Most people know at least one place where popcorn is consumed. When you think about it, you probably think of a movie theater. It’s hard to go to the movie theaters and not buy a large tub of the good stuff.
The theaters really know what they’re doing, and they have no problem selling us more than we need. However, there are many other places where it’s eaten, so don’t think the local theater is the only place.
How it’s served
If you’ve been to the theater lately, then there is a good chance you know just how much butter and salt goes into an average tub of movie theater product. The stuff in a movie theater is almost always served sweetened or salted.
When you buy it in North America, it’s usually salted because there is no denying that us Americans have to have our salt. Some public establishments serve it with spices and toffee. It’s not uncommon for sweetened versions to be served, and two of the major sweetened versions are kettle and caramel corn.
If you visit the United Kingdom anytime soon, you will likely find ready-made product that is sweetened with sugar or salt. Many people like to purchase caramel popcorn while they’re staying in the UK, but this type of popcorn can be very expensive.
Peru is another location where there is no shortage of people who love this stuff. The product that is served in Peru is commonly sweetened with condensed milk or candy pellets. However, everywhere else it is served with salt and butter. Have you ever wondered what it tastes like in Mexico?
A lot of popcorn in Mexico is actually served with salt, butter, cheese, hot sauce or jalapeno juice. You can find people eating it in cinemas and sporting events, and it’s a treat that has been served at these various events since 1914.
In the 1800s, many Americans actually consumed popcorn as a breakfast cereal. This cereal was comprised of milk, popcorn and sweetener. In the early 20th century, many people ate a treat called P balls, which was popped kernels that were stuck together with sugary glue. In many places, it’s still served as a Halloween treat.
The Nutritional Value
If you eat a lot of it, then you’ve probably wondered about its nutritional value. With tons of salt and butter, most people would imagine it to be extremely unhealthy, but it really comes down to how it’s prepared.
We all know that the massive amounts of butter and salt in movie theater options aren’t healthy but what about the small batch of unsalted stuff we make at home? Studies show that air-popped varieties are actually healthy for you. They’re rich in antioxidants and dietary fiber. Air-popped versions are also very low in fat and calories and have little to no sodium or sugar.
For people who have many dietary restrictions, a small batch of air-popped goodness can be a great treat. To increase the flavor, many companies add massive amounts of sodium, sugar and fat to the product they sell, and this is notoriously unhealthy for most people.
It was in the mid-1990s when the first example of this unhealthy option was born. During this time, the Center for Science in the Public Interest released a special report, which illustrated the poor health benefits of ‘movie popcorn’.