Popcorn (?)

Harvesting and preserving your fruit & veg

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Tony Hague
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Popcorn (?)

Postby Tony Hague » Wed Sep 16, 2015 2:59 pm

Should this go in Harvesting Q&A or Cooking Tips ? Dunno. I'll try here ...

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 ?
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Re: Popcorn (?)

Postby Geoff » Thu Sep 17, 2015 8:00 am

It looks like nobody knows about popcorn, I'm no exception. I thought any corn could pop but have a feeling it has to be completely ripe, way beyond where you would consider it good sweetcorn.
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Re: Popcorn (?)

Postby dan3008 » Thu Sep 17, 2015 9:51 am

I grew popcorn a few years ago... didnt work for me either. the stems made a good compost though ... :lol:
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Re: Popcorn (?)

Postby Diane » Thu Sep 17, 2015 1:29 pm

I'm glad I read this thread as I'm going through the seed catalogues and was going to add popcorn sweetcorn to the list but I don't think I'll bother now.

The loofah's I tried to grow didn't come to anything either :(
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Re: Popcorn (?)

Postby Primrose » Thu Sep 17, 2015 2:47 pm

I suspect that the commercial popping popcorn one buys is probably dried scientifically in large kilns where the environment is carefully controlled and it's probably not easy to reproduce the conditions in a domestic environment. A bit like growing mushrooms I suspect - sounds a fun thing to do but doomed for disappointment.
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Re: Popcorn (?)

Postby Tony Hague » Fri Sep 18, 2015 2:34 pm

I think you are right primrose. I did find a bit of help here:

https://www.victoriananursery.co.uk/How ... p_Popcorn/

I think perhaps mine is not dry enough yet.
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Re: Popcorn (?)

Postby peter » Fri Sep 18, 2015 6:39 pm

Isn't it the moisture in the white part that causes it to pop?

The shell needs to be hard, dry and watertight, to contain the steam long enough gor the resulting pop to burst it open, fluff the kernel and dry it in one go.
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Re: Popcorn (?)

Postby Monika » Fri Sep 18, 2015 6:58 pm

I wonder if the corn doesn't ripen enough in this country? It probably need much higher temperatures to achieve full ripeness.

We have grown hops for many years for decoration (not the golden type, proper beer hops), but a beer-brewing friend tried to use ours and declared them useless, again not enough ripening in these more northern parts.
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