White Vs. Yellow Popcorn: Which To Use For Fluffier Kernels

Only the most devoted fans understand that not all popcorn is the same. (We're not talking flavors here, by the way. It's obvious that you can customize your popcorn with anything from a little butter and salt to a chocolate-caramel-peanut butter-toffee drizzle extravaganza.) It's the corn underneath all that jazz that can vary. 

Most people agree that those big, fluffy kernels are the best. Not only are they crunchier, but they also cling better to coatings and toppings. As it turns out, if you want that volume, you need to pay attention to what kind of popcorn kernels you're buying.

Most kernels at the grocery store are made from either white or yellow corn. Taste-wise, there's hardly any difference between the two. But it's yellow corn that will pop into those big, round, craveable pieces of popcorn. Because of this, companies and businesses that want to entice you in with show-stopping popcorn (think movie theaters and popcorn vendors) generally use the yellow kind.

For the biggest popcorn, choose yellow kernels

Unpopped kernels from yellow corn are considered to be medium to large in size. But you'll probably only notice this when they are sitting side-by-side next to white corn kernels, which are substantially smaller. 

When yellow corn is popped, it grows about 45% larger than the size of the unpopped kernel. You will also notice a slightly yellowish color on the popped corn, even without butter on it. Yellow corn also tends to be sturdier, which is why it holds up so well to toppings without becoming soggy.

A lot of people will use popcorn for decorations, particularly around Christmas. They'll string alternating kernels of popped corn with cranberries to use as a garland. This might also be the time to use large, sturdy yellow corn, which is less likely to crumble or break when you're stringing it with a needle and thread.

White popcorn is more tender

If yellow corn is so big, fluffy, and grand, why would anyone opt for white corn? Although it's smaller, white corn kernels are noticeably more tender. 

If anyone has ever cracked a tooth while munching on popcorn, they can appreciate a more tender kernel. White corn pops up starkly white in color, with no yellow tint at all. And don't think that white popcorn can't be enhanced with flavorings. You can still flavor it up with butter, salt, parmesan cheese, and all of those fun popcorn powders. You just might want to save the heavier coatings, such as caramel, for yellow corn.

Some fans say that white popcorn is just a touch sweeter than yellow corn . But the difference is subtle, and nutritionally, the two types of popcorn are comparable. Unbuttered and unflavored, they're both low-calorie snack options, perfect for curing a crunchy craving.