Popcorn, also known as popping corn, is a type of corn or maize that expands from the kernel and puffs up when heated.
Grains like amaranth grain, sorghum, quinoa, millet and corn are able to pop because, their kernels have a hard moisture-sealed hull and a dense starchy interior and some oil. When heated, pressure builds within the kernel, and a small explosion (or "pop") is the end result.
There are various techniques for popping corn. The commercial popcorn machine was invented by Charles Cretors in the late 19th century. Now we have along with pre-packaged popcorn can be prepared in a microwave oven, pressure cooker plus we have there are small home appliances for popping corn.
Some consider popcorn to be a health food it can also be used from holiday decorations to packaging materials.
Corn was first domesticated in Mexico 9,000 years ago from a wild grass. A few thousands of years later it then made its way across Central to South America. Popcorn is one of the oldest forms of corn; evidence of popcorn from 3600 B.C. was found in New Mexico.
Corncobs found at two ancient sites in Peru (Paredones and Huaca Prieta) may date from as early as 4700 B.C. This suggests that people living along the coast of northern Peru were already eating popcorn by that time.
Do you know that ….
In popcorn jargon, a popped kernel of corn is known as a "flake". Two shapes of flakes are commercially important. "Butterfly" or "snowflake" flakes are irregular in shape and have a number of protruding "wings". "Mushroom" flakes are largely ball-shaped, with few wings.
|"Mushroom"-shaped popcorn, left, is less fragile and less tender than "butterfly"-shaped, right. Courtesy: Google|
Popcorn is eaten by movie goers either salted or sweetened. In the 1800 century popcorn, milk and sweetener were breakfast in USA. Popcorn balls (popped kernels stuck together with sugary "glue") were hugely popular around the turn of the 20th century. Cracker Jack is a popular, commercially produced candy that consists of peanuts mixed in with caramel-covered popcorn. Kettle corn is a variation of normal popcorn, cooked with white sugar and salt, traditionally in a large copper kettle.
Small wonder that when movies are watched we have popcorn….
Here I have just popped the pre-packaged corn in a pressure cooker without the whistle.
Delicious popcorn ready in minutes…
What else do we have?
Well come back tomorrow to see that…
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