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Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Addicted to Popcorn

I have a confession to make. I am addicted ... to popcorn.

I'm not trying to trivialize the very real personal and public health crisis caused by addiction to drugs and alcohol. But lately, I can't get enough popcorn. My current favorite is SmartFood movie theater butter popcorn. I also like Trader Joe's movie theater butter popcorn.

The SmartFood popcorn has no artificial colors, flavors or preservatives. It is light and oh so tasty. I gave up making microwave popcorn because of all the chemicals and carcinogens it contains. Sometimes I make my own popcorn on the stove, using yellow corn and sunflower oil with just a dash of seasoned salt. But the butter-flavored stuff is much better. 

I come by this addiction to popcorn naturally, as my father loved popcorn. He always said that it tasted better when I made it, using a large, heavy pot on the stove. I used the same ingredients as my family did, but he always insisted that popcorn tasted better when I made it. 

Popcorn is just one of my food weaknesses. The other, which I also got from my father, is crunchy, salty things, such as crackers, peanuts, potato chips, tortilla chips, etc. My favorite crackers are Trader Joe's rice crackers, which are incredibly light, crunchy and in salt, and Blue Diamond Almonds' Nut-Thin crackers, which come in a variety of flavors. They are very crunchy, light and flavorful. 

My most recent acquisition in the crunchy foods department is barbeque-flavored protein crisps made from plant protein. They resemble potato chips and have a slightly spicy barbeque flavor. I like knowing that there is a wide variety of crunchy foods with at least a bit more nutritional value that the old standby, greasy potato chips.

I have discovered that I need the crunch of nuts or crackers to satisfy my palate. I put walnuts in my morning cup .of Greek yogurt. I usually have crackers or something crunchy with my bowl of soup. There just isn't the same satisfaction unless the meal includes some crunch. Celebrity chef and restaurateur Mario Batali has written that, "The single word 'crispy' sells more food than a barrage of adjectives. ... There is something innately appealing about crispy food." Some scientists believe that humans are programmed to prefer crunchy foods.

It's good to know that my predilection for crunchy foods has a scientific basis!