Popcorn! Traditional and Many Other Varieties of Ways to Serve It Through the Years


Go to movie treat from generation to generation. So many varieties added over the years with hundreds of ways to use it including gourmet!

My fondest memories of my childhood are filled with my Dad making old fashioned kettle corn in an old seasoned deep fry pan that my Mom and Dad used for just about everything they cooked. It was perfect every time and seasoned perfectly with just salt. So good! We went to drive in movies a lot and my Dad didn’t like paying the prices at the snack bar. We were a very frugal family. So, that day my Mom would be busy in the kitchen preparing treats in mason jars, popcorn, which was made last so that it would be fresh, toaster sandwiches like you get at Sonic and even french fries from scratch!

Those were quality memory days for me and I will never forget them and when it was cold outside she would make Hot Chocolate in a big thermous for us to enjoy during the movie. We never had a need to go to the snack bar

But, the best thing of all was the popcorn even, if you were full of everything else you made room for it!

Sometimes when we went to the driven-in movies my Mom would let me wear my pajamas so that it felt like a sleepover. It just tasted so much better than the popcorn at the snack bar because it didn’t have all of the extra salt and oil that they used and it just wasn’t as greasy and didn’t soak through the bag like the snack bar popcorn did.

Back then that was just about the only way you could make it was in a pan or a pot with a tight fitting lid.

But, then after a while there came “Jiffy Pop”. This was really radical, the thought that you could have instant, well almost, popcorn, still on the stove, popcorn in minutes. It wasn’t foolproof though, you could burn it a lot easier because it was contained in a little aluminum pan which, later on in years didn’t do well on an electric stove. The only fun thing about this was that you could eat it right out of the tin it was popped in, that is providing it wasn’t burned. You have to keep in mind that this was before microwave ovens.

Now, there are numerous ways to make popcorn and so many things you can add to it. Mostly lots of varieties of microwave popcorn that’s ready in seconds. Seasonings and a whole array of different oils, salts and butters you can slather onto your popcorn.

Popcorn originated in Mexico and was cultivated by Native Americans. Popcorn was very challenging back then. The Indians would throw the kernels on hot stones over campfires and when they popped they would catch them and eat them. This got rather tiresome so they developed a type of popping pan to contain the exploding snack.

Among the Aztecs, popcorn was a symbol of peace. Whenever they would meet the Colonialists, on friendly terms, they would bring popcorn as a gesture of goodwill.

This recipe is just like my Dad made but, the only difference is she uses oil instead of the shortening my Dad used to use. So watch down below I just know you’ll love it. Brings back so many memories!

So, now there is a taste for every one’s taste buds. They have taken popcorn to a whole new level over the years. You can pretty much name a flavor and they probably have a gourmet popcorn for it. From cheddar cheese, white cheese, parmesan, chocolate, cinnamon, candy corn, yes, I said candy corn popcorn.

When my daughters were young and going to Church summer camp they raised money to go by selling gourmet popcorn and I bet that you can guess which flavor sold the most. Yep, Cheddar cheese, couldn’t keep it in the boxes long enough to even sell it in the neighborhood. They had it sold before we could get out of Church!

Popcorn balls were always reserved in my neighborhood for Halloween. These below happen to be made with marshmallow cream. They are easier to eat that way. Earlier in the years like the 60s, they used corn syrup and sugar like you would make candy and then stirred in the popcorn. A very difficult task because the burning candy was very sticky and would stick to your hands. You had to put butter on your hands so you could form the balls. Some tried using waxed paper, dumping a certain amount into the middle of the waxed paper and folding and molding the mixture into a ball. That was half the fun of doing it and adding the peanuts. Providing no one is allergic. But, now they have come along way in the art of the popcorn ball. You can add mini marshmallows, M&Ms, yuou can sprinkle them with the special chocolate syrup that will harden, fruity pebbles. Some people frequently use fruity pebbles for Rice Krispie Treats. So, see, just about anything goes!

Last But Not Least Caramel Corn!

Salted Caramel has been here a long time but, has just taken off tremendously over the past 2 or 3 years. Now, you can get salted caramel, ice cream, shakes, chocolate truffles and I’m not sure but there might even be salted caramel M&Ms? You think? Well, I wouldn’t be surprised. Well, I found a really easy and quick recipe for Salted Caramel Popcorn that anyone would be able to do and the instructions are so easy, like I said. This recipe would be great for Christmas treats.

Salted Caramel Popcorn Recipe in the video below.

How Popcorn is processed before it is brought to your grocer is very important. They have guidelines that insures that there are safety measures that are put into place to be sure of the quality of popcorn that you are going to be purchasing and putting in your body and, even more importantly, your children’s bodies. This video shows very precisely what must be done before the popcorn gets shipped to the store. These steps start early in the mornings with a harvest and careful sorting, cleansing, sanitation is also in the process. Everyday from morning til night, then starts all over again to ensure freshness of the kernels you are getting. This is a very interesting process.

Now that you’ve seen how popcorn is processed before it gets to your grocer be sure and try to make some popcorn the old way like your parents did. I think that now when we live in a society where everything is instantly gratified and it all needs to be done yesterday really creates a lot of stress. If we could all just chill and do something the old way for a change even, if it’s just for a day, it would change a lot of health problems. Plus, in the microwave popcorn there are extra ingredients and chemicals that your body just has a hard time processing. Popped corn on the stove has nothing except what you put in it.

Also, in this time where everything is so uncertain in our lives please try to think about the people that work everyday to harvest the kernels so that you can go to the store to just simply get popcorn. It’s not just popcorn. A whole family is behind it everyday of the week. They are having a hard time too.

The video below is a cool recipe for Halloween Caramel Popcorn Balls! This is an extraordinarily easy and fun recipe to work with. Not to mention, tasy and very easy to eat. Enjoy.

Just so you know, we don’t know what Halloween 2020 is going to be like with all of the stuff happening today. Things like popcorn balls and caramel apples might be banned, as in passed years because of really bad things that have happened to children and some adults, for that matter. So, I would suggest that these treats not be handed out to strangers but be better celebrated and enjoyed by family and close friends. It would just be a shame with everything else going on to have to deal with an illness or death that could have been avoided if proper care and thought be put into play. All I’m saying is to have some common sense, use you intuition, think about what your doing. No one has fun when something bad happens. Don’t let small parties get out of hand in the first place. Do whats right so it’s safe for everyone. We can still make good memories in the midst of these uncertain times.



Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store
Pamela Kay Conoly

Love for fashion, cooking, chocolate is my go to! From San Antonio, Texas, resides in Fort Worth, Texas. Author of http://cuisineforthought.simplesite.com/ Blog