-10 minutes or until the cheese is melted completely and bubbling.
Recipe #2: Cajun Popcorn
When you have a hankering for a slightly cajun taste and you don’t feel like cooking up a full cajun style meal or waiting that long for it to be cooked…
8 cups Popcorn, popped
4 tablespoons butter
1 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
How Ya Do It:
Melt the butter (I prefer to microwave it on half heat for 1-1 ½ minutes, stirring lots) and add all of the spices, stirring until well blended.
Add mixture to the popcorn and stir it up until well blended. Let sit for a few moments and enjoy!
Recipe #3: Mediterranean Magic Popcorn
For those evenings when you wish you were someplace that touches the Mediterranean sea (like Italy, France, Egypt, Moracco, Spain, etc.)
1 bag light microwave popcorn, popped
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 1/2 teaspoon Italian seasoning blend
1 tablespoon grated Parmesan cheese
How Ya Do It:
Take popped popcorn and place it in a large bowl. Set aside.
In a slightly smaller bow, mix together Olive Oil, Italian Seasoning and mix until blended.
Pour mixture over popcorn, tossing until well blended.
Add Parmesan cheese to taste.
Recipe #4: Popcorn & M&M’s
A personal favourite that brings back memories of sleepovers and fun times with friends. Caution, will induce nostalgia.
1 bag of your preference popcorn.
1 8 oz package of M&M’s (peanut, pretzel or regular)
How Ya Do It:
Pop popcorn according to directions. Set aside.
Open the pouch of M&M’s. Opening the popcorn (be careful of the steam) pour the candy into the bag and shake to mix well.
Let sit for 2-3 minutes and enjoy. You will need napkins as this does get messy. But it’s oh-so worth it.
Well, that’s it for me. Feel free to give these recipes (and other’s not listed from the website) a try and tell me what you think. Next week, you can expect another good recipe as it’ll be my anniversary. I’m planning on making Chicken Enchiladas and Fireman’s mac and cheese. Until then, stay hungry, Mates!