Column: Butter than Movie Theater Popcorn


Photo credit: Anna Allgeyer

Freshly popped popcorn flows into a metal serving bowl, where it will soon be seasoned and devoured. This is a great snack to enjoy any time of day.

I love Archer. Many qualities in this community make me grin, and, more often than not, it’s the little things that make all the difference. Exhibit A: eating in class. I’m nervous to go to college for many reasons, but none are as frightening of the possibility of not being able to eat in class. For almost seven years, I have happily munched away while learning about Ancient Egypt, irregular verbs and derivatives — so what’s going to happen if I have professors that don’t approve of this delicious habit? I guess it’s all part of growing up.

But now onto the snacks themselves. Archer’s schedule has trained me like a dog. When the clock strikes 10 a.m. I am ready to eat, even during weekends and breaks when X-Block isn’t around. Advisory snack is an Archer institution that will ever leave me. From its days of elaborate “mystery food” to the more modern, “I forgot but here’s some almonds from my locker,” nothing brings me more joy than sharing food with people I love.

But what to bring? What to snack on when ten o’clock hits and you’re starving?

The answer is popcorn. It’s always been popcorn, and it always will be popcorn. This addiction started a few months ago in late August just before school began while I was watching a lot of movies.

In my opinion, both microwave and movie theatre popcorn are both pretty artificial and unnecessary caloric options. In my house, we have a pot with a turning base that ensures no unpopped kernels, but you can also buy air poppers, or just use a regular pot with a lid.

Photo by Anna Allgeyer
Italian parmesan seasoned popcorn with basil, parsley, and oregano straight from the stove. This is vaguely based on an Italian recipe.

To pop popcorn with a regular pan, add three tablespoons of your favorite fat with a high smoke point (avocado oil, coconut oil, canola oil and butter all work) and three kernels to the pan, cover and wait until they pop. Add your popcorn and cover the pan, and then take off the heat. Let it cool for about 30 seconds and then return to the heat and shake occasionally until the popping stops. Remove the lid immediately to ensure dry, crisp popcorn. While a little complicated, this ensures that no popcorn is burnt, as the pan is cooled to the correct temperature.

From this base, the possibilities are endless. My current favorite is a vaguely Italian recipe of my own invention that calls for a small handful of parmesan, salt, garlic powder, dried or fresh basil, oregano, parsley and black pepper. The cheese melts into the popcorn, and — as long as you dress it up while it’s still warm — the spices stick to the popped kernels really well which makes for the most delicious snack of all time.

And while the loud munching of popcorn in class might not go over so smoothly during my freshman composition class, I’m glad to share it with my advisory while I still can. Happy snacking!