Posted by: Author | April 6, 2013

Friday Facts- April 5, 2013- Popcorn

Dang- I just realized this never posted so here’s Friday Facts a day late.

What makes popcorn pop? It’s a form of corn or maize and regular corn on the cob doesn’t pop so what makes this type of maize turn into a tasty snack that goes well with movies?

Popcorn has a different kind of husk than the ones we normally see on the table at meal time. This husk allows it to open when heated to a certain level. Each kernel of popcorn has a bit of water in the center of starch. Once heated, that water expands and turns into steam. The steam escapes as the popcorn get hotter. Then the starch inside the corn expands into the puffy white stuff surrounding the hull and becomes that tasty treat we love. The kernels swell to 40-50 times their original size with the heat. How cool is that?
Here’s a neat thing I learned as well. Native Americans believed that in each popcorn hull there lived a spirit. They believed when the spirit got angry that it would explode and escape from the hull. Next time you eat popcorn, think about that. A bowlful of former homes of angry spirits may not be the best way to look at this food. What do you think?

Here’s a more scientific explanation if you’re curious.


  1. Very cool. Thanks for the mini chemistry and history lessons.

    • You’re welcome. They were very mini lessons.

  2. I think those spirits are called calories. 🙂 We saw The Host last Thursday and had movie popcorn. It was soooo good. Bet the indians didn’t use butter.

    • Haha. Yeah, the old calorie spirit will get ya every time. Yep. I bet they didn’t use butter either.

  3. At least the evil spirits are gone; maybe the microwaves do them in…or we all have haunted microwaves!
    I heard that Squanto and the gang brought popcorn to the first Thanksgiving as a surprise.
    You know you can get this foodie with any food-related fact! Thanks.

    • Ooh. Popcorn is now added to my thanksgiving menu.

  4. Dag nab it. I’ve been craving popcorn for a week. Sorry, but angry spirits or not, I’m having popcorn Monday night. 🙂

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