February 20, 2024

Different Types of Popcorn

types of popcorn

Popcorn is made using a special kind of corn kernel with an outer, moisture-resistant covering known as a "hull." When heated, this hull ruptures, creating the characteristic crunch.

Popcorn may be best known as the yellow variety found at grocery stores and movie theaters, but there are actually more varieties out there for you to try!


White popcorn boasts a lighter and more delicate taste than its counterparts, and features thin hulled kernels which appear translucent when popped. This variety is commonly known as rice popcorn.

White kernels make mushroom-shaped popcorn while yellow corn yields snowflake or butterfly shaped kernels. Mushroom-shaped popcorn stands up well against heavy toppings like butter, salt and sugar for easier consumption.

Both types of kernels can be eaten without added toppings; the choice is yours! Just remember that both varieties provide healthy alternatives.


Yellow popcorn is made from corn with a rich, nutty taste, which produces a crunchy yet airy texture when prepared hulless and is typically found at movie theaters. When prepared without heavy toppings found with microwave popcorn, yellow popcorn naturally has lower amounts of fat and calories.

Yellow popcorn kernels range in size from medium-large, and when popped they produce mushroom or snowflake-shaped kernels. Their sturdy texture enables it to accommodate multiple toppings without losing its delicious crunchiness.


Red popcorn kernels form small flakes with an irresistibly creamy white hue and subtle nutty flavors, popping into bright white small flakes that cling tightly against teeth like regular popcorn does. However, their kernels are smaller than their yellow or white counterparts and the thinner hulls make eating these kernels much less sticky for teeth than most regular popcorn varieties.

As with other types of popcorn, red kernels require high heat in order to pop correctly, meaning stovetop methods work best; air poppers or microwaves will likely fail at heating enough air for proper germination.


Popular heirloom variety. Ears grow up to 8 inches long with distinctive blueish-purple kernels that produce mounds of snow white popcorn, adding beauty and charm to country decorations, food arrangements and wreaths.

Like its yellow counterpart, pink popcorn can be found at supermarkets and works equally well when microwaved or prepared with a stovetop popper at home. Its neutral popcorn flavor enables its natural sweetness to come through without artificial colorings overshadowing it.

For optimal blue popcorn, opt for varieties without kernels containing any flaws and refrain from any varieties containing TBHQ, an additive with potential health implications.


Hulless popcorn may be misleading. While all popcorn kernels do possess hulls, certain varieties contain smaller ones which shatter upon popping for an easier bite and digestibility; less unpopped kernels get stuck between your teeth or braces as a result.

Hulless varieties include Butterfly Popcorn, which pops into an elegantly wing-like shape after popping, making it the ideal choice for popcorn coated in glazes or toppings. Other hulless varieties such as Baby Rice feature softer hulls that break more gently leaving behind minimal remnants.

Baby Rice

Baby rice popcorn can provide parents with a great transition into more complex textures (phase 0 or 1 of the Texture Timeline). Plus, it serves as the ideal foundation for baby-led weaning!

Mushroom- or butterfly-style kernels produce light, fluffy popcorn with distinctive wings that make a great spot to put butter or other seasonings. They are typically found at movie theaters.

Red and blue popcorn kernels tend to pop white with an even, milder taste compared to yellow popcorn kernels, while purple popcorn shares many characteristics with both. Red popcorn tends to have more of a buttery-nutty aroma whereas purple popcorn tends to offer more of an earthy nutty aroma than its counterparts.


Add warm popcorn to a mixture of butter, maple syrup and brown sugar until the butter foams and bubbles, creating an irresistibly tasty combination that delivers rich yet nutty notes. Finish it off with Maldon sea salt as desired for extra texture and taste!

Corn Belt farms produce most of the world's popcorn supply. Long summer days allow ample growing time, while its rich soil ensures optimal results.

Popcorn plant breeders select plants based on genetic traits that produce stalk strength, grain color and successful popping. Inbreeding is used to increase desired traits in popcorn seeds.


Purple popcorn is made by popping purple corn kernels. Although its appearance differs from traditional varieties, purple popcorn remains completely safe to consume!

Purple corn kernels contain natural antioxidants known as anthocyanins that help combat oxidative stress and lower inflammation levels.

Purple corn's thinner, shatterable hulls make for less hard bits that get lodged between teeth or cause irritation to gums - perfect for snacking! 2 lb bag is available.

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