Wednesday, August 19, 2009

I could have told them that

I read an article online today that made my mouth water and my teeth long to go crunch, crunch, crunch. Researchers have discovered that popcorn is good for you. It is a banner day in our house; maybe in Nanny and Poppy's house, too, when they find out.

Popcorn, in my opinion, is one of God's most perfect foods. First of all, a lot of it grows around here, so it is in vast supply. You can find popcorn for sale everywhere, not just at the grocery. Sometimes it's fresh popped, sometimes it is microwaveable and sometimes it comes in little bags, ready to pop on your stove.

The stovetop kind is the only kind we eat around here, because I am a major popcorn snob. Yellow popcorn, which is light and fluffy, is my favorite. White popcorn is okay, but the smallness of the popped kernels is not as delightful as the puffy poofiness of the yellow. Black popcorn is very corny tasting, which is a good thing in popcorn. Ruby popcorn, while utterly beautiful and jewel-like to look at, is just plain bland. It doesn't taste like much of anything, more's the pity.

Microwave popcorn is anathema to me because? Have you ever cut open one of those bags before you pop the popcorn and seen what that stuff looks like in there? Biyuuuuuck!! It's all yellowy. And....congealed. It does not possibly look like it could be good for you, which is what popcorn is about. Well, that and deliciousness. Microwave popcorn tastes okay, but the health benefits are dubious and wouldn't you rather just have plain old kernels that haven't been much messed with? Straight to you from God, that's where popcorn comes from. We should keep it that way.

I grew up snacking on popcorn. During the blizzard of '78, when I was a ninth grader and hugging myself for joy that I was missing two whole weeks of algebra, my parents looked at one another and said with relief, "Everything's okay. We'll all be fine. We have plenty of toilet paper and five pounds of popcorn."

In my family, we pop popcorn the way I learned from my parents: In a heavy pan WITH A LID, popcorn sprinkled across the bottom, olive oil poured in, high flame on the stove. A little shaking around will keep the unpopped kernels falling to the bottom of the pan, and you'll have a big bowlful before you can say "Orville Redenbacher, Indiana native and renowned grower of popcorn." Dust it with some sea salt and, if you're in the mood, a little grated Parmesan cheese, and you have got a cheap and easy treat that everyone likes.

Except my husband.

Early in our marriage, I popped some popcorn before we sat down to watch a movie one evening, and when I brought the bowl out to sit on our knees as we snuggled on the couch, I couldn't help but notice that he ate, like, two popcorns and then studiously ignored the bowl, even when I nudged it closer to him and said in a hearty voice, "MMMMM!!! GOOD POPCORN, HUH?"

"Um, yeah," he said, smiling a big jolly smile, but with a false note in his voice that I could hear even over the munching sounds I was creating as I threw another handful down the hatch.

I swallowed. "Do you.....not like popcorn?"

"No," he confessed. "I like Doritos."

"DOR-?!?! Doritos?! Are you kidding me?"

"Yeah, Doritos. Those triangular things-..."

"With the fakey cheese that comes off on your fingers," I finished bitterly. "Doritos. Why did we never discuss this before we got married?

He looked at me with amusement. "Is my dislike of popcorn a deal-breaker for you?"

"No," I sulked, reaching for another handful. "I just feel inclined to never let you forget this moment when YOU BROKE MY HEART."

And you know what? I haven't. I am the Defender of Popcorn. A crusader. A ZEALOT.

Go find yourself a pan. Some olive oil. Yellow popcorn. Sea salt. A hackin' big bowl. Pop the popcorn, salt it, enjoy it. Do not add butter. What are you, crazy? Do not ruin the benefits of whole-grain crispy goodness and the heart healthiness of the olive oil by adding a saturated fat. Ohhhhhh, okay. If you must. But just a little, hear?

Here's an article from The Independent (UK) outlining the findings of the researchers.

1 comment:

Kayte said...

I am hungry for a bowl right now. But, we are out of popcorn, clean out. You cannot keep popcorn and kids in the same house around here. When you pop for swimmers, you pop the whole darn jar in one sitting. I kid you not. Need to score some more popcorn and not tell them I have it. Hide it in the freezer or something.