Each kernel of popcorn contains a drop of water stored inside a circle of soft starch. (That's why popcorn needs to contain 13.5 percent to 14 percent moisture.) The soft starch is surrounded by the kernel's hard outer surface. As the kernel heats up, the water begins to expand, and pressure builds against the hard starch. Eventually, this hard surface gives way, causing the popcorn to "explode". As the popcorn explodes, the soft starch inside the popcorn becomes inflated and bursts, turning the kernel inside out. The steam inside the kernel is released, and the popcorn is popped!
There are two types of popcorn kernels - "butterfly" and "mushroom". The "butterfly" popcorn kernel is usually large, light, and fluffy, and it looks like it has wings, much like a butterfly. Its tenderness depends on the size of kernel. The "mushroom" type of kernel is more dense and compact, like a ball. It is used for candy coating, caramelizing, etc. It does not have "wings" that would break off during handling or cooking processes. There are varying percentages of mushroom kernels in this variety, depending on how it is going to be used.
Popcorn must have hull in order to pop. There are varieties that have a less noticeable hull after it has been popped. But, there are no varieties that are completely "hull-less". Some white popcorn will have less noticeable hulls - try our Cousin Willie's Original White Popcorn, available in a 2-lb bag.
Without moisture your popcorn can't pop. If left uncovered you can lose 1% moisture on a hot day. This doesn't sound like much but if you lose 3% your popcorn will be "unpoppable". You should always store your popcorn in an airtight container - glass or plastic - to avoid losing moisture. Avoid the refrigerator. Most refrigerators contain little moisture and can dry out the kernels. Store it in a cool, dry place such as a kitchen cabinet.
Products manufactured by Ramsey Popcorn are manufactured under the supervision of the Kashruth Division of the Orthodox Union, Union of Orthodox Jewish Congregations of America, New York, NY. Products designated with OU are certified Kosher Pareve. Products designated with OU-D are certified Kosher Dairy.
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