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Corn is one of the oldest known crops in human history. Known also as maize, archaeologists can trace the human cultivation of corn in Mexico as far back as 10,000 years. First grown in Central and South America, corn today is found all over the world, and it is used in everything from soft drinks to car fuel.
The popping of corn kernels is, likewise, one of the oldest known snacks in human history. Archaeologists have found evidence of popcorn dating back at least 7,500 years. Popcorn steadily grew in popularity during the 19th century, with the snack seeing a rapid rise in sales as a movie treat during the lean years of the Great Depression.
That hasn’t changed. If you’re in the mood to watch a movie, either at home or at the theater, popcorn might well be a snack candidate. For the at-home crowd, many people go for the ease of microwave popcorn, but you can also make it over the stovetop or in an air popper. It’s pretty easy, in fact.
Aldi doesn’t currently sell regular popcorn kernels as an everyday buy, instead putting out microwave varieties on its Regular Buy shelves. Every once in a while, though, Aldi stocks popcorn kernels as a limited buy.
Popfully Popping Corn is an Aldi Find. That means you can only find it in stores for a short time. Once it’s sold out, you won’t be able to get it in stores again until it comes back, whenever that might be. Aldi does not do online ordering if it’s not in stock at your local store. Of late, we’ve seen Aldi sell this popcorn more than once a year, so if you’re patient, it might come back before too long if you’ve missed out.
At the time of this post, Aldi sells a 45-ounce plastic container of these yellow kernels for $3.99. That comes out to about 9 cents an ounce. To compare, Walmart Great Value Yellow Popping Corn currently runs 7 cents an ounce, while most popping corn I can find on Amazon ranges from 10-20 cents an ounce. Trader Joe’s Organic Popping Corn, which is a regular item, costs about the same per ounce as the Aldi stuff.
So this Aldi Find is on the lower end of popcorn prices, although not at the bottom. On other other hand, it does come in a container that is more user-friendly than the bag the cheaper Walmart popcorn comes in.
Popfully is not an Aldi house brand. According to the container, Popfully, LLC is a company based out of Miami, Florida. I found a website and a few social media pages, but none of them offer much beyond some very basic information and a handful of stock images. The company doesn’t say what stores sell their popcorn, for instance, and it doesn’t currently have a product page on its website for this specific yellow popping corn like it does for some of its other products.
Nutrition and Ingredients
The nutrition label lists just one ingredient: yellow popcorn. The label doesn’t list a country of origin, which under U.S. law means it was produced in the United States. The label boasts that the popcorn is GMO-free, vegan, whole grain, and gluten-free.
Nutritionally, it’s popcorn. Each 6.5-cup popped serving has 110 calories, 1.5 grams of fat, 23 grams of carbs, 5 grams of fiber, and 3 grams of protein.
Making the Popcorn
If you have an air popper, follow the popper’s instructions. If you don’t, here’s what you’ll need:
- A heavy-bottomed pan or popper. I use a 3.5-quart saucepan with a lid.
- A measuring cup for your popcorn.
- A measuring spoon for your oil.
- Cooking oil. Some people like to use coconut oil; I use traditional vegetable oil.
There is also the subject of seasoning. Most of them I’ll come back to in a moment, but one I’ll mention now. If you want to emulate the theater experience, you can get Flavocol, which is what theaters put on their popcorn. If you do this, know that a little bit of Flavocol goes a long way: I use what people online call the 1-2-3-4 method, or 1/2 cup of popcorn to 3/4 teaspoon of Flavocol. Flavocol can be sprinkled in with the oil before adding the popcorn.
The instructions on the package call for pouring 1/2 cup of popcorn and 3 tablespoons of oil into your pan or popper, then cover and heat to medium high, leaving the lid slightly ajar to allow steam to escape. (I prefer to put in three unpopped kernels to start, then add the popcorn once those three have popped under the heat.)
Either way, once the full 1/2 cup starts to pop, shake the pan gently at least once or twice to help sift the popped popcorn off the bottom and get the unpopped kernels to the heated surface. Once the popping slows to about 2-3 seconds apart, remove the pan from the heat or unplug the popper. (Wait too long, and you risk burning your popcorn.) In my experience, it takes roughly 7-8 minutes.
Finally, pour the popcorn into a large bowl and add whatever seasonings you want. Here you can add salt, butter, clarified butter (ghee), or other seasonings. If you previously added Flavocol, you probably won’t need more salt. I like to melt about 2 tablespoons of butter and drizzle it over the popcorn, then shake it a little.
I expected this to pop about like other popcorn kernels I’ve popped, and I wasn’t disappointed. It cooks up and tastes exactly as expected. It’s light, crisp, with classic popcorn flavor, and is especially good with the right seasonings.
Popfully Popping Corn serves up reliably good popcorn. It’s easy to make and tastes like it should. The price it sells for at Aldi is on the lower end for popcorn, which makes it a good value for the money. Worth a look if you need a stock of popcorn. Just don’t forget to get some oil and seasoning, too.
It works well in my air popper. I’ll be stocking up on a bottle or two.