If you have ever eaten popcorn and been lucky enough to avoid getting a popcorn hull stuck in-between your teeth, make sure you go buy a lottery ticket. Our family loves popcorn but hates getting hulls in between our teeth.
Hulless popcorn is real, comes in many varieties, and has the least number of hulls compared to other varieties of popcorn. Hulless varieties available include Baby White, Baby Yellow, and Baby Blue just to name a few. The hulless kernel is smaller than the normal white or yellow popcorn kernels but has the benefit of no hulls once it pops.
I am sure you are excited to learn more about hulless popcorn and where you can get it.
What is a Popcorn Hull?
The popcorn hull is the outside of a popcorn kernel. Every popcorn kernel has a hull. Popcorn kernels pop because there is water trapped inside the kernel. Once the kernel gets hot enough to turn the water inside into steam, pressure is created which causes the hull to explode inside out.
The result is a fluffy piece of popcorn. The hull still exists, it is now inside the popped kernel.
Most popcorn kernels are large and when they pop, the hulls that remain are large too. The hulls are the crunchy, brown portion of the kernel of popped popcorn that resides inside the fluffy white portion.
Because the remaining hull is so large when you eat the popcorn, it can get stuck in between your teeth and in your gums. Since it can be uncomfortable, it is hard to ignore, especially while you are trying to enjoy a movie.
What Makes Popcorn Hulless?
Every popcorn kernel has a hull, but what we call hulless popcorn gets its name for one important reason: what happens to the hull as it pops. The hull breaks into petite pieces during the popping process.
This makes the hull less noticeable since not as much is left behind on the popcorn and means you can sit back and enjoy your movie without worrying about the dreaded popcorn hull in your teeth.
We have been eating hulless popcorn for the last ten years when I make it at home. We still enjoy movie theater buttered popcorn but since we only go to the movies every now and then, we can live with the occasional hull in our teeth.
Nothing beats hulless popcorn as far as our family is concerned!
What Variety of Popcorn is Considered Hulless?
There is a long list of varieties of popcorn that come in hulless versions. Most of these varieties are smaller than regular popcorn but just as tasty.
We had a blast ordering them and trying them all out. They each have a different taste so you will need to try each one to see which ones taste the best to you. My recommendation is to try them without any topping other than salt.
If you enjoy the taste of the popcorn, then go ahead and add the toppings like butter or parmesan cheese. If you are used to making regular popcorn, just remember to layer the seasoning.
The kernels will be smaller, so you do not need as much seasoning to go around. We learned that when we put too much seasoning on a batch that we had to toss and start over.
The hulless popcorn varieties include but are not limited to:
- Baby White/Japanese Hulless
- Baby Yellow
- Baby Blue
- Autumn Blaze
- Gourmet Red
- Gourmet White
- Lady Finger
Many companies have other varieties that they consider hulless, so it is best to research and ensure in the fine print that it says hulless. There are other kernels out there that have fewer hulls but might not be classified as hulless.
I am sure you will be pleasantly surprised will the hulless popcorn experience. Just remember the kernels are smaller and not as fluffy but still delicious.
What Salt Should I Use for Hulless Popcorn?
When I cook popcorn at home, we like to just add salt without any other topping. Talking to people about salting their popcorn, many will tell you they use regular table salt.
Most people do not know that there is a better alternative to table salt to use on popcorn. I know I did not find this out until I had already cooked popcorn hundreds of times.
The trick is that you want the salt to be small and yes, I mean smaller than regular table salt. The purpose of this is so that the salt can get into the nooks and crannies of the popcorn and hitch a ride, instead of falling to the bottom of the bowl.
We learned that the hulless popcorn is smaller than normal popcorn so we need a salt that will do its job and get into those nooks and crannies. You want a salt that is finely ground and looks like the grains of sand you walk on at the beach.
My favorite is Celtic Sea Salt – Fine Ground and it is available at Amazon. The container is a shaker so no need to transfer it to another shaker. Because hulless popped popcorn is smaller, this really helps to have finely ground salt to season your popcorn.
There is also salt available at the store that is labeled as popcorn salt and it is much more affordable. Salt is a preference for each person as I know there are many that cannot add salt to their food for health reasons.
Where Can I Get Hulless Popcorn?
When I started purchasing hulless popcorn, I had to go directly to the company to buy it from them. These days, Amazon and other retailers have a selection that continues to grow as more companies start selling hulless popcorn kernels. Local health food and grocery stores may also have it, but the selection is usually limited.
There are many companies that offer sample sizes so you do not have to buy 2 pounds of popcorn only to find out you do not like it. You can make this a family adventure and have everyone give it a grade so that the entire family agrees on the popcorn for movie night.
At our house, everyone gets their own bowls, as each person likes different topping on their popcorn.
Imagine my surprise when I saw that there is now microwave popcorn that offers a hulless option. I will always prefer making our popcorn on the stovetop, but sometimes I want popcorn during the day at work and there is now a quick hulless option available.
Hulless popcorn exists with the caveat that it is only hulless after the kernel pops and the hull breaks into finer pieces. You always need to read the label and ensure that the company considers it to be hulless.
There are plenty of places to find hulless popcorn online and soon your local health food stores and even supermarkets may carry hulless popcorn.
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