Undoubtedly, the alluring aroma and taste are what make popcorn such a popular treat. Americans consume some 16 billion quarts of popcorn a year, or roughly one quart per person, per week. Whether with a dash of salt or a variety of flavorings, popcorn remains a popular food.
- Popcorn is naturally low in fat and calories. Air-popped popcorn has roughly 30 calories per cup; oil-popped has only 55 per cup.
- Popcorn is a whole grain. It is made up of three components: the germ, endosperm and pericarp/hull.
- Of the 4 main types of maize/corn—sweet, dent, flint and popcorn—only popcorn pops.
- Popcorn needs between 13.5-14% moisture to pop.
- Most U.S. popcorn is grown in the Midwest, primarily in Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Michigan, Missouri, Nebraska and Ohio.
- Popcorn comes in two basic shapes when popped: snowflake and mushroom.
Celebrate popcorn this month with a timely recipe from the Popcorn Board. These Green Halloween Zombies make a great seasonal treat. For more information about Popcorn Poppin’ Month, visit www.popcorn.org.
Green Halloween Zombie
Makes: about 7 pieces
(4 ½ x 3 ½ inches each)
2 ½ quarts popped popcorn
6 tablespoons butter or margarine
3 cups mini marshmallows
4 tablespoons lime gelatin powder
Red gum balls, candy corn, flat green candy strips (or fruit leather), green sugar sprinkles
Place popcorn in a large bowl; set aside.
Melt butter over medium heat in a medium saucepan. Stir marshmallows into butter until melted. Stir in gelatin powder until evenly colored. Pour over popcorn and stir until evenly coated. With buttered hands, shape popcorn into 7 oval shapes.
Flatten one oval shape slightly and squeeze one end to form a ‘skull’ shape. Place onto parchment lined baking sheet. Repeat with remaining shapes.
To decorate: Press two gumballs into each skull to form ‘eyes’. Press candy corn into skull to from ‘teeth’. Use scissors to trim candy strips and press into top for ‘hair’. Sprinkle with sugar sprinkles.
Allow ‘zombies’ to set for about 20 minutes before wrapping individually in plastic wrap (or serve immediately).