Whether at the movies or at home, popcorn is simply delicious. But have you ever wondered what makes these peculiar corn kernels pop? To answer this question we turn to science.
First of all, not all types of corn are suitable for making popcorn. Only popcorn, scientifically known as Zae Mays Everta, can pop thanks to the thickness of its husk.
It turns out that inside each kernel of popcorn is a small amount of water surrounded by a hard shell. As the popcorn heats up, the water turns into steam, which builds pressure inside the kernel. When the shell can no longer hold the pressure, it bursts and a new, fluffy popcorn is born. What a treat!
Did you know . . . ?
✔ When the Spanish arrived in Mexico, they discovered that the Aztecs used popcorn to make garlands, headdresses or hair ornaments, and jewelry.
✔ The Aztecs believed that inside each grain lived a little pixie that got angry to the point of bursting when their house got hot.