So, how does popcorn actually pop?
First of all, there are a few types of corn that are grown. But only one kind can be popped. Popcorn.
And the reason that popcorn can be popped is that the outer layer, the hull, is thicker than any other type of corn. This comes in handy when the kernel is heated up.
You see, each kernel of corn has a small amount of water inside as well as a little blob of starch. When the water is heated up it turns into steam. Super heated steam. The steam mixes with the starch and changes it into a gel like substance.
Now the steam continues to heat up and expand, this causes pressure on the hull of the corn kernel. Since the popcorn hull is thick, it contains the heat for a slightly longer time than other corn, giving the starch time to form into that gel like substance.
Once the pressure gets too high, the hull bursts open and the starchy gel expands outwards, cooling as it goes, forming the puffy, yummy substance we love to eat.
- Popcorn can jump up to 3 feet/1 meter into the air.
- There are two types of popped popcorn, Snowflake and Mushroom shaped.
- The oldest ear of popcorn was found in a bat cave in Mexico in 1948. It is believed to be over 5,000 years old.
- A kernel will pop when it reaches a temperature of 175 degrees Celsius.
- Popping popcorn is one of the most popular uses for microwaves.