Let’s be honest here. How many times have you had popcorn for dinner? How many times has it been a long day, and you really just wanted to sleep, but you were so hungry you knew you had to put something in your belly, and salty buttery popcorn popped into your head? It happens. It has happened to me numerous times.
With Taylor at night school, there’s often no one around to remind me of the fact that I’m an adult…on a weeknight…and not a 6-yr-old at the premiere of Frozen. Sometimes I forget.
I grew up in Southern California, so sometimes, I’m really a hippy at heart. Whole Foods is one of my favorite places, and I was looking at their popcorn selection the other day. Heirloom popcorn. HEIRLOOM. The package promised Ancient Heirloom Popcorn. Apparently, this is how popcorn was before big agriculture got a hold of it and bred out all the organic goodness. GMO free. Wow.
The kernels were tiny, and I knew that had to mean more flavor. The package also claimed that the tiny delicate hulls of this popcorn don’t get stuck in your teeth and misbehave like regular kernels.
I stood in the aisle, reading all about my new favorite popcorn, imagining my Cherokee ancestors taking ears of this exact same, unadulterated corn, and popping them over a fire. What did they pour on it? Buffalo oil? Maybe little Indian children put the popcorn on a string and decorated their teepees with it! Maybe Cherokee women made jewelry out of it! Maybe it was a sacred food, only consumed at weddings and other special occasions.
I was all at once, a consumer, an anthropologist, an environmentalist, and golden grain fanatic.
Gratefully, I put the over priced kernels in my cart and felt like a better person for making healthy, eco-concious popcorn decisions.
I could hardly wait to come home and pop it in my trusty air popper! With anticipation, I started melting the butter, and put a few tablespoons of kernels in the chamber. I turned on the machine…the narrative of a healthy Cherokee people, dancing around a fire after their popcorn feast still in the forefront of my mind.
Five minutes later…
I had a bowl full of un-popped kernels.
Apparently, the physics of the air popper don’t work with teeny tiny kernels. They swirled around gracefully inside the chamber, and then they all swirled out, one by one, still intact.
I was disappointed, yes, but not ready to give up!
Of course, the wise Cherokee didn’t use an air popper anyway! They must have used fire! That’s the key to popping ancient heirloom popcorn. It was so obvious, I couldn’t believe that I had even tried modern technology on the delicate kernels with soft hulls.
In the pot they went, and it worked! They were so cute and small…though also very dense and a bit beyond crunchy. Chewing them hurt my mouth, and the hulls did get stuck in my teeth, and really, they tasted burned (that part was probably my fault).
The Cherokee drums died down in my head, and I came back in touch with the 21st century. Maybe there’s a reason why they bred popcorn from it’s natural state into the large golden kernels they are today.
This amazing chocolate coated popcorn is not organic, it’s not heirloom, and it’s probably not anything close to what the native people of this country were eating 300 years ago, but it’s DELICIOUS
Really, you could use all organic ingredients, and I probably should have. Just stay away from tiny heirloom kernels!
You don’t have to wait to refrigerate the popcorn before eating it! Just know that it will make a royal mess. Sometimes it’s just too hard to wait!
- ¼ cup dried popcorn kernels
- 2 oz dark chocolate
- 1 tbl coconut oil
- 1½ tsp flaked sea salt (if substituting table salt or fine grind sea salt only use ½ tsp)
- Pop popcorn according to your popcorn maker's instructions into a large bowl.
- Melt chocolate and coconut oil in microwave or in a double boiler.
- Pour half of the chocolate onto the popcorn and try to cover as much as possible. Stir vigorously to try and get all the pieces coated.
- Pour the rest of the chocolate and stir again to finish coating all the pieces. Sprinkle salt over the popcorn and stir again.
- Let popcorn sit, covered in the refrigerator for about an hour, or until chocolate coating solidifies.
Christine H. says
I loved the story you told. I felt like I was sitting inside a tee pee listening to a tale being spun. I made caramel corn recently and yes, it is too hard to wait for the delicious caramel corn to cool.
Lindsey Boubel says
Thanks, Christine! Yum! I love caramel corn.