Caramel Popcorn: A Delicious Snack that You Would Love to Have
Do you like to snuggle up on the sofa with a huge bowl of popcorn to watch your favorite movie on a Saturday night? Maybe you see it more as a party snack? Although, did you know that they like to eat chicken-flavored popcorn in Taiwan and curried popcorn in Thailand? Wherever you are in the world, you’re bound to find some popcorn somewhere. Does anything really compare to the one and only caramel popcorn though?
Why Do We Love Snacks?
Every country has a slightly different approach to snacking. In fact, snacks are a booming industry valued at over $400 billion globally. Moreover, the industry is steadily growing at over 6%, according to Statista.
Unbelievably, they also state that an average person consumes over 36kg of snacks per year. This is roughly 3 bags of crisps or 1 average sized gourmet popcorn bag per day. Like everything in life though, we need to find the right balance between decadence and health so let’s see why we snack in the first place:
- Positive brain responses
- Social and cultural influences
- Distraction during ads
Positive Brain Responses
Some snacks, like crisps, are high in carbs which provide the fastest release of energy and increase in sugar levels. This, in turn, decreases cortisol levels which are associated with stress. That’s why we get a feel-good factor and an instant rush.
Popcorn on the other hand is a healthy snack made from whole grain. These high-fiber grains lower the risk of heart disease and diabetes. Having said that, caramel popcorn becomes addictive because the caramel releases other chemicals in the brain.
More specifically, the endogenous opioids that are released, along with dopamine, trigger feelings of reward and pleasure, similar to narcotics. Of course, there’s nothing wrong with a little bit of sugar every now and again. Regardless, those chemicals in your brain could be the reason why you keep dipping back into the caramel popcorn bag.
Social and Cultural Influences
Some households simply don’t allow snacks at home. This has a huge impact on any child growing up. Essentially, if the snacking habit isn’t started at a young age, it usually doesn’t kick in during later life. Then again, there are various studies today that encourage eating smaller meals more frequently. Others prefer having one large meal with some snacks in between.
It all comes down to habits and the influences we have around us. Another example is how we enjoy our time off. Caramel popcorn is the obvious choice for enjoying a movie in America. Then again, many Caribbean countries like to eat fish balls. Naturally, these choices are also influenced by what’s readily available naturally in that country.
Distraction During Ads
Interestingly, the Journal of Consumer Psychology has published studies about how we respond to ads whilst eating caramel popcorn, or any other flavor. Apparently, the chewing motion we make when eating distracts the brain from taking in the name of whatever brand is being advertised. Of course, this can happen with any snack but, after all, caramel popcorn is so easy and fun to eat at the movies.
Why Caramel Popcorn?
There are so many different flavors and colors when it comes to popcorn. The popular ones are usually caramel popcorn as well as cheese, sweet, salty or a mix of flavors. What is it about caramel popcorn that feels so special though?
- The crunch
- Fused with healthy goodness
- Melted sugar and butter
Popcorn already has a slight crunch. Nevertheless, that thin layer of caramel around the fluffy popcorn adds an extra texture and crunch to the whole experience. If you want even more wow to your joy of eating, then you can try salted caramel popcorn. Essentially, it’s the burst of flavors that makes this snack so special.
Fused With Healthy Goodness
Let’s not forget that popcorn is a healthy snack. Of course, adding caramel makes it slightly less healthy. As we all know though, we need some joy in our lives at times and it’s the simple pleasures of eating that can make or break a day. So eat your caramel popcorn guilt-free knowing that you’re simply treating yourself.
Melted Sugar And Butter
Caramel has a way of melting on the tongue that’s so unique. It’s amazing that it’s only sugar, butter and cream. Then again, butter has vitamin D that many of us in Western countries lack because of little sunshine.
Cream also has protein with other essential vitamins A and E and sugar is just carbs. Our bodies actually need all of this but just not too much. Simply remember to give yourself limits within your daily structure to avoid over-eating and bingeing.
What Is It About Caramel Popcorn And All The Other Flavors?
We all know how wonderful popcorn of any flavor tastes, but what else is going on? After all, we also have a mind with thoughts that impact our eating habits.
- Social connections
- Cultural conditioning
Many like to offer caramel popcorn, along with any other flavors, as part of their parties or as a favor bag for their friends. There’s something about popcorn that stands out when you offer it to people. Ultimately, everyone has a story about how they grew up with popcorn or how they were first introduced to it.
There’s nothing quite like food to provide a topic of conversation. Perhaps someone’s Mum makes popcorn in a special way? Alternatively, you could be making your own flavors of popcorn with friends and family whilst turning the kitchen into chaos. You never forget those fun times.
Most of us tend to eat with other people so we form habits and beliefs about food based on those people which is perfectly natural and normal. Nevertheless, some countries prefer to snack on fresh fruit and cheese, for example, and others favor crisps and popcorn.
Generally, our cultures determine so much about what and how we eat. How does this impact your personal choice? Then again, if you’ve ever been lucky enough to watch an adult from a different culture eat caramel popcorn for the first time, it’s quite a thing to witness.
You can see in their eyes the initial surprise of how hard it is on the teeth. The feeling is quickly taken over by the delightful realization that the caramel melts so quickly, which is followed by the final crunch that merges popcorn fluffiness with caramel gooey-ness. Despite any lack of cultural conditioning, it’s usually an instant hit.
How Do You Eat Your Caramel Popcorn?
We all have our preferences but most people like to enjoy their popcorn at one of the following events:
- At home
- The movies
- Social gatherings
It might sound obvious but the home is usually our personal little haven where we can enjoy small luxuries like caramel popcorn. It’s both a mental and a physical break as you sit down with your bowl of popcorn.
Unbelievably, archaeologists have found popcorn fossils in Mexico that’s over 5000 years old. Perhaps that’s not surprising when you consider that corn has been grown by people for around 10,000 years. Although, it seems that the mobile popcorn cart appeared in America around the 1880s, well before the first movie theatre in 1905. Today, the two go hand in hand.
Interestingly, popcorn was sold at fairs and carnivals long before it came to movie theatres. It was particularly useful as a snack because it could be easily made on a cart without a kitchen. The ease of production and the keenness of popcorn sellers is what made it the perfect snack for movie theatres.
What do you like to bring to eat at parties, weddings, baby showers and anniversaries? If you haven’t tried gourmet caramel popcorn yet, here’s your opportunity. These days, it’s so easy to order bulk flavored popcorn online, including buying the right number of flavor bags. You’ll also love the colors and originality that popcorn brings to your snack table.
When Will You Next Have Your Caramel Popcorn?
If you’re not craving popcorn yet maybe you should just get some for your next social gathering and see what your friends say? Even if you’re not convinced, they’re sure to be pleasantly surprised at having a snack filled with goodness, decadence and memories all at the same time. Your gathering will be memorable and they'll definitely come back for more.