Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Guns, Ammo, and Popcorn

My pantry looks like I'm a popcorn-loving survivalist who's preparing for the apocalypse. Right now I have seven types of popcorn on the shelf, and I'm considering adding more to my stash. Why stop with yellow popcorn? This isn't the only sign of my obsession. Recently someone asked my wife if I intended to continue blogging solely about popcorn. I guess, this popcorn business has gone too far.

I could deviate from this current obsession, but I won't. Instead I'm going to keep plugging away at my obsessions. I'm quite aware it's a bit odd, but I'm all obsessions, whether it's 25 pound bags of flour, popcorn, reading, and college football. Obsess is what I do best.

It's even flowed over into my professional life. I've enlisted one of classes to serve as my official taste testers. They relish the job and devour anything I bring in, and I've benefited from their feedback. We've even worked this gig into the curriculum by trying to use words to capture the tastes, smells, and textures that go along with the world of popcorn.

Monday I brought in three varieties of popcorn for the students to evaluate. While the taste of all three were similar, here are some differences we discovered:

Schlaegel's Homegrown Popcorn - $1.50 for 32 ounces

I really pulled for this local popcorn grown in Whiting, Kansas, a community slightly north east of Topeka. However, this popcorn didn't stack up well to our other two competitors. Schlaegel's produced a crispier corn with smaller kernels, but it crumbled easily, leaving a large number of bits and pieces at the bottom of the bowl. We decided that we liked snacking on this corn, but it shouldn't be used for any caramel popcorn recipes because we wanted a kernel that held together.

Jiffy Pop - $1.50 for 32 ounces
Orville Redenbacher- 4.50 for 30 ounces

Both of these brands use popcorn grown Iowa, and since I feel a deep kinship with Iowans, I don't have a problem purchasing these products. Both produced a fluffy, quality popcorn, but with Mr. Redenbacher corn costing 3 dollars more, we'll be reaching for the Jiffy Pop.

Aside from the taste test results, I learned that I'm officially old. When tasting the popcorn, I used a term to refer to the unpopped kernels, and my students looked at me puzzled. The term was foreign to them. Guess what it was?

keep on poppin'

PS. . . Friday we sample a Sriracha-flavored popcorn.


Marianne said...

Old Maid!

Love you popcorn obsession. My husband has one too..

JoAnna said...


I have a love/hate relationship with popcorn. I crave it. The smell, the crunch, the salt. But the HULLS! They get in my teeth and stuck deep in my throat. ACK. I still can't resist it and dang... now I want popcorn.

Jenni said...

Was it "old maids"? I saw that term for the first time on a message board about five years ago. Interesting term, don't you think?

Kate said...

old maids. duh.

and i'm not old.

Miss Barnard said...

I'm going to guess the term was "old maids".

I made your kettle corn recipe. It was delicious!

muddywaters said...

Miss Barnard: I'm glad the recipe worked for you.

The term was "Old Maids" and all of my students looked at me like I was speaking a foreign tongue. I didn't want to get into explaining the term, and why it's appropriate for unpopped kernels.