All types of corn will pop, up to a certain degree, but only Zea mays everta, a type of flint corn, will pop inside out into the fluffy white thing we all know. Other types of corn will increase 1 to 7 times in volume but everta will increase 30 times. Hundreds of corn types have always existed both in North and South America but the first evidence of a corn with such "popping properties", was found in New Mexico.
The method for popping popcorn was probably thought up by Native Americans: sand was heated in a flat clay dish and the corn kernels buried in it, once ready they would pop up to the surface.^MBy the early 20th century popcorn vending carts, powered by steam or gas, were to be found in every stadium, circus and movie theatre. During the depression about the only profitable business was the sale of popcorn. 5 cents worth went a long way. During WWII, when most of the sugar had to be sent to the troops abroad, popcorn consumption tripled. And with the coming of television it only increased.
There is simply nothing more comforting than watching a movie while nibbling away at popcorn. What you add to it is entirely up to you, it depends on your mood - anything from melted butter, grated parmesan, savory salts and peppers, brewers' yeast (try it!) or buttery caramel, molasses and peanuts, the whole lot turned into a popcorn-nut-caramel crunch. Divine!
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Traditional whole yellow popcorn. Kernels are plump and fresh to pop u...