And then behold, thanks to the magic of applied heat (or, better yet, the modern microwave), we had this...
Snack and movie time have never been the same since.
Why is this seemingly little process - the popping of corn - such a big deal? Well, today is National Popcorn Lover's Day and it's exactly that outwardly mundane transition of an oddly-shaped vegetable that we seek to celebrate.
Western society came upon this tasty tidbit relatively late, when Native Americans introduced the delicacy to settlers of the new world in the 16th and 17th centuries. Yet, it bears noting that both Guatemala and Peru show evidence of the use of the "popped-corn" dating back to nearly 5,000 B.C.. So, while we may lay claim to it as one of America's great snacks, cultures around the globe were noshing on it on, you know...FIVE MILLENNIA prior to us. So regardless of the who, what, when, where, we invite you to fire up a batch!
From the good ol' fashioned buttered variety to caramel corn to folding-in some cheesy goodness, there are a million different ways you can up update the flavors. In fact, our friends at REDBOOK Magazine had a couple great twists on popcorn recipes from their most recent issue that we've got for you. Try them out!
Chili lime spice popcorn 12 cups popped popcorn 2 Tbsp grated lime zest 1 1/2 tsp each: ancho chile powder and ground cumin 1 tsp salt
Toss all ingredients together in a large bowl. You don't need melted butter to make most of these recipes better, but go ahead and drizzle some on for total decadence.
Smoky Spanish almond popcorn 12 cups popped popcorn 2 cups Marcona almonds 1 tsp each: Spanish paprika and salt 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
Toss all ingredients together in a large bowl. Drizzle with melted butter, if desired, and toss again.
Movie night mix popcorn 1/2 cup dark brown sugar 1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted 12 cups popped popcorn 2 cups salted pistachios 6 Tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder 2 tsp ground cinnamon 2 tsp sea salt flakes
1. Heat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Stir sugar into butter until dissolved. 2. In a large bowl, combine popcorn with remaining ingredients. Add sugar mixture, tossing to coat. Spoon mixture in a single layer onto 2 rimmed baking sheets; bake 3 minutes, until mixture is warm and dry.
What's you favorite way to enjoy popcorn?