NPR Documentary Explains How Popcorn Worked Before Microwaves

If you’re surprised to hear lots of people ate popcorn in the comfort of their homes before microwaves, then the opening fact in this clip – that the earliest socially grown varieties of corn were for popping, not flour – will make you question everything you thought you knew. (Fun fact: I grew up with the culturally enriching experience of popping popcorn by stovetop instead of microwave.) This quick mini-doc from NPR gives a smattering of history before diving into how the “pop” in popcorn actually works, with the obligatory slow-motion footage to match. Science just can’t help but be all up in your business, it seems.

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