White Kernel Popcorn
When I was a youngster growing up in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania the snack of choice was popcorn. Dad and Mom never kept candy or other snack foods around the house - when dinner was over, food was done for the day. In those days breakfast was at 7:30am before I left for school. Lunch was a brown paper bag with a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, and dinner was promptly at 4:30pm after school was out. From the dinner meal until bed time there were no snacks . . . except popcorn. I was always hungry as a kid, and by 7 or 8pm I was usually starving.
I was always guided towards the bag of popcorn that was always around, and I could not count the number of nights that I would make two sauce pans full of popcorn. Under the kitchen sink was always an empty coffee can that became the place where all of the grease and fat from cooking was poured. Most of it was bacon fat, and to make my evening batch of popcorn I would put a big spoonful of the grease from that can into the bottom of the sauce pan, and add enough popcorn kernels to cover the bottom of the pan. On the rare occasions when the grease can was empty I would use a large spoonful of Crisco animal fat from the Crisco can that was always nearby for Mom to use when baking.
Of course today, like most folk, I have evolved into a much healthier way of living, and that marvelous bacon-flavored popcorn of my youth is just a memory. Another thing that has changed since I grew up and began experimenting with popcorn is my choice of kernel. The vast majority of all popcorn is popped from yellow corn kernels, but I discovered a rarer white kernel popcorn that beats the bejeebers out of the yellow variety. The white kernel is a bit smaller, and much moister when popped - making it very tasty with less butter or other flavorings added. Much is made by some popcorn brands about the huge bowl-filling size of their giant yellow kernels, but the larger kernels are noticeably drier out of the pan, and require much more butter to make it delicious and not cardboard-like. Today I avoid yellow kernel popcorn with a vengeance, and am totally in love with white kernel varieties.
If you have never tried white kernel popcorn I challenge you to find some and try popping a bowl of yellow kernel popcorn, and then pop a bowl of white kernel popcorn. Cook them and top them the same way, and then try both versions - and expect a noticeable difference in taste and texture.