Popcorn by Margaret and Shawnie

A lot of people enjoy eating popcorn because it is yummy and people like the crunchy sound of it. I’ll tell you the history of the popcorn.

Popcorn (also known as popping corn) is a type of corn which explodes from the kernel (baked corn) and puffs up when heated. Special varieties are grown to give improved popping yield. Some wild types will pop, but the cultivated strain is Zea mays averta, which is a special kind of flint corn. The process of making popcorn was first discovered by the Native Americans thousands of years ago who believed that the popping noise was that of an angry god who escaped the kernel. Popcorn was very popular during the 1890s but at the World War 1, they started to eat nuts instead of corn but during the World War 2, the Americans ate three times more popcorn than before because of the sugar that was going overseas.

The popcorn pops because the outer part of the kernel is both moisturized and strong. The popcorn pops as the oil and the water are heated past the boiling point, they turn the moisture in the kernel into a superheated pressurized steam, contained within the moisture-proof hull. Under these conditions, the starch inside the kernel gelatinizes, softening and becoming pliable. The pressure continues to increase until the breaking point of the hull is reached. The pressure is about 180 degrees Celsius. The hull ruptures rapidly, causing a sudden drop in pressure inside the kernel and a corresponding rapid expansion of the steam, which expands the starch and proteins of the endosperm into airy foam. As the foam rapidly cools, the starch and protein polymers set into the familiar crispy puff.

Every Wednesday and Friday the school will be selling popcorn. We interviewed Ms. Virginia and Ms. Noriko on why they’re selling popcorn. This is what they said:

Why are you selling popcorn?’

Ms. Virginia and Ms. Noriko, “Well, we are selling popcorn because we want to raise money for the PTA (Parent Teacher Association).

Information and pictures from: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Popcorn

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