When people hear the term “mushroom popcorn,” many automatically assume that it is popcorn that comes from mushrooms. Even if you like the taste of mushrooms, mushroom-flavored popcorn doesn’t sound all that appealing. But not to worry because this type of mushroom refers to the shape and texture of the popcorn and not where the kernels come from or how the popcorn tastes. Once you learn a little more about mushroom popcorn we’re sure you’ll be keen to give it a try.
At a Glance – Best Mushroom Popcorn
What Is Mushroom Popcorn?
When you buy popcorn, whether it’s made on the stove, in the microwave, or in an air popper, you have two types to choose from. Here is a brief description of each type.
- Butterfly popcorn. Butterfly popcorn is light and airy, and it is usually sold in movie theaters and in other public places that serve snacks. Also called snowflake popcorn, this type of corn pops in complicated patterns and has “wings” in its design. When you season butterfly popcorn with butter or seasonings, they easily catch on those wings to make the popcorn a lot tastier. They are usually not used for caramel or other types of coated popcorn because the caramel can make the popcorn disintegrate.
- Mushroom popcorn. This popcorn comes in a mushroom design, complete with a ball-shaped top. Instead of light and airy, the popcorn is firm and round, and they can get up to 24 times their size when popped, making them larger than butterfly popcorn. They pop in all sorts of shapes and even have a chewy consistency just like mushrooms do, hence their name. The biggest advantage of mushroom popcorn is that it is perfect for making any type of popcorn that you’re planning to coat with caramel or candy. Butterfly popcorn usually isn’t used for caramel or other types of coated popcorn.
Mushroom popcorn has a firmer consistency and holds its shape better, so you can pour caramel or chocolate over it and it will remain the same size and shape. This is not the case with butterfly popcorn. This is why mushroom popcorn is used in pre-popped and packaged popcorn a lot of the time. Think of it this way: mushroom-type kernels make large, round popcorn, while butterfly popcorn pops in unpredictable shapes and is smaller in size.
What Type of Popcorn Is the Best?
While both mushroom and butterfly popcorn tastes great and has numerous advantages, most people find that when they wish to put melted butter over their popcorn, the butterfly type works best, while the mushroom type tends to work best for thick and gooey toppings such as caramel, melted candy, and even melted cheese. Mushroom popcorn simply doesn’t break apart as quickly as butterfly popcorn does when certain toppings are added to it.
As far as the taste and texture go, it’s up to you which type of popcorn to choose. The butterfly type of popcorn is light, airy, and crispy, while the mushroom type is denser, bigger, and chewier. Both are delicious, of course, so a lot of your decision will be based on the toppings you choose to put over the popcorn and how you’re planning to flavor it once it’s popped. When you take all of their features into consideration, it’s a lot easier to decide between mushroom and butterfly popcorn.
The Best Mushroom Popcorn on the Market
If you’re anxious to try the mushroom-type of popcorn, here are some of the highest-rated brands on the market:
Concession Essentials premium mushroom-style popcorn.
This four-pound jar of yellow mushroom-style popcorn sells for under $14 and produces extra-large popcorn that is chewy and yummy. It is non-GMO popcorn that is perfect for fundraisers, school and charity events, and of course, for home use.
The popcorn tastes delicious and can be popped in any type of popcorn maker, making it a very versatile type of popcorn mix.
Amish Country mushroom-style popcorn
This 14-ounce jar of mushroom-style popcorn pops up chewy and large, and it even comes with 15 different recipes to try so that you don’t have to go online and look them up yourself.
It sells for around $8 and makes tons of popcorn, and it is low in calories, gluten-free, and non-GMO.
If you’re looking for mushroom popcorn that is good for you and tastes great, this is the brand you want.
Family Farm and Feed gourmet mushroom-style popcorn
This yellow gourmet popcorn comes in a three-pound container and sells for just under $17.
This is the butter-flavored type, but the company offers other flavors as well. You can use this popcorn in any type of popcorn-making machine, and the best part is, there are no artificial ingredients at all.
Made in the heartland, this gluten-free, non-GMO popcorn is chewy and tasty to appeal to all popcorn lovers.
Pure Organic Ingredients mushroom-style popcorn
This two-pound resealable bag sells for just under $12 and is suitable for all types of popcorn machines, so you can use it successfully regardless of the machine you already have.
It consists of extra-large kernels for a super-chewy, tasty type of popcorn, and it even has eco-friendly packaging. If you keep the kernels in the freezer, they will last much longer and taste even better when you pop them.
Princeton Popcorn Farm mushroom-style popcorn
This brand will surprise you because the popcorn is gigantic, not to mention chewy and tasty. It comes in a whopping eight-pound bag and sells for roughly $35, so you get a lot of popcorn for very little money.
You can also use this popcorn in any type of popper or saucepan, and the huge, ball-shaped kernels are both gluten-free and non-GMO.
How to Guarantee Your Mushroom Popcorn Comes Out Perfect
If you’ve never cooked mushroom popcorn before, not to worry because it isn’t that different from cooking other types of popcorn. That being said, there are some tips you can follow to increase the odds that your popcorn comes out just right every time.
Remember, mushroom and butterfly popcorn are very different in size, texture, and almost everything else. This means that the way you cook the popcorn to the way you serve it can be slightly different. So here are some tips to follow to make sure your mushroom-style popcorn is perfect every time:
- Use the right pot! Remember, mushroom popcorn pops up big, so you’ll need the right pot to cook it in. This means finding a pot that is as wide as it is tall, and this is important. This type of popcorn needs somewhere to go as it’s being cooked, so pots that are too tall or too short just won’t cut it. If you don’t have any of these pots in your kitchen, buy a stovetop popper made just for popcorn. Some of them are pricier than others, but if you cook popcorn a lot, it’s a worthwhile investment.
- Use the right oil. Mushroom-style popcorn needs oil with a high smoke point, not one that will start to burn and smoke if it gets too hot. For the best results, try coconut oil, peanut oil, sunflower oil, safflower oil, or a light olive oil. Do not use extra-virgin olive oil because the smoke point is relatively low. Also, it’s best to use a 1:3 oil-to-popcorn ratio when popping popcorn.
- Use the right oil temperature. Mushroom popcorn doesn’t like cold oil. Heat your oil on medium or medium-high heat, then throw in two to three kernels and wait for them to pop. When the heat gets hot enough for all of the kernels to pop completely, then you can toss in more kernels and pop the rest of them. But always make sure your oil is hot enough to proceed.
You might also want to consider a special popcorn bowl that is made just for holding and eating popcorn. These specially made bowls have holes at the bottom to catch unprocessed kernels, and they are great for kids because they won’t accidentally get the kernels in their mouths and choke on them. Most of these bowls are also very reasonably priced, so you can buy as many of them as you need without breaking the bank.
When it comes to popcorn, many people prefer the mushroom type over the butterfly type, even though both offer different advantages.
The main difference between the two has to do with their size, shape, and overall texture. Mushroom popcorn is chewy and tasty, and even though there are rules to follow when you’re cooking it, it’s a straightforward process that you can get used to without any problems. Popcorn is a fun and tasty snack and one of the most popular snacks globally, so it’s good to know you have options and can choose between different types.
If you’ve never tried mushroom popcorn before, you owe it to yourself to give it a try. You can find it easily in stores and online, and once you have the right oil and the right cooking pot, you’ll be able to enjoy this tasty popcorn in no time.