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Popcorn Fiesta

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Post by Chilli-head on 16th September 2015, 3:01 pm

I've grown some poping corn. The James Wong stuff. Tall, architectural and colourful plants, which have made multi-coloured corn. It seems fairly dry, so I have picked some, stripped the husk and left it hanging in the shed to dry more.

Tried to pop some the other day - tried a popcorn making machime (hot air), and a microwave. No pops. The casing cracked, but the insides didn't come bursting forth as a shop-bought popcorn would.

Now, I could not find a lot of instructions on the packet or the web about what to do re harvesting/drying/cooking of this, but I do know that for commercial popcorn the moisture content is quite important - 14% is ideal, I think. But I don't know if mine is too wet or too dry ! My gut reaction is that 14% seems quite dry for air-drying; perhaps it might need a bit of forced drying over the stove.

Anyone else tried popcorn ? Got it to work ? Any idead what to do with a load of corn that won't pop ? Homemade corn tortillas anyone ?


Last edited by Chilli-head on 28th September 2015, 1:25 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Post by Chilli-head on 18th September 2015, 2:32 pm

Not a total answer, but I did find some help at Victoriana nursery's website. When dry enough the kernels should easily rub off the cob; mine is not there yet. I'll cross my fingers and wait some more.
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Post by Chilli-head on 22nd September 2015, 1:22 pm

Aha ! A week indoors in the kitchen, and a test with a few kernels gave a sucessful popping !

Still a bit chewy popcorn, but popcorn nonetheless. I'll leave it to dry a little more and see if it improves some more.
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Post by Ploshkin on 22nd September 2015, 1:54 pm

Well done,we'll be round for the film show in a week or so then.
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Post by freebird on 22nd September 2015, 4:56 pm

So are they multi-coloured when they've popped?
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Post by Chilli-head on 28th September 2015, 12:06 pm

This is how it looks at the moment, hanging in my shed. Surprisingly variable colour both within, and between the cobs. It has to be said though that the plants were quite variable too, some quite red stems, others more like normal sweetcorn, and that colour is reflected in the grains.



Once popped, it effectively turns inside out (no photo yet - I'll have to work on that !), and the colour is only skin deep, so it looks quite like regular yellow/white popcorn.
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Post by Ploshkin on 28th September 2015, 9:29 pm

That looks so pretty. I know you are drying them for popping but would they be edible when fresh?
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Post by Chilli-head on 29th September 2015, 12:17 pm

According to a quick bit of googling, this variety is usually grown for its ornamental looks here, but is used for cornmeal in other countries. One source did say it could be eaten when picked young - but that's no surprise, lots of things "can be eaten", but I don't expect it will be so sweet.

There is an F1 variety "Indian Summer" with multicoloured grains (though yellow dominates) which is a sweet hybrid for eating, and it was quite good when I grew it. But for flavour, I have converged on sweetcorn "Lark", which is straightforward yellow but is early, sweet and deserves its AGM !
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