One of the biggest surprises about black popcorn is that it pops white. A tub of black popcorn kernels might look a decadent shade of black, but when they’re heated up in a popcorn maker, they create fluffy white pieces of popcorn.
Black popcorn is a well-kept secret and unless you’re a popcorn connoisseur, you may never have heard of it before.
So, sit back and relax as we’re going to tell you all there is to know about black popcorn.
What is Black Popcorn?
Black popcorn is made from black corn, which originates from Peru. It is known for being heirloom corn. A distinctive trait of black popcorn is its small size. The kernels and the popped popcorn are smaller than an average-sized piece of yellow popcorn.
The good thing about this is that it makes the popcorn virtually hulless. Hulless popcorn lowers the risk of the popcorn getting stuck in your teeth and is a suitable choice for denture wearers and people with diverticulitis.
Is Black Popcorn Healthier?
Regardless of which color popcorn kernels you use, popcorn is a healthy choice of snack. Calorie-wise, yellow popcorn and black popcorn are on par with one another.
But the additional health benefits that black popcorn provides make it a healthier choice than yellow popcorn.
First of all, black popcorn contains anthocyanins. Anthocyanins give black popcorn its distinctive color and are a type of antioxidant. Antioxidants are needed to protect the body from oxidative stress and free radicals.
Anthocyanins boast the following health benefits:
- Anti-inflammatory properties
- Prevents cancer
- Prevents obesity
- Prevents diabetes
- Prevents cardiovascular disease
- Protects the skin from UV damage
- Improves eye health
- Lowers blood pressure
- Prevents neurological diseases
Black popcorn is also rich in polyphenols (another type of antioxidant) which are also known to ward off multiple diseases and illnesses, such as cancer, diabetes, and neurological disorders.
The popcorn brand Black Jewel states that their black popcorn contains more than 80 mg of anthocyanins and polyphenols combined, which is an impressive amount.
Finally, black popcorn is a healthier choice because it’s not modified. Most corn is considered a GMO, according to the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA). But, black popcorn does not fall into this category.
Does Black Popcorn Taste Different?
Yes, black popcorn tastes different. We think that it’s yummier than white or yellow popcorn as it’s naturally sweet with a nutty undertone. There’s a special flakiness to black popcorn, too, which makes it taste and feel different in your mouth.
The size and shape of black popcorn also make it taste different. As it’s so small, it’s crispier than normal popcorn. The missing hull also makes it more enjoyable to eat.
Can You Add Seasoning to Black Popcorn?
You can add any seasoning that you fancy to black popcorn. We suggest you try it on its own first as it’s rich in flavor and often doesn’t need any extras added to it as it tastes great just the way it is.
If you do decide that your black popcorn needs a little something extra on it, we recommend:
- Truffle oil
- Cheese powder
What’s the Best Black Popcorn?
The most well-known brand of black popcorn is Black Jewell. The company states that “heirloom black kernels are popped into bright white, fresh, crispy, ready-to-eat popcorn that has a richer taste than regular popcorn.”
Black Jewell black popcorn is rated highly among popcorn lovers. It’s often described as being “very tasty”, “delicious”, and “tender”.
You can buy Black Jewel black popcorn in microwavable pouches, tubs, and bags. Different flavors are also available, including:
- Sweet and Salty
- Touch of Butter
- Aged White Cheddar
- Simply Sea Salt
If you’re after an alternative brand of black popcorn, give Steinke’s Gourmet Popcorn a try.
Where to Buy Black Popcorn
Black popcorn is seen as a gourmet product. Therefore, you won’t necessarily find it on grocery store shelves next to mainstream popcorn brands, such as Act II and Orville Redenbacher.
Your best option is to buy it online from health food stores or Amazon.
How to Make Black Popcorn
Black popcorn is just as easy to make as standard yellow or white popcorn. All you need is something to pop your popcorn in, such as a microwave silicone popper, stovetop popcorn maker, or popcorn machine. You can then follow our handy how to make popcorn guide for some great-tasting black popcorn.
The size difference of black popcorn can cause a few issues for people who have never made black popcorn before. We’ve put together a few tips and things to consider when you pop black popcorn kernels for the first time:
- Popcorn typically takes between 2 ½ and 3 minutes to make. However, as black popcorn kernels are smaller than normal kernels, it may take slightly longer for them to pop.
- The small size of black popcorn means it burns easily. Always keep a listen out and remove your black popcorn from the heat when popping slows to one pop every 2 to 3 seconds.
- Expect more unpopped kernels (old maids) than you would with other types of popcorn. Again, this is because of the small size of the kernels.
- Not all air poppers pop black popcorn kernels very well. As the kernels are so small, they sometimes get blown out of the popper before they’re popped.
Now you know what black popcorn is, you’re sure to want to give it a try. It’s packed full of flavor and is one of the healthiest types of popcorn you can snack on. So, when you’re next shopping for popcorn kernels, why not pop a bag of black kernels in your basket, so you can see what all the fuss is about?
Next, check out these other color varieties of popcorn: