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Who Knew? Popcorn

Who Knew?  Popcorn
Who Knew?  Popcorn

June 12, 2024 7:04 PM CDT
By: Laura McKenna

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Who Knew?  Popcorn

If eating popcorn made you a corn expert, I would be well on my way to scholar level knowledge at this point in my life.

Yet somehow, just this past weekend, I found out why some gourmet popcorn just tastes, well… better!

It’s not the price tag. It’s not even the powders or butters or flavor add-ons. It’s literally the popcorn itself. Some of it is just BIGGER! More robust! More of a munching in your mouth!

I pondered my new “Bigger = Better Theory” of popcorn as I sat snacking on some really good popcorn over the weekend. I had just officiated a wedding and the new bride and groom were sweet enough to ask me to stay for dinner. Like many weddings nowadays, they had a little snacky station set up to tide wedding guests over during that lull period between ceremony and the reception dinner.

Lo and behold, they had a popcorn station with so many different gourmet popcorn flavors to choose from. From what I remember, there was everything from a Creamy Dill to Spicy Buffalo to a sweet Caramel Corn (and a bunch of other flavors in between). And as I sat there munching through a sampling of all of it, I noticed a couple of things:

  1. The kernels were HUGE! Each one was perfectly round and just a poof of jumbo size popcorn crunchiness.
  2. Because the kernels were so much bigger, they seemed to hold on to the flavor dust so much better than your average piece of popcorn.

As I kept popping big kernel after big kernel into my mouth, I pictured a room full little old Grannies that worked at this make-believe gourmet popcorn factory in my mind. All day long, they just sorted through all the popcorn to find the biggest and roundest of the bunch. Upon finding the prized popcorn, they would place it in a separate bowl that would eventually make its way to the gourmet popcorn flavor room. It would become seasoned and then end up at fancy gatherings such as this. But that process would take forever, right? Those big bursting bulbous pieces are so few and far between whenever I have popped my own at home. (And I’ve popped a lot at home!)

So how do they make it so big and yummy? Because it honestly did taste better than anything I’ve made before.

It’s not magical popcorn sorting Grannies. It Mushroom Popcorn. Yeah, Mushroom Popcorn. It’s a thing!

Mushroom Popcorn is a separate specialty kernel that produces those big fluffy round puffs of corn, perfect for holding onto all that flavor. As much as I love all popcorn, those regular kernels I’ve always used will never pop up like a Mushroom kernel. It’s a totally different cultivated piece of corn, designed to be dense and firm, making it perfect for lots of seasoning to stick to.

So I wasn’t just realllllly hungry, it actually was just realllllly that good! And now that another wedding is in the books, I’m on the hunt for a bag of Mushroom Popcorn so I can pop up my own batches at home.

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