Popcorn is a favourite with people of all ages. It is simple to make, yummy to eat and guess what, it is healthy too. Here's what the docs say: "Popcorn is a wholesome, fun food, which aids digestion by providing
necessary roughage, also known as fibre. It is an excellent mealtime complement--sugar-free, fat-free and low in calories." So let's get down to the popping!
Popcorn Has a History Too!
The oldest ears of corn were discovered in the bat caves of West Central New Mexico in 1948 and 1950. The oldest bat caves are about 4,000 years old. In 1519, Cortes, the Spanish explorer, first saw popcorn when he invaded Mexico and came into contact with the Aztecs. Popcorn was an important food for the Aztec
Indians. One of the ancient ways to pop corn was to heat sand in a fire and stir in the kernels of corn when the sand was fully heated.
Popcorn was also used as a decoration for ceremonial headdresses, necklaces and ornaments on statues of Aztec gods including Tlaloc, the god of rain. You too can make these necklaces. All you need to do is paint the popcorn and string it!
Did You Know?
There are 27 different popcorn flavours to choose from chocolate, cream, nut, butter and different types of cheese to candy, peanut butter, caramel and even spices and sour cream.
Make Your Own Popcorn!
(Ask a parent or adult to help you with this ercipe)
- Heat oil in a thick-based pan.
- Test a few kernels in the oil.
- When they pop, add the rest of the corn.
- Cover the pan and shake it to evenly spread the oil.
- When the popping begins to slow down, remove the pan from the stove-top. The heated oil will still pop the remaining kernels.
- Add salt to the popped corns. Your popcorn is ready.
To Make Bombay Popcorn
To your usual popcorn, add 3 tablespoons butter, 2 teaspoons curry powder, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1/2 teaspoon sugar, 1/2 cup toasted coconut and golden raisins or sliced almonds.
To Make Flavoured Popcorn
To your usual popcorn, add 1/2 cup sugar, 2 tablespoons brown sugar, 1/2 tablespoon cinnamon and 1/4 cup finely chopped walnuts.
Before it Pops!
Each kernel of corn contains a small drop of water stored inside a circle of soft starch. As the kernel heats up, the water begins to expand inside and pressure builds against the hard starch. Eventually, this hard surface gives way causing the corn to explode. As it explodes, the soft starch inside the popcorn blows up and bursts, turning the kernel inside out. The steam inside the kernel is released and the corn is popped!