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Popcorn

Thu 21 Jul, 2022 2:38 am

There are so many foods that I've burned through, so to speak. I used to eat them and now just the thought gags me. I could list them but I'm sure I'm not alone.

But one that has stuck for a long, long time is such a simple thing. Yet I pretty much never see anyone else making it in the wilderness. I get the, "Hey, that's a great idea" response but I never see (or hear) it happening.

I'm talking about popcorn. It's space efficient, weight per kJ efficient, easy to make, doesn't require much fuel, and is a crowd pleaser. The only tricky part about popcorn is finding a small, lightweight, and -- most importantly -- oil tight container. Oil has a way of sneaking through the threads of many water tight caps.

So why don't people make it more often? Or am I wrong, is it happening and I just don't see it (or hear it)?


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Re: Popcorn

Thu 21 Jul, 2022 7:39 am

I might try that one day. Although I'm a bit cautious with popcorn since it once cost me several thousand dollars to fix a tooth after biting down on a not-popped-kernel.

Why not use butter instead of oil? In most weather it won't melt enough to leak, and it actually tastes good.

PS. My family have just spotted this over my shoulder and are all saying, "my goodness, we have to do that next time!".

Re: Popcorn

Thu 21 Jul, 2022 8:03 am

Hi I made popcorn a couple of times but not for a long time. Thanks for the reminder.

A specimen jar of kernels was about right for a one litre pot.

Re: Popcorn

Thu 21 Jul, 2022 10:28 am

Son of a Beach wrote:Why not use butter instead of oil? In most weather it won't melt enough to leak, and it actually tastes good.


I started using olive oil because I thought it to be more stable and less likely to burn. Also, butter is a solid at room temperature but melts at something around body temperature. So you have to pack it like a solid but be prepared for it to be an oily liquid when you go to use it. Olive oil does solidify at not too low a temperature but is easy enough to melt while still in the container. I don't know, oil just seemed more practical to me.

Now I actually prefer the flavor of olive oil over butter and use it when I make popcorn at home. Back when I did use butter I tended to add it after popping the corn in a neutral flavored oil. My guess is you'd want to use clarified butter or ghee to avoid burning the milk solids. But I don't know for sure.

Re: Popcorn

Thu 21 Jul, 2022 1:30 pm

All a matter of taste, and preferences I guess. :-) I've never been bothered by a bit of burning solids in the butter. I always carry butter bushwalking, and have only ever had it melt (just a little bit) once.

Also, vegetable oils, including olive oil, can be healthy when raw, but quite unhealthy when cooked. Not so for animal fats. But I don't know the details - my wife is into all that stuff, so I just nod and smile and keep eating what tastes better to me (which coincides with what she tells me is the good fats).

Re: Popcorn

Fri 22 Jul, 2022 1:44 am

Ah yes, nutritional hearsay, a staple of the internet. Even assuming this were true (it may be) it needs to be placed in context. Popcorn is not a health food. It's basically starch, fat, and salt. It's more or less in the same category as potato chips. And in the interest of full disclosure I almost always pair my potentially carcinogenic olive oil infused popcorn with another well established cancer causing substance: ethanol. Nevermind the salami (another cancer linked food) that I often have for lunch. I suspect that is the worst offender.

The point of my post was partly to find out if I'm really alone in making popcorn on walks. But also to hopefully stimulate discussion of other lesser made but equally tasty foods suitable for the wilderness. I have been looking for food ideas for walks for as long as I've been at it and mostly it's the same not-so-wondeful ideas that get recycled. Recently I talked to a guy on the Pacific Crest Trail who told me he often made Pad Thai for dinner. It turned out what he meant was that he added some chunky peanut butter to his Top Ramen. Well... at least it was a new idea.

What happened to that guy who used to bake pizzas and muffins? That's a lot of work but I was impressed with his efforts. He knew what good food was.

Re: Popcorn

Fri 22 Jul, 2022 8:10 am

Yep, I respect that*. I did not intend to derail this topic. And as I said, my real reason for preferring butter is the taste (which of course is a personal preference).

I generally prefer real food (ie, less processed/packaged) when out walking (and at home), even if it means it's bit heavier to carry. I'm very much looking forward to cooking pop corn for my family next time I get them all out there.

*well... most of it. It was not "nutritional hearsay" on the internet in this case. She has actually done a LOT of study over a number of years, on multiple mediums - including the internet - and reading the works of many respected scientists (and others). That doesn't mean that it's correct ('science' changes frequently), but it's unfair to call it hearsay in this case.

Re: Popcorn

Sun 31 Jul, 2022 5:01 pm

Yes! Popcorn was my daily campsite arrival snack on the Frankland traverse!

Re: Popcorn

Tue 02 Aug, 2022 6:10 pm

Love my popcorn. Great for something to do when at camp early or solo camping.

Nalgene makes little bottles of varying sizes that hold oil well.
I carry a large ziplock bag that I tip the popcorn into (just got to let it cool down a smidge or it could burn through) and have salt and a type of bbq seasoning i make up in a smaller zip lock. Add seasoning with the popcorn and shake. But really you could use anything.

The annoying thing about popcorn is I find you got to wash the pot with soap before cooking or boiling anything else. Theres a reason lemon, ginger and popcorn tea is not sold in stores.

Sent from my LE2115 using Tapatalk

Re: Popcorn

Thu 08 Sep, 2022 7:49 pm

Huntsman247 wrote:Love my popcorn. Great for something to do when at camp early or solo camping.

Nalgene makes little bottles of varying sizes that hold oil well.
I carry a large ziplock bag that I tip the popcorn into (just got to let it cool down a smidge or it could burn through) and have salt and a type of bbq seasoning i make up in a smaller zip lock. Add seasoning with the popcorn and shake. But really you could use anything.

The annoying thing about popcorn is I find you got to wash the pot with soap before cooking or boiling anything else. Theres a reason lemon, ginger and popcorn tea is not sold in stores.

Sent from my LE2115 using Tapatalk

I do pretty much exactly the same thing. Carrying the oil and adding different flavours through spice and salt mixes for savoury and cinnamon sugar for a sweeter version.
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