February 22, 2021

Popcorn – A Handful of Tasty Treat Ideas

The smell of freshly popped popcorn brings to mind memories of going to the movies or the country fair. Then there is the never ending debate of which tastes better - salty or sweet? But popcorn possibilities don't end there! The light and crunchy snack can come in more than these traditional flavors and can be a fun new ingredient in the kitchen. Keep reading to discover the range of possibilities that popcorn has to offer. Recipes and photos are courtesy of the Popcorn Board.

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Did you know that most of the world’s popcorn is grown in the Corn Belt of the United States in Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Michigan, Missouri, Nebraska and Ohio? The simple, yet versatile, whole grain maize product known as popcorn is a classic snack in the United States. Thanks to the successful introduction of popcorn into theaters in the late 1920s, today it is hard to imagine a trip to the movies without it. But you don’t have to wait for a special outing to satisfy your popcorn craving. This treat is easy to make at home. All you need are kernels, a pan with a lid, a light layer of vegetable oil, and heat. 

Two of the best known flavors for popcorn are the salty, buttery variety and sweet and crunchy kettle corn. That being said, the choice of popcorn flavors goes way beyond salty or sweet. Here are some of our favorite new ways to enjoy popcorn! 


If your go to snacks tend to be on the salty side, then savory popcorn is right down your alley. A burst of flavor is easily achieved with the help of herbs. Freshly chopped rosemary, sage, and thyme will take your popcorn game to the next level. Want to add more to the mix? A generous sprinkle of garlic powder will do the trick!


Another way to change up your popcorn is with a touch of spice. Indian spices like curry powder, cumin, and red chili flakes make for a uniquely flavorful treat when mixed with popcorn. To add some heat (and meat) to your freshly popped snack, mix in some crisp bacon bits and diced jalapeños.   


More cheese, please! There are many tasty choices for the cheese lovers among us. Who needs chips, when you can make nacho cheese popcorn? Or make your own cheesy popcorn with the help of parmesan cheese. For those keeping an eye on their calorie intake, recipes with nutritional yeast help to create a cheese-like flavor without the calories or fat.


How can popcorn be sporty? As part of a post-workout snack of course! Power Packed Popcorn Sports Bars not only consist of puffed up popcorn, but also other nutritious ingredients like almonds, apricots, and cranberries. Popcorn bars are a fun way to jazz up homemade sports and granola bars for on the go. 


Aside from the classic caramelized popcorn, there are plenty of other ways to turn popcorn into a sweet treat. Try drizzling melted chocolate on top! For the more adventurous out there, a combination of honey and matcha may satisfy your sweet tooth. Don’t forget the variety of fun popcorn party recipes out there, ranging from peanut brittle to popcorn macaroons. 


Popcorn alone is a fascinating food and recipes including the cooked kernel are full of surprises. If you’re looking for a unique dish, try out this Thai Peanut and Popcorn Crusted Chicken recipe. This intriguing main course combines the flavors of Thailand with a crunchy crust of peanuts and American popcorn. Why not give it a try?