I have lost count of how many times I enjoyed popcorn at a movie theater. Why is it that Americans enjoy this snack by the bushels on a daily basis? This awesome snack is even more delicious if you enjoy it in the comfort of your own home, but to make that happen, you need well-grown popcorn kernels that money can buy.
This is probably one of the favorite homemade snacks that do not have an age group definition. Kids and adults can be found munching on this mouthwatering snack at movie houses and at home, all over America.
If you have restless kids at home, you better have popping kernels for making popcorn or you will find yourself cooking every minute of the day. Popcorn is easy to make and most teenagers can even lead you through the steps blindfolded.
Some are made to pop in the microwave, while others will pop open right on your stovetop or inside a special small popcorn making machine. Before we get to some of the top rated popcorn kernels one can buy on Amazon, let’s explore a few facts about this food ingredient.
Basic Facts about Popcorn
Contrary to what some might think, not all types of corn can be made into popcorn as my mom discovered after she planted corn in our backyard trying to save money.
The name for the cultivated strain of kernels that pops is Zea mays everta, now try pronouncing that three times in a row. This strain is part of the flint corn family.
The kernels used for making popcorn are able to pop because there is hard moisture that is sealed into the hull and it also comes with a very dense starchy interior. It is only when the temperature reaches a certain degree will it pop open to reveal the interior.
At present, in America, kernels that are used in popcorn making are grown in at least 25 states with Nebraska and Indiana been the two top producing areas of the country.
The regular corn you buy at the supermarket or you can grow in your backyard are different from the kernels that are capable of popping when heated the right way.
It is also true that the cultivating and harvesting of these kernels requires a special touch. The kernels will perform better when they’re harvested when the husks are completely dried and brown in color. When you hold the husk in your hands it will feel hardened, and to the untrained eye, unusable.
The normal temperature when the kernels will begin to turn into popcorn varies by brand, but 100 to 150 degrees centigrade is just about right.
There are now many different types of popcorn making machines with the right preset temperatures to make it easier to make your favorite brand of popcorn in the comfort of your own home.
I have lost count of the different types of popping kernels I have bought from the supermarket, and now with online commerce, there are many brands to contend with. I do know that the natural color for the kernels for making popcorn should be white or yellow.
Any other color apart from those two can be called hybrid kernels for popcorn making. I like to buy my food ingredients as close to natural as possible, for it is not only more nutritious but also healthier for your body.
The organic popping kernels will cost you more, and some have said it might be tastier and healthier too, but you be the judge of that claim.
Organic Popcorn Kernels
1 – Great Northern Organic Yellow Gourmet Popcorn Kernels
If you think kernels for popping popcorn are created the same, you better think again. The growing and harvesting of the kernels start with good seeds and natural soil. One of the kernels with superior expansion qualities is the Great Northern organic gourmet popcorn.
To guarantee this these kernels arrive at your doorstep fresh, the packaging comes in a bag that is moisture proof. If you want finger-licking popcorn for you kids, these are the kernels to use.
It is available for purchase in two packaged sizes 5-Pound and 28-ounce. Not only are the kernels grown in the USA, they’re also free of genetically modified organisms. This gluten free food has been called the best popcorn in America one can buy on Amazon.
2 – Arrowhead Mills Organic Yellow Popcorn
Popcorn kernels brand that’s certified organic like this one will cost you a little bit more, but I found this brand to be full of natural flavor even before adding any of my favorite toppings.
The organic yellow popcorn from Arrowhead Mills is a provider of fiber including phosphorus and thiamin. This product is both kosher certified and USDA organic certified.
It is available in a 28-ounce size and if you buy from the link below the image you get six boxes in each package, which means bigger savings and cheaper per unit cost.
3 – Quinn Snacks Microwave Popcorn
Another great upstart with a claim of only using Non-GMO kernels is Quinn Snacks. The story of the founders is quite inspiring and a testament to the tenacity required to build a manufacturing business and overcoming difficulties.
Even the packaging material for the Quinn Snacks microwave popcorn is made out of recyclable paper, which means the kernels are not affected by plastic or chemical coatings.
It is made to be used in a microwave oven and contains no artificial flavors, preservatives, or additives. Most important of all, the kernels are infused with Atlantic sea salt, which means they’re ready to eat once out of the oven.
Health Risk Associated with Eating Popcorn
Like every other type of food, the way the kernels are grown and harvested contributes to any perceived or real dangers associated with eating this popular American snack food. The real danger is derived from the many different types of toppings Americans have decided to invent to further enjoy this snack.
The threat of choking from eating popcorn is real and should not be ignored, especially for little kids. There are many stories of kids and sometimes adults choking to death from eating their popcorn too fast.
In my opinion, popcorn tastes better when consumed with just a little bit of salt and maybe butter. But leave it to Americans to turn a healthy snack into one that can cause obesity. I have seen popcorn made using highly saturated fat oils and then coated with sugar.
Be careful what toppings you put on your popcorn for it is quite easy to turn this lovely snack into an unhealthy one based on what you add to it.
The worst type of popcorn you can buy is the pre-packaged one that is ready to eat. First of all, you have no idea what type of kernels were used or the type of chemical preservatives added to keep it fresh in the sealed packaging.
If you must indulge in eating popcorn cook your own and add a minimal amount of toppings or just salt. The brands reviewed above are just a tiny fraction of the best-selling best popcorn kernels brand one can search for on Amazon.com.