Growing up in Paris, France, popcorn was not a treat found in every home. I think us Europeans were never very fond of snacks – the consensus is that it’s best to keep your appetite for full meals. Having popcorn at home was perceived as a very American habit, just like eating pancakes or frying bacon strips; we saw it in American movies, not in French homes (I only discovered bacon strips when I moved to Canada). There was only one place where you could be sure to find popcorn: at the movie theatre. Once at the food concession, there were always two choices: sucré or salé – sweet or salty. While my mother adored salted popcorn, I always chose the sweet kind. It was lightly glazed in sugar, it was crunchy, it was heaven.
Fast forward 20 years – I now live in Toronto, where I met my future husband who introduced me to the Whirley Pop Popcorn Popper. I discovered a whole new world of popcorn flavours, and eventually told him about the childhood memories of that sweet popcorn that I had not tasted since. There and then we started an experimentation process that quickly led to the perfect kettle corn! It is very simple to make, and can be seasoned on top of the sugar - but if you’re anything like me, you’ll enjoy it as is, warm out of the pot. I am transported back to a dark movie theatre with some French cartoon playing every time I eat some (which is often)…
Ann’s Perfect Kettle Corn
At least 2 tablespoons of Real Theater Popping Oil or pure coconut oil
½ cup of Mushroom or Extra Large Caramel kernels or your favourite type of popcorn kernels
2 tablespoons of white sugar
Put your Whirley Pop on the stove at medium-high heat
Add the oil, kernels and sugar
Close the lid and turn the handle continuously to mix ingredients until the popping stops – about 3 minutes.
Pour the kettle corn immediately into a large bowl
Optionally, add a trickle of Buttery Topping for extra flavour
Notes on preparation
We use more oil for kettle corn than regular popcorn because we want the sugar and oil to mix well, which helps in coating the popcorn evenly as it pops. The temperature is also important; with too little heat, you could end up with unpopped kernels, with too much heat, the sugar can burn. A little bit of experimentation might be necessary depending on your stove.