I don't like popcorn.
It's bland and boring, with a texture like styrofoam with annoying crunchy bits that get stuck between your teeth. As far as I can tell, it's really only there to serve as a base to add flavouring to. For that purpose, give me potato chips any day. Yeah, they're crunchier and not so suitable for eating during movies, but then I don't want to eat while I'm watching a movie anyway.
I guess at least I can be grateful that people who do eat during movies generally aren't crunching on chips.
2021-04-18 Rerun commentary: I still don't like popcorn. But my wife does, and asks me to make it for her. She likes it without any flavouring at all - no butter, no salt, nothing. You can't get microwave popcorn with no added flavouring. (At least not in my supermarket.) So I have to buy the old fashioned sort that you need to pop in a saucepan with oil. The first few times I tried it, I figured "How hard can it be?" I ended up making smoke and burning half the kernels and half of them didn't pop properly... The Internet came to my rescue! I searched for tips on making popcorn and found a method that works beautifully. To save you the suspense:
- Place a thin layer of vegetable oil into a saucepan. Just enough to coat the bottom. Use an oil with a high smoke point, like canola or sunflower or peanut oil. Don't use olive oil.
- Place three kernels of popcorn in the middle of the saucepan.
- Heat over a high heat with the lid on. Preferably use a glass lid so you can see what's happening.
- When the three kernels have popped (or two of them and enough time has passed that you think the third must be a dud), turn the heat off.
- Lift the lid and without tilting it, move it quickly sideways off the saucepan and put it down somewhere safe. The reason for not tilting it is that steam will have condensed into the underside of the lid, and you don't want to have any drops of water fall into the hot oil, as they will spatter alarmingly.
- Use tongs to remove the three popped kernels.
- Pour in the amount of unpopped kernels you want to make. Generally, just barely covering the base of the saucepan is a good amount.
- Swirl the kernels in the hot oil, so they all get coated and lie evenly on the saucepan base.
- Put the lid back on and let the kernels sit in the hot oil to warm up for 1 minute. The idea here is to heat all the kernels to a point where they're close to popping. This prevents some of them popping early, and some popping really late, and others burning into black lumps.
- After a minute of warming, turn the heat back on high.
- The kernels should begin popping soon, and will build to a crescendo of popping.
- Time when the popping dies down by counting second after the last pop. One-potato-two-potato- POP! One-potato-two-potato-three-potato...
- When you reach five-potato with no more pops, turn the heat off.
- Let it sit for 20 seconds or so in case there are one or two straggler pops.
- Remove the lid carefully again, and pour the popcorn into a bowl.