I heart popcorn. Real, homemade popcorn. Seriously, it seems impossible that one tiny kernel can contain so much deliciousness! There is a different flavor to the stuff that gets popped fresh, right in front of your eyes, as opposed to the microwave kind (ugh). This snack is easy to make, not to mention very healthy. It’s tasty fun the whole family can enjoy. Compared to most snack foods, popcorn is low in calories(air-popped popcorn has only 31 calories per cup and oil-popped is only 55 per cup).
So, just how did popcorn ‘pop up’ on the scene?
Popcorn was originally grown in Mexico, but eventually spread globally through India, China and Sumatra years before it arrived in North America. It was an important food for the Aztecs, who also used popcorn as decoration for ceremonial headdresses, necklaces and ornaments on statues of their gods.
***FUN FACT*** Grains of popcorn over 1,000 years old were discovered on Peru’s east coast. The preservation method of the Peruvian Indians was so advanced that 1,000 years later, this corn still pops!
Excavation sites in the Americas have unveiled poppers made of soapstone, pottery and metal. Most have tripod legs and are large clay containers with lids. Another ancient way of popping corn was by throwing kernels on sizzling hot stones tended over a roaring campfire, supposedly shooting off in various directions. I guess the most athletic snackers got to eat it
Some native tribes discovered the delicacy of popping oiled popcorn while it was still on the cob. Somehow the corn stayed attached to the cob and it was eaten just like, well..corn on the cob!
Gourmet popcorn is a real treat for anyone who loves snacking on popcorn. You can make your own gourmet-style popcorn in just about any flavor to suit your taste buds. Here’s my recipe for wok popcorn. Yes, a wok. Why? It’s easier to use , you won’t burn your fingers, and the dome-like shape is perfect for accommodating popcorn expansion!
WOK POPCORN © (from the forthcoming cookbook CULTURE CLASH: globally-inspired recipes by EARTHCANDY GOURMET VEGAN CUISINE) (makes about 3-4 servings)
4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1/2 cup yellow popcorn kernels
sea salt (to taste)
cayenne pepper (to taste)
1/2 – 3/4 cup nutritional yeast (available at most health/natural foods stores)
1/3 cup vegan margarine, melted (optional, but not necessary)
***Heat wok over medium-high heat; add oil.
***Add 2 or 3 kernels popcorn; cover.
***When corn pops, add remaining popcorn to wok.
***Cover and cook over medium-high heat till popping stops; you need not shake the wok.
***Sprinkle popcorn with salt, cayenne, nutritional yeast and drizzle with melted butter or margarine, if desired. Toss to coat evenly.
Wanna kick it up with extra flavorful deliciousness? Here’s how:
*for an Ethiopian twist, add: 1 1/2 tbsp berberé
*for a Golden Punjab punch, add: 2 tbsp garam masala & 2 tsp tumeric
*for a Mexican fiesta fix, in a small bowl combine: 1 tsp ea. cumin, chipotle chili powder, granulated onion powder, granulated garlic powder, dried cilantro flakes.
Let’s get it POPPIN’!!!