Popcorn is a snack made by roasting dried corn kernels until they puff up to form light, airy morsels with a crunchy and slightly spongy texture. A popular snack food commonly associated with the cinema, popcorn is served either sugared, salted, or coated with melted butter, toffee or butterscotch.
Dried corn kernels are readily available from most supermarkets. Commercially-produced ready-to-cook popcorn kernels are also available, sealed in bags that you just put in the microwave.
Popcorn can go stale quite quickly, and tastes best when freshly made. Eat as soon as possible after popping.
To make popcorn, you’ll need a large pan with a tight-fitting lid. Heat the pan with a little oil, then add some corn kernels, cover and heat. The kernels will swell and start to ‘pop’, bursting out of their skins. Once the popping sound dies out, remove the pan from the heat and carefully remove the lid.
Use a heavy-based pan to make popcorn so that the kernels in contact with the surface of the pan don’t burn during cooking. Fill the pan only one-quarter full of corn kernels and never more than one-third full, as the kernels expand in volume considerably when they burst and need room to fully ‘pop’.
Sprinkle homemade popcorn with icing sugar or a little salt while it’s still warm, or drizzle with honey. Alternatively, add a little butter to the hot pan and stir to coat the popcorn in it as it melts. Popcorn can also be dipped in melted chocolate and left to set for an extra decadent treat.
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