Popcorn is an American institution. Very few things are as ubiquitous, as universal, and as wholesome as popcorn. It is a food that is enjoyed on many occasions. From moviegoers who ask for extra butter to bar goers who enjoy its crunch with their brews. From the birthday party organizers who rely on it for finger food to the families who curl up together in front of a movie, popcorn is a food meant for sharing.
There is a lot of talk about gourmet popcorn, but no real definition of what exactly it is. There are qualities that gourmet popcorn and gourmet popcorn companies share and there are traits that set some types of gourmet flavored popcorn away from the rest of the pack. This article explores three such traits in order to help you find great popcorn for a great price.
A Wealth Of Flavors
One thing all gourmet flavored popcorn companies share is a love for trying to infuse their product with new and interesting flavors. Gone are the days where your only options for popcorn were plain, buttered, cheddar cheese, or caramel. Gourmet popcorn makers are constantly pushing the limits as they try to find that next great flavor.
Some of the newest popcorn flavors are spicy like cinnamon and jalapeno. Some flavors are sweet like chocolate and almond pecan. And some flavors are odd, one off flavors not meant to stick around for more than a season or two. It seems that a big part of what makes popcorn gourmet is a willingness on the part of the maker to push the envelope and expand their line of popcorns to include new and interesting entries.
Perhaps the most important thing about gourmet flavored popcorn is its construction, or how it is made. The methods used when popping the corn and adding the flavor will have a great bearing on how the popcorn will turn out.
Air popping on high heat is the best and the most efficient way to make delicious and fluffy popcorn. However, it is also very important to use high quality all natural popping corn. The toppings on gourmet flavored popcorn are almost always put on immediately after the popcorn is popped. This ensures the flavors and toppings will attach themselves as everything cools down.
Gourmet Is Healthier
Perhaps the largest difference between gourmet and microwavable or store bought popping corn is the nutritional values of the three options. Both microwavable and store bought popping corns are typically loaded with preservatives and have added ingredients for both the cooking and for flavor. These ingredients make these varieties higher in both salts and sugars.
Gourmet varieties, on the other hand, usually do not add more than natural flavors. This means they are lower in salts and sugars, are a good source of fiber, and an all around healthy snack. However, always make sure to check that the popcorn you are purchasing is made of all natural popping corn and is healthy for both you and your family.