Technostalgia

What Ever Became of…Popcorn?

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Growing up, I did a brief stint in the Cub Scouts. Like any such youth organization, there was yearly fundraising involved, of course in addition to whatever my parents paid for uniforms and enrollment fees. For those that don’t know, the Girl Scouts get cookies, and the Boy Scouts sell popcorn. Now, while these days it is almost entirely premade flavored popcorn, like those giant Christmas tins with mostly caramel, and a little bit of butter and cheese flavors that kids never eat, and it is super stale, but you don’t have to do any work, well, back in my day it was tubs of unpopped kernels of plain popcorn. Instead of the fancy popcorn, you had fancy machines. Ours was the clear upside down bowl that attached to the heading surface, with its rotating stirrer bar, like a see through corn dome. Others used the power of air to shoot out the popping corn, and still others used wizardry such that my small childlike brain did not comprehend. What ever happened to the varying multitude of pop corn popping machines, and the plain popcorn that went along with it?

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  • chrystlubitshi

    I still own and use a prestolite air popper from the late now nineties. It was a graduation gift. I was told by the giver, "this should be a great way to make friends, everyone loves popcorn!" To which I responded "and if I don't make friends, at least I have popcorn" in a very sarcastic tone. The couple that have me the thing didn't pick up on my tone and responded with a very enthusiastic "RIGHT!".
    Turns out it was a great way to piss off everyone in my wing of the dorm (all three floors) because it generally overloaded the circuit and popped the breaker before it popped any corn.

    • OA5599

      I gave my sister a hot air popper and a blender for a high school graduation/going to college present. She did indeed make friends using both pieces of equipment.

      I worked in an office with a big popcorn cart, and once a month at 2 pm they would have a popcorn social for anyone who cared to show up in the downstairs lunchroom.

  • http://hooniverse.com/ Batshitbox

    <img src="http://disfunctionaldiva.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/06/Jiffy-Pop-Popcorn.jpg"&gt;

    I was surprised to find out that Jiffy-Pop is still on the market. I went looking for it a few months ago. You can keep your labor saving / cabinet crowding fancy machines… give me 5 minutes of OH MY GOD SQUIRREL!

    [youtube NPV8OkJxgd4#t=49 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NPV8OkJxgd4#t=49 youtube]

  • cruisintime

    We tried the "hot air popper" once years ago, The most tasteless packing material you could imagine..

    • http://hooniverse.com/ Batshitbox

      I think you're supposed to eat the popcorn.

  • Nuclearspork

    As a kid my family bought a hot air popper, I think we used it twice and went back to just putting a little oil in a big ol pot and tossing the kernals in there.

  • Andy Cook

    I bought one that used hot air about five years ago from Lidl (a German supermarket prevalent in the UK)
    But I never got the hang of applying the necessary sugary coating to the popcorn, and, anyway, the kids have made off with the thing now.

  • Michael Hiteshew

    The best popcorn in my opinion, is made on the hot plate coated with oil and a motor driven stirring rod. I don’t know if it’s the flavoring in the oil they used or whether that cooking method that gave it its flavor, but it’s the kind of popcorn maker that produced the famous ‘movie theater’ popcorn.

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