Friday, July 06, 2012

Gourmet Popcorn Explodes onto the Scene

Caramel Corn

Caramel Corn

 

Gourmet Popcorn is Popping Up on the Scene

Popcorn has gone through some pretty hefty changes over the years. Who knew that a simple popped grain snack would achieve greatness as a gourmet food? Gourmet popcorn flavors can range from sweet to savory, salty to spicy. The possibilities are literally endless. Although there are still the purists, who swear by the old recipe, oil, butter, and salt, the world of gourmet popcorn has reached some new and admirable heights taking this whole grain snack to an entirely new dimension.

 

Not only is it super tasty, popcorn is also extremely good for you too. A recent study discovered that popcorn has more antioxidants per serving than fruits and vegetables. It contains polyphenols which help fight harmful molecules that can damage cells and cause cancer. Scientists found the highest concentration in the popcorn’s hull. Fruits and vegetables contain up to 90% water compared to popcorn’s 4%, so these helpful chemicals are undiluted in your popcorn. A serving of your favorite gourmet popcorn boasts a whopping 300g of polyphenols, almost twice as much as a serving of fruit. It is also high in fiber and low in fat which makes it the perfect crunchy snack to dress up.

 

Popcorn has been around for thousands of years. Ancient Mayans and Aztecs used to pop corn on the ear and use it for decoration as well as food. Over the years popcorn preparation has changed dramatically, but it has remained one of the most loved snack foods of all time. It wasn’t until the early years of the 1900’s that popcorn took its first steps into the gourmet realm. Crackerjacks, a mixture of popcorn, peanuts, and molasses, is said to be the first gourmet popcorn, and ironically, also rumored to be the first junk food.

 

The world of gourmet popcorn has come a long way since the Crackerjack days.  It has opened its doors to an endless array of savory flavors. Ethnic flare is particularly popular at the moment. Imagine plunging your hand into a seemingly ordinary bowl of popcorn at a barbeque this summer and popping Smoky Spanish Paprika popcorn into your mouth. Heavenly! Flavors like wasabi ginger, black truffle, and curry coconut are among some of the most exotic. Some like it hot, and the gourmet popcorn world is heating up with flavors like Chipotle Spiced, Jalapeno, Spicy Cheese, Buffalo Wings, and Salsa. There are so many possibilities to choose from.

 

Now for the sweets. This gourmet popcorn trend has turned popcorn into a delicious dessert with hundreds of possibilities. The most popular of these is the classic caramel corn. It is where the inspiration for all candied gourmet popcorn stems from. While Crackerjacks are still sold today, gourmet popcorn has become much more diverse and sophisticated. In recent years flavors such as sweet cinnamon, strawberry, bubble gum, rainbow, and so many more have emerged to the delight of sweet popcorn connoisseurs everywhere. Popcorn drizzled with chocolate, mixed with nuts or other candy, makes for some of the richest and most delicious variations. Try s’more or cookies ‘n cream popcorn for a delectable treat. For those popcorn fundamentalists, there are so many variations of the classic salt and butter. Try Himalayan Pink Salt, Salt and Pink Pepper, or smoked sea salt and olive oil.

 

Gourmet popcorn has literally exploded, with shops popping up all over the world, and celebrities such as Oprah Winfrey touting their favorites publicly.  Some of the poshest popperys can be found in New York City, Chicago, and Los Angeles. But you don’t need to travel across the United States to sample all the delicious varieties. Most stores are available online and offer a wide variety of tins and gift packaging to choose from. They can make an excellent gift or conversation starter. You will be blown away by the transformation of gourmet popcorn once you try some of the amazing new flavors of this delicious and nutritious treat.

 

Since popcorn is possibly the perfect snack food, high in fiber and rich in cancer fighting antioxidants, it is an everyday treat with so many varieties to sample. And it’s so simple, that you can even make your own gourmet popcorn at home. See what concoctions you can come up with. Bon a petit!
Author’s Bio:

Jerry’s Nut House starts with the best kernels to pop our gourmet popcorn. Our master popper Johnny has over 23 years of experience. He gives undivided attention to making all our popcorn flavors: Butter Popcorn, Caramel Popcorn, Cheddar Cheese Popcorn, White Cheddar Popcorn, Natural Lightly Salted Popcorn and our newest Smokin’ Hot Cheddar.