The folklore of some Native
American tribes told
of spirits who lived inside each kernel of popcorn. The spirits were
quiet and content to live on their own - but grew angry if their houses
were heated. The hotter their homes became,the angrier they'd get -
shaking the kernels until the heat was too much. Finally they would
burst out of their homes and into the air as a disgruntled puff of
Though there are no spirits we know of in popcorn, each kernel of
popcorn does contain a small 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 it 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!
If It's Not From The
Forest, It's Not Wild!
James Bay Wild Fruit