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Nearly all of us love popcorn. When we fire up that electric air popper, or even throw that bag in the microwave, it’s in anticipation of a hot, buttery snack food. It is not in anticipation of hot unpopped kernels. So which popcorn pops up best? The only drawback to popcorn is that you don’t always get what you pay for. It is an unfortunate by product of the popcorn popping process. Not every kernel is going to pop.
My personal favorite is ACT II. It provides the best value on both ends. When I am at the store making my weekly (sometimes twice weekly) popcorn purchase, I choose ACT II because it is not the most expensive brand nor is it the cheapest. It does, however, pop up and is the best value. When you are someone who thinks of popcorn as a food group, someone whose bedtime comes right after popcorn time, you take some time to figure out what you are getting for your money.
After eating bag after bag of microwave popcorn, counting the popped kernels that I ate and counting the unpopped ones I threw away, I ended up with ACT II as my brand of choice. I like the fact that I get fewer unpopped kernels. I like knowing I am getting value for my money. But that isn’t the only important part of “best popcorn”. I started with the criteria that all the popcorn was good. I don’t know what makes one popcorn better than the other. I know there are some standards; lightness, fluffiness, crunch of the popcorn and of course flavor. But I know that I really like ACT II.
The term ” hulless popcorn” is somewhat misleading. All popcorn kernels have a hull. When kernels are heated, a drop of water within the hull turns to steam. As the steam rises in temperature it builds pressure until it bursts through the hull. No hull, no popped popcorn.
The hulless varieties have a very small kernel and therefore produce little or no hull when they are popped. The larger hull of standard varieties breaks into pieces lodging itself in the center of the fluff. The hull of the hulless varieties expands out become part of the fluff of the popcorn. Hulless varieties produce more delicate pieces of gourmet popcorn.
Hulless popcorn comes in three main varieties. Lady Finger, the smallest and rarest of the three varieties. Baby White pops up a little larger than Lady Finger popcorn and is as nearly as tender. Finally, Premium White is the largest of the hulless popcorn varieties. There are companies that sell various other hulless varieties but these are the most popular.
Hulless kernels are a favorite for the light and delicate popcorn they produce. They are also a favorite in the medical community. It’s recommended by dentists and orthodontists. Their patients with dental restrictions, such as dentures, braces, orthodontics or other fragile dental work can still enjoy popcorn
It’s also recommended to patients who suffer from diverticulitis. Diverticulitis is a gastrointestinal disorder that would prevent anyone who suffered from it from eating a product like regular gourmet popcorn with it’s small seeds and bits of hard shell. Thanks to hulless popcorn, many doctors are letting patients enjoy popped popcorn again.
With this long string of positives there is one drawback. Hulless popcorn does pop up a lot smaller, due to its smaller hull. For all it’s advantages though, it’s worth popping up a little more of your favorite variety to make up the difference.
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