Red, White, and Blue: A Festive Popcorn Sampler

We've been on a real popcorn kick lately (you might have noticed). One of our recent discoveries has been a vendor at a local market selling several different varieties of popcorn. It's just a coincidence, but we happen to have red, white, and blue kernels stocked in our cupboard this holiday weekend!

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Red - Don't these kernels look like pomegranate seeds? They're so pretty, it's almost a shame to pop them. Almost. The popped kernels are smaller than we're used to and have an earthy, somewhat nutty flavor.

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White - According to the vendor, this bag of hybrid white popcorn is the closest to what we've come to expect from popcorn. The kernels pop up big and beautiful with a fairly neutral flavor. This one has been great for tossing with all kinds of seasonings.

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Blue - These popped so small that we expected to be rather tough and full of hulls. To our happy surprise, they were actually quite delicate and crunchy. They also had a light, sweetly nutty flavor that paired really nicely with some browned butter.

Unfortunately, you can't see much of the original color once the kernels are popped, but it still might be fun to pass out small sampler bags as favors at a 4th of July party. Or if we pop them for our barbecue, at least we will know their original color!

Keep your eyes open for unique varieties of popcorn at your farmer's markets this summer. These seem to be coming into popularity in our area, and hopefully yours as well! Also check out your local co-ops and health food stores.

Do you have a favorite variety of popcorn?

Related: Eating Light: Homemade Popcorn with Olive Oil

(Images: Emma Christensen)