My early understanding of popcorn was the bright yellow stuff that you pay a fortune for at cinemas. I loved the smell of that popcorn, as I still do now. There is, however, a time and place for such popcorn.
In the past, the idea of making that fluro coloured, heavily cheese-powdered snack at home seemed out of reach and altogether too time consuming. I mean where does one even get a large glass-panelled warming box for it to sit in?
Then I went trekking in Peru (stay with me).
Our food was carried with us and, each day upon reaching our campsite, the first thing our cook would do was prepare a big bowl of popcorn for everyone to enjoy. It made sense of course. Firstly, we were close to the birthplace of maize (corn) and secondly, because popcorn kernels (prior to popping) are super compact.
It’s easy to pop corn at home.
For three people, take a medium sized saucepan with a glass lid (the saucepan I use holds 2.5 litres of water). Place 40 ml olive oil in the pan and place on a high heat. When the oil has that shimmery look indicating it’s hot, throw in ½ cup (or 110 g) of popping corn. You can let it sit for a few seconds but you need to watch it as once it starts to pop it is important to shake the pan (hold the lid down) so that the kernels touching the bottom of the pan don’t burn. Listen out for when the popping sound stops to know that you’re done!
This is how it was served to us in Peru and so I enjoy the trip down memory lane, but you can also place the popped corn in a large bowl and stir through small bits of butter (it should melt if the popcorn is freshly popped) and finish it with a sprinkle of salt. Now all you need is a margarita and your night is off to a good start.
Popcorn could well be the greatest snack of all time and while this may be a big call, we’re making it. Quite literally.