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Providing parties all over the UK with quality popcorn

Tuesday, 13 October 2015 14:17:50 Europe/London

Providing parties all over the UK with quality popcorn

At Empire Popcorn Company we have a number of different ways in which we supply popcorn. Traditionally we’ve supplied large bulk orders to retail outlets, leisure parks, cinemas, theatres, bowling alleys, sports stadiums and even contract caterers but now, with our rather attractive deals we’ve seen regular popcorn lovers order straight from us direct for their Friday night movie nights in on the sofa. What’s more it would seem they’ve also discovered that popcorn is indeed one of the most well loved party foods to offer to guests and as a result, the amount of customers now contacting us to buy in bulk for their garden parties, their summer BBQs and even more formal occasions such as weddings and christenings has risen considerably. It would seem the regular chips and dip has been firmly placed in the past and popcorn, with its multitude of gourmet flavours is beginning to take over. To give you an idea of just what it is you can do with our quality popcorn, here are just some of the reviews we’ve had come back from our now regular customers.

Pink popcorn for a princess party

There’s most certainly nothing more rewarding than seeing a huge smile plastered across the face of your children and that’s exactly why Kay Burt got in contact with us at the very start of the summer. With her daughter’s third birthday fast approaching, Kay wanting nothing more than to throw her the perfect birthday party for her and her friends. With her daughter being a huge princess fan, the choice for a theme was obvious however instead of merely decorating with a few pink streamers and buying her daughter a princess dress to wear, she wanted to really make it special. We had a phone call from Kay just a few weeks before the party wanting to know just what we could offer and if we had anything that would fit. For Kay, and her daughter Annabelle, we suggested the perfect pairing for any princess party – our strawberry pink sweet popcorn. Not only does it offer that sweet, fruity strawberry flavour that’s loved and adored by children but it also matched the party theme perfectly with its pink hue. After offering Kay a little advice in terms of how to make it even more exciting for the children, we sent her a few large bags of Strawberry Pink Sweet Popcorn.

Kay contacted us just a few weeks later to thank us for our help and tell us how she got on. Kay had this to say, “This particular birthday was a very special one for me as it was the first party I’d be throwing for her so wanted to make it just right. My daughter is absolutely obsessed with princesses so that was an obvious choice but I knew regular crisps and chocolate just wouldn’t cut it. A friend told me about Empire Popcorn Company and the fantastic flavours they had to offer. I thought popcorn would be something different and it wouldn’t worry other parents so much in terms of sugar and E-numbers. When I rang them, they were super helpful and their suggestion of the pink popcorn was just amazing. They also suggested grabbing a few popcorn cups to serve it up in and I have to say, this really made a difference. The children were so exited to get their cup of ‘princess popcorn’ and as a result, every one had a smashing time. I’ll most certainly be going back to Empire again for all my parties in the future. The service was second to none and their prices are more than affordable. Thank you Empire.”

Pina Coladas all round for these popcorn fans

After a hard working week, on top of the usual stresses that come with every day life, just the thought of having friends around to eat, drink and watch trashy films can seem like heaven and for Amy Perrott that’s exactly what it was when she grabbed enough popcorn to feed the five thousand from us just last week. Amy has a stressful nine to five role in the city and often looks forward to having a girl’s night in every so often. Being the computer whiz that she is, she jumped onto our website and scanned our variety of flavours before deciding on her favourite choices and ordering them to be delivered in time for the weekend. We love to hear from our customers and were extra excited to receive this wonderful review from Amy just days after her night in with friends, here’s what she had to say, “I love my job but it can be stressful at the best of times and as much as a love a night in my local club, I really do enjoy a night in with my girls every now and then. We all lounge around in our trackie bottoms and baggy t-shirts, watching trashy films and eating everything in sight. We even banned the term ‘no carbs’.

This is something we do pretty regularly and we decided on our last meet that we wanted to get out of our usual funk with food. We’d stuck to the same old take out and snacks for the last few years and decided it was time for a revamp. Instead what we do now is cook a big batch of something delicious like Spaghetti Bolognese and then get really exciting with our snacks and drinks. We grabbed ingredients to make cosmopolitan cocktails and just needed something exciting to snack on during the next rom-com. Popcorn seemed like the perfect choice, everyone loved it and my mum had told me about their range of flavours so it seemed ideal to find something to suit everyone’s taste. When I jumped on their site I scanned each page of flavours and then found Pina Colada Popcorn. As soon as I see that one I stopped scanning and purchased it straight away. I mean, what could be more perfect to munch alongside our cocktails than cocktail flavoured popcorn? I didn’t tell the girls all week about what I’d found and then just revealed it after we’d enjoyed a big hearty bowl of pasta. They were beside themselves and we ended up eating most of the popcorn before we’d even managed to make our cosmopolitans. Next time, I’ll be ordering a lot morepopcorn, turns out we eat quite a bit when we decide diets are off for the table.”

Savoury popcorn saves the day 

While some people choose to order just the one popcornflavour, others really indulge themselves and enjoy a variety of different popcorn flavours. More often than not it’s because they simply can’t choose between a few gourmet flavours that catch their eye but for this delightful family in Essex, it seemed like the perfect solution for a few fussy guests of theirs. Here’s what the Hyde family had to say about their latest purchase, “We love having family come visit and so every year we throw a little party at home. Our family aren’t the easiest to deal with however as there are a few fussy mouths to feed and it can be a little exhausting trying to please everyone. While one relative won’t feed her children sweets, another won’t feed her particularly fussy child anything but so it was all about finding something that would suit everyone. We also have an uncle that loves his cheese and biscuits but just discovered he was lactose intolerant so we had absolutely no idea what to get. A friend that just loves Empire already suggested we take a peek on their website and thank god we did.

It has been an absolute lifesaver and their fresh popcorn literally turned our yearly party into a night to remember. We grabbed some Sweet Popcorn for those with a sweet tooth and I must say, it was a huge hit with both the kids and adults. Then for those who didn’t want their children eating too many sweet things, we grabbed some Sea Salted Popcorn and that soon got polished off. What I think we loved the most however was the fact that we actually found something for our uncle. Browsing all through the website, we stumbled upon some Cheddar Cheese Popcorn. We grabbed it at first as a bit of a joke and to lighten the mood surrounding his latest illness but low and behold, he absolutely loved it and as a result has now ordered himself some from your website. He says it’s the perfect replacement for his cheese and biscuits because it has the wonderful cheddar cheese flavour with the crunch that he’d usually get from the biscuits. Thank you so much Empire, you really made the day extra special and as a result, everyone is already talking about next years party already.” 

Here at Empire, hearing your reviews is what makes our days that much nicer. We love to know that you enjoy our products just as much as we do so if you’ve tried some of our popcorn then be sure to let us know what you think.

Popcorn fun for all the family in next school holiday

Wednesday, 30 September 2015 13:17:23 Europe/London

Popcorn fun for all the family in next school holiday

The school holidays are over now and by the looks on some parents’ faces, it had become a little stressful. Not only do the school holidays feel more expensive than a month long vacation in the Costa del Sol but it can also make your other regular duties seem like a complete impossibility; having said that when it comes to ironing and dusting that’s not always a bad thing.

Never the less, the summer school holidays aren’t always the easiest of times, especially when you have young children asking you a multitude of questions in between their demands for fun and costly activities. We’re here to tell you it needn’t be that stressful and to show you how, we’ve created a number of fun popcorn inspired activities and popcorn games that you can spend time doing with your children or in the very least that will keep them occupied while you’re doing your own thing. 

First things first, to get yourself and the children in the mood for learning about the fabulous popping corn, jump on to iTunes and search for the song “Popcorn” by the Barenaked Ladies. This is guaranteed to get absolutely everyone in the mood for thinking about popcorn. When getting your children ready to learn and play with popcorn, it’s always a great idea to tell them a few of the basics first.

Some great popcorn facts to cover include the six different kinds of corn. It’s also important to tell them that popcorn is the only corn that pops. You could tell them that America is the biggest grower of popcorn, so much so that the six different states it’s grown in are now known as the “cornbelt”. Another great introduction to our favourite snack would be the explanation as to why popcorn pops. If you aren’t sure yourself then just use this reference of why popcorn pops, “Every single kernel of popcorn has a small amount of water stored inside some soft starch.

The soft starch is surrounded by a hard surface. As the kernel heats up, the water will begin to expand and turn into steam. The steam makes the soft starch change into a jelly like substance and as the kernel heats up further, the pressure grows and finally makes the kernel burst open. So when you look at the popcorn, you’re actually looking at it from the inside out.” When you’re explaining this, it can be extra fun if you make your children act it out.

Have your children lie on the floor and pretend to be un-popped popcorn and then simply walk them through the stages. Tell them they’re only a tiny kernel amongst hundreds and have them roll around on the floor and eventually jump up as the popcorn bursts. 

More popcorn activities for the school holidays 

It’s always fun to cook up a batch of popcorn at home and it’s even more fun if your children get to play and learn with it too. Get ready with your freshly popped popcorn but be sure to make a little extra. We always find popcorn seems to go missing quite mysteriously when children are around, or adults for that matter. 

Popcorn addition – using three plates and a die, you can practice addition. Roll the die once and put that many pieces of popcorn on the first plate. Roll the die again and place that many pieces of popcorn on the second plate. Go through the sum in your head together (don’t forget to use all of your fingers and toes) and to check your answer is correct, pour the contents of both plates onto the third and count it altogether. If you want to take it one step further then try using a pencil and some paper to show the addition problem. Then try the same with subtraction too. 

Popcorn taste test – why don’t you experiment with different flavours and then gather the family to have some fun and exciting taste tests. You could even playpopcorn roulette if you have older children and hide an extra spicy flavoured piece of popcorn like Hot Madras amongst some lemon flavoured popcorn. Who get’s the spicy piece of popcorn has to complete a forfeit. 

How much room – if you have an older child then why don’t you try the “how much room” game? Fill a container with popcorn kernels and then fill the same size container with some popped popcorn. Set both out of view. With your child, count out 2 kernels and show them what they look like. Then show them what 5 kernels look like and after this, 10. Repeat this with the popped popcorn too before asking the following questions: What sort of corn (un-popped or popped) takes up the most room? If you had to fill a big container with popped or un-popped popcorn, which would make more sense to use? If you used a small container, which makes more sense? 

Kernel estimation – now that you think your child has an idea of just how much space popped popcorn and un-popped popcorn takes up, take the small containers you filled up and place them in front of your child. Then ask them the following questions: which container is holding more items? How can you tell? How many kernels do you think are in the container? How many pieces of popcorn are in the other? Then pour them out and count to see who was the closest. Estimation can be a tricky subject for some children and we often forget that young children don’t instinctively know what it means. Guide your children and help them learn. 

Popcorn arts and craftspopcorn can be great when it comes to arts and crafts too. It doesn’t have to be entirely education based so why don’t you try showing your children how to make beautiful pictures with popcorn, paints and a little glue. You could also create popcorn jewellery and even decorate jars with popcorn. The possibilities are endless and these particular activities are great for keeping them quiet while you cook dinner and get on with the less exciting chores that need to be done. 

Tips for surviving stressful summer holidays 

The kids might still be bouncing off the walls with excitement at having had no school for a few weeks and are no doubt just as excited at the idea that it’s still not quite over but what about you? Having a house full of squabbling children can be hugely stressful no matter how many activities you try to put in front of them. Here are some extra tips for you to help your children have a decent summer holiday whilst keeping your sanity intact at the same time.

  • You don’t have to keep your children entertained from dusk until dawn – the vast majority of us are great at setting ourselves ridiculously high standards that are near enough impossible to achieve. As a result, we end up feeling stressed because we haven’t matched up to them but it’s ok for children to be bored sometimes. They have to fit around your needs too so don’t beat yourself up about it. If you haven’t planned a super exciting itinerary for every single day of the week then they’ll just have to entertain themselves at home sometimes.
  • Have a meeting with the family – if things are getting a little out of hand with boisterous children then set some time aside to all sit down and chat about the remainder of the school holidays. All agree on some rules and if your children are that little bit older then ask them what they’d like to do to make things more fun.
  • Set smaller goals – deciding to change your whole lifestyle in an instant can be a huge ask and will often end in tears for both children and adults. Instead begin small and choose one thing to focus on each day such as swimming together or going for a walk each day with the dog. If you make small plans such as these then you’re far more likely to achieve them and feel a real sense of satisfaction with your children.
  • Remember the food – it might sound obvious but it can be all too easy to forget just how much children’s moods will change when they’re given sweets, chocolates and fizzy drinks. They can get grumpy and lethargic very quickly so always keep that box of Empire popcorn close. Stick to routines in terms of mealtimes too and combined with some healthy popcorn snacking, you’ll keep them far more balanced.
  • Be a social butterfly – other people can provide that much needed lifeline. Not only will a new face offer a breath of fresh air but it can also be especially welcoming to know that you’re not the only one feeling the strain of the summer holidays. Invite someone round and not only can they give you some adult conversation but they might even bring their children and provide your children with some more entertainment. It also makes it far more likely that you’ll get invitations to other people’s houses which can give you a much needed break from your own four walls.
  • Childcare swaps – if you can pair up with a friend or maybe even two, why don’t you work out some evenings and weekends that you can each look after the kids and give each other a break every now and then. One week all the children could enjoy the toys and games at one parent’s house and the following week could be spent at yours. The children will enjoy it because they’ll have some playmates and you’ll relish the break more than you probably realise. Having some time to yourself is hugely important when you’re looking after children twenty four seven.
  • Don’t ignore the chores – as tempting as it is to leave the daily routine to another day, you’ll only find yourself becoming stressed at the ever-growing mess before your eyes. Keep on top of your usual housework and chores and you’ll feel better for it. Better still, get your children doing some too. Give them small tasks such as sweeping the floor and loading the dishwasher then offer rewards for the each chore such as a bag of tasty Empire popcorn perhaps?
  • Do something different –why don’t you run the kids a bubble bath in the middle of the day or set up a campsite in the dining room. Let the kids repaint their bedrooms even. A little distraction can really work wonders when kids become bored or start to bicker.

If you’d like to try out some of our popcorn activities then take a look at some of the delicious flavours of popcorn we have on sale today. Better yet, why don’t you pop your own with the children using our quality un-popped kernels and flavour them yourselves with our delicious flavourings. 

Smith, Andrew F. (1999). Popped Culture: The Social History of Popcorn in America. University of South Carolina Press

Popcorn guarantees excitement this August bank holiday

Monday, 14 September 2015 10:43:40 Europe/London

Popcorn guarantees excitement this August bank holiday

During our youth, the mere thought of August would leave us trembling with excitement. August signified not only summer weather but also over a month long break from the harsh constraints of school. Sadly, as we inevitably entered adulthood, the summer holidays vanished and the term “working for the weekend” began to make more and more sense. August however, still remained in our minds because not only did it bring that much desired warmer weather we loved so much as a child but it brought with it the UK’s official Summer Bank Holiday.

The summer bank holiday is a time of celebration, as we leave the summer and enter into our autumn months. While some take trips, taking advantage of the three-day weekend, others take the opportunity to spend some much needed time at home with friends or family. For those wanting to make their way to the bright lights of the capital then the Notting Hill Carnival is without doubt a great place to visit. The famous street carnival is known world wide for its marvelous costumes, uninhibited dancing and steel drum music. The multicultural celebration, attracting way over two million people a year is the second largest street carnival in the world and one rather exciting family day out. For some however, this is just a little too crowded.

For those who spend far too much time at work, the summer bank holiday marks a day to spend time with just their loved ones, away from the stresses of crowds and deadlines and it’s this bank holiday in particular that offers a warm climate in which to do it, making it the ideal time to get outside and enjoy the great outdoors. When the great outdoors calls, there’s simply nothing better than a homemade picnic with just those extra special people in your life. Picnics are indeed an affordable day of family fun and offer you the chance to feel thoroughly connected with the community too. It also means a day filled with your very favourite foods and there’s no food better to pack in your picnic than popcorn. Just the sheer aroma of popcorn will have you reminiscing of summer bank holidays past and will no doubt be the perfect reminder of exciting summer bank holidays ahead.

Prepare the perfect popcorn filled picnic this coming bank holiday

Now before we start delving into the world of popcorn recipes, it’s probably a good idea to first gather the very basics in terms of tableware and Tupperware for the perfect picnic. For the Brits, much like a traditional Sunday lunch, the perfect picnic is a matter of pride and national identity just as the perfect barbeque is for the Aussies. Although some believe it to be merely a case of throwing a few sandwiches and tasty treats into a wicker basket (and by wicker basket, we know some will take this to mean rucksack because lets face it, we aren’t all Stepford Housewives), on a day so special as the summer bank holiday, this just won’t cut it. On a day such as this, it’s all about creating something spectacular and to do it, you’re going to have to put in a little effort. 

First and foremost you’re going to need a picnic blanket that’s weather proof. Despite the wonderfully hot weather we’ve been having, we’re still in good old England and as a result rain can and often does descend anytime it likes. We know what you’re thinking, the rain came this morning but the sun is set to shine for the rest of today but there’s one thing that’s guaranteed to ruin a perfectly prepared picnic and that’s a wet bottom after having sat on a not so waterproof picnic blanket. Think ahead guys, grab a picnic blanket with a waterproof lining and you’re safe as can be. If the weather has forecast rain intermittently for the rest of the day or even if you’d like to keep your English rose skin out of direct sunlight then a gazebo is another very useful tool.

Pop it up on your arrival with the help of your friends and shade (and shelter) will be yours for the rest of the day. It’s also a great place for the kids to take shelter after running around in the sun. They might be wearing factor 85 but their delicate skin could still use a little rest that’s for sure. Whether you have some rather greedy pets with you or simply want to avoid the unwanted attention of flying insects, then we also suggest bringing with you sealable plastic boxes for your food. Sealing your food up when it’s not being eating will help to avoid soiled food from flies, stolen mouthfuls from Rufus and will also help to keep your food fresh for the day. Last but not least, you’re going to need a decent sized cool bag and picnic basket too. The cool bag needs to be stocked with ice cubes and plenty of refreshments to keep everyone well hydrated in the sun whilst the picnic basket must be expertly packed in order to fit in as much food as possible.

Sandwiches are of course a must, as are salads and rolls in the expected heat however there’s one other food that mustn’t be forgotten and that’s popcorn. Whilst some opt for the standard crisp and chocolate combination, we know that not only are they rather dated snacks to produce on such a wonderful day but they’re also somewhat incompatible. The chocolate is guaranteed to melt in the heat and the crisps are quite simply, boring. Popcorn on the other hand offers a light and flavoursome treat for the entire family that’s perfect for a picnic in any weather, especially the heat. 

Summer bank holiday popcorn recipes 

For those who love to make a real homemade picnic, then creating your own flavoured popcorn is all part of the experience and it couldn’t be simpler with the help of the following recipes. To start you’ll need some raw kernels and Empire can supply you with the very best quality kernels in UK. Quality kernels mean quality popcorn and this goes for the rest of the ingredients too. Choose quality ingredients and your popcorn is sure to be a hit. First let’s begin with some super delicious Cinnamon Sugar Kettle Corn. 

To start you’ll need 2 tablespoons of granulated sugar, ¼ teaspoon of ground cinnamon, ¼ cup of vegetable oil and ½ cup of popcorn kernels. You’ll also need ½ cup of confectioner’s sugar and ½ teaspoon of salt (table salt will do). Begin by mixing the granulated sugar and cinnamon together in a bowl then set it aside for later. In a large pan with a lid, heat the oil until it’s hot howeverbe sure it doesn’t begin to smoke. Add the raw popcorn kernels and cover.

When the kernels are popping, being extra careful, lift the lid and sprinkle in the confectioner’s sugar. Place the lid back on and continue to cook the popcorn making sure you give it a shake regularly. Once the popping starts to slow down, add the cinnamon and sugar mix. Place the lid back on the pan and continue to cook until the popping has stopped completely. Then all that’s left to do is sprinkle the popcorn with salt and place in your sealable plastic boxes ready to pack into your picnic basket. 

Our next recipes allow you to make use of ingredients that may have come fresh from the garden. There are few pleasures that can compare to eating something you’ve grown yourself, especially after months spent gardening throughout the winter. The summer is time to enjoy the fruits of your labour. For those who may be questioning their level of green finger status, don’t worry because there’s nothing simpler than growing herbs and if you haven’t started yet, then it’s the ideal time to place some window boxes in the kitchen and take advantage of the summer sun through your windows. The following recipe calls for rosemary and thyme however there are a number of herbs that will work just as well so opt for whatever satisfies your taste buds. Here we have Spicy Rosemary and Thyme Popcorn

For this you’ll need ¼ cup of raw popcornkernels, 1 teaspoon of roasted red pepper oil, 1 teaspoon of fresh thyme leaves along with ¼ teaspoon of minced rosemary. You’ll also require ¼ teaspoon of table salt and 1/8 teaspoon of cayenne pepper. First begin by placing a large pan with a lid on the heat. Add a little oil and allow to get hot but ensure it doesn’t begin to smoke. Add your raw kernels and replace the lid instantly. Shake rigorously until the popping stops completely.

Once the popcorn has fully “popped” preheat your oven to 325 degrees. Transfer your popcorn from pan to baking tray and spread evenly. Sprinkle the roasted red pepper oil evenly before adding the thyme, rosemary, salt and cayenne pepper. Bake for 7 minutes and then add straight to a sealable plastic dish. We recommend serving this particular recipe as a pre appetiser before sandwiches when it’s still warm, as it tastes the best when there’s a little heat to go with the spicy popcorn.

A brief history of bank holidays

With work taking up so much of our time, extra days off such as these tend to mean so much more. So exactly what are bank holidays? Well, you might know British Bank Holidays as public holidays. They were officially recognised in 1871 and were given the title of “Bank Holiday” simply because they were a day when banks would shut and trading of any kind would cease. In England, Wales and Scotland there are a total of eight bank holidays with Northern Ireland having an extra two days.

Our bank holidays include Christmas Day, Good Friday and of course our Summer Public Holiday. The summer bank holiday in particular was introduced during the 1871 Bank Holidays Act and was originally intended to merely offer bank employees the chance to attend cricket matches. In England, Northern Ireland and Wales, the summer bank holiday always falls on the last Monday of August. In Scotland however, the summer bank holiday remains on the first Monday in August, the day it was originally meant to be. 

Source. Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia, Bank Holiday

Source. Gov.UK, UK Bank Holidays

A history of popcorn

Monday, 31 August 2015 06:21:15 Europe/London

A history of popcorn

When it comes to popcorn, more often than not it’s the sound that hits you first with its “pop, pop, popping”. It starts off nice and slowly before heading full steam ahead into a firestorm of kernels as they almost magically transform into clouds of crunchy white goodness. The next thing you’ll no doubt notice is the incredible smell that wafts through the room and eventually the entire house, slowly pulling you in as it teases your nose. You’ll feel weak as the popcorntantalises your taste buds. By the time your teeth crunch down on the first bite, you’re totally and utterly hooked. Popcorn happens to be one of the most popular snacks and described by some as a completely irresistible treat.

As they say, the proof is in the pudding and the fact that it’s near enough impossible to keep a bowl to yourself during movie night says it all. Before you’ve got time to grab a second handful, everyone’s diving in and your bowl of popcorn has been reduced to nothing but a few crumbs. Popcorn is indeed a tasty treat on its own but it can also be made with a variety of exciting toppings including butter, sugar and even caramel. It’s essentially the perfect canvas for absolutely any flavour you desire. 

So what is it that makes our favourite snack pop? Well, the secret lies in the kernel. Popcorn originates from a particular variety of maize that creates small kernels with a tough outer shell. These kernels can’t be chewed unless you enjoy the feeling of cracking your teeth but to get to the fluffy part inside you need to heat it. By heating it, you’re turning the moisture inside the kernel to steam and creating internal pressure. When the outer shell has reached its maximum pressure point, it eventually bursts and releases the soft flake we all know and love. It’s this that creates the recognisable popcorn shape. Popcorn isn’t a new snack, in fact it’s actually been around for quite some time.

Popcorn was first domesticated by pre-Columbian indigenous peoples by 5000 B.C.E. It was a smaller and somewhat harder version of flint corn and came in white and yellow kernels. The stalk would produce several ears at a time although they were a lot smaller and would yield less corn than any other maize. What may surprise you most is that popcorn isn’t the only maize to actually “pop”. The fluffy white flake to erupt from other varieties however, tends to be much smaller. It’s estimated that popcorn arrived into America’s green and pleasant land over 2500 years ago but it still wasn’t being grown east of Mississippi until the early 1800s. Fast forward to today however and the Midwest is famous for what’s known as its “corn belt”, in fact America as a whole is known for its huge love of popcorn.

The evidence of its famous pop didn’t appear until roughly 1820 when it was first sold around the US under its previous name of Pearl. Thanks to its taste and low price, its popularity grew quickly and it wasn’t long until it spread throughout the South. By 1840, popcorn had its foot firmly in the door when it came to America. It became so popular in fact that rather prestigious literary magazines such as New York’s “Knickerbocker” would begin to reference popcorn. The word “popcorn” was even included in John Russell Bartlett’s “Dictionary of Americanisms”. It was claimed that the name had simply come about as a result of the noise it made upon bursting open.

Daniel Browne was the man responsible for one of the earliest recorded recipes of popcorn. His recipe included the use of a grill, a half-pint glass of popcorn and a frying pan that had been rubbed with lard or butter. He advised holding the pan over the fire whilst constantly stirring or shaking the corn and within a few minutes, the popcorn should have turned inside out to reveal the delicious white, fluffy centre. He also mentioned the addition of salt or sugar whilst it was still hot for added flavour. The issue with this particular method however seemed to be with the lard or butter. The butter would usually begin to burn before the pan reached a hot enough temperature and the lard would create popcorn that was covered in slime-like grease.

It wasn’t until the latter portion of the 19th century that a more efficient way of popping popcorn was discovered. What were deemed to be “poppers” were actually boxes made of tight wire gauze and had long handles attached. They were designed to be held over an open flame. The design of poppers offered a number of benefits including the containment of popped kernels whilst also keeping any hands away from the heat source. Over the years, the popper became hugely popular and as a result a number of improvements were made to make it bigger and better than ever. Due to the improvements, popcorn became even more accessible to the masses of people wanting to get their hands on some. 

As popcorn became more and more popular, it began to appear in all different areas in a variety of locations. If the name LousiRuckheim doesn’t ring a bell to all you popcorn fans out there then it should. If only for the simple fact that this was the person responsible for the first version of Cracker Jack which is popcorn made with peanuts and molasses. There are a number of different stories that describe just how Cracker Jack got its name but it undoubtedly came about through the popular slang term during that time that meant “excellent”. The mass appeal of popcorn was taken to an entirely new level when it was introduced as the best snack for movie theatres. Surprisingly enough, the owners of movie theatres weren’t hugely welcoming when it came to popcorn sales as they thought it created a huge and unnecessary nuisance. In addition to this, they believed it would entail expensive changes such as installing outside vents in order to rid the theatres of popcorn smells.

Seeing the huge potential there was in terms of popcorn sales, many simply took matters into their own hands and began selling popcorn inside of the theatres simply by walking up and down the aisles. The Depression changed a lot including the minds of some of the more stubborn theatre owners as they began to realise that popcorn was actually a small luxury that their patrons could afford. Unlike every other treat, the sales of popcorn rose during The Depression. To keep costs down, theatre owners simply charged outside vendors a dollar a day to sell popcorn from outdoor stands. This saved a lot of money, as there was no need to install indoor concession areas. In 1938 however, a man named Glen W. Dickson began installing popcorn machines inside the lobbies of his theatres. Owning several theatres meant the construction changes were at a huge cost but he managed to get his investment back quickly as his profits skyrocketed. Glen W. Dickson it would seem led the way and the trend spread rather quickly. In fact, this trend took hold so strongly that it’s still a prominent feature in movie theatres today. 

Most recently, the GMO debate gained a lot of head way in the US especially when it came to the subject of corn. With the vast majority of corn grown in the US being genetically modified, it was refreshing to hear that popcorn is the only variety of corn to still refrain from being genetically modified. This means that not a single kernel of popcorn is genetically modified and as a result, the popcorn we enjoy today is still grown from the same simple and wholesome seeds. 

Let’s celebrate the history of popcorn with an original recipe

Cracker Jack popcorn is a recipe of popcorn that seems to have a firm place in the history of the treat so it makes perfect sense to make it with our quality raw kernels. It’s ideal for packing up in a picnic or taking with you to a sports game or movie theatre. In fact it’s even the perfect accompaniment for any home movie night. There’s simply no bad way to enjoy this popcorn. It’s actually quite simple to make with the only piece of specialist equipment needed being a thermometer. To make this delicious popcorn treat, all you need to do it whisk the ingredients together, allow it to simmer and then wait for it to reach 205 degrees. When it’s ready, pour over your freshly popped popcorn, mix in the peanuts and put it all in the oven. 

The ingredients you need include:

10 cups of freshly popped popcorn

1 cup of brown sugar

¼ cup of corn syrup

6 tablespoons of unsalted butter, melted

2 tablespoons of water

¼ teaspoon salt

2 teaspoons of vanilla extract

½ teaspoon baking soda

1 cup salted peanuts 

Directions:

  1. Preheat your oven to 250 degrees and line a baking tray with parchment paper.
  2. Pop your popcorn or simply open a tub of our handmade, freshly popped sea salted popcorn and place in a bowl that’s been lined with a layer of cooking spray.
  3. In a large saucepan, mix together brown sugar, corn syrup, butter, salt and water and bring to a simmer. Continue to simmer and stir continuously. When it reaches 250 degrees on your thermometer turn off the heat.
  4. Whisk in vanilla and baking soda and then immediately pour the hot mixture over your popcorn. Using a spatula (preferably rubber) gently fold the mixture into the popcorn and then transfer onto the baking tray you prepared earlier. Spread evenly.
  5. Bake in the oven for 1 hour and stir every 20 minutes. After the hour, remove from the oven and leave on the cool rack. Once you’re satisfied it’s cooled enough, gently break it up and serve immediately.

Reference - http://www.popcorn.org/EncyclopediaPopcornica/WelcometoPopcornica/HistoryofPopcorn/tabid/106/Default.aspx 

McQueeny, Steve (1939). “How the Glen W. Dickson Theater Circuit Found New Profits in Lobby Shops.” Better Theater, 4 Mar. 1939. 

Six different ways to eat your popcorn

Tuesday, 28 July 2015 10:58:47 Europe/London

Six different ways to eat your popcorn

So many people it would seem can’t understand just why some choose to give their home popped popcorn different flavours when salted popcorn is simply delicious. Although, at first you may find yourself agreeing with those that like to stay on the traditional side of the fence, we know you’ll soon change your mind when we tell you about the 6 new ways to eat your popcorn.

Incase you’ve been living under a rock for the last decade, we should probably tell you that popcorn has become the ultimate snack. It’s portable, it’s filling, it’s inexpensive and more importantly it’s customisable which means you can make it suit absolutely anyone’s taste buds. Don’t forget that popcorn is a whole grain making it a healthy snack too; all the more reason to enjoy it. For the very best tasting and might we add healthiest popcorn, we suggest buying our very freshly made popcorn we supply here at Empire.

If however you’ve found yourself having tried all of our wonderful flavours, including our delicious Pina Colada flavoured sweet popcorn then might we suggest creating your own flavours at home? You have the chance to omit any flavours to which you’ve got a dislike and make it taste exactly how you like it. So grab some of our quality raw corn and a heavy pan, you’re about to get knee-deep in popcorn with our 6 different ways to eat your popcorn. 

  1. 1: If you really can’t move away from the plain salted popcorn then why not make it fresh for yourself at home. Simply add 3 tablespoons of coconut oil to your large pan. Place the pan over a medium heat with the lid firmly on and wait for the sizzle. Once you’re certain the oil is sizzling hot, you can then throw in your 3 cups of unpoppedpopcorn kernels and replace the lid immediately. When the popcorn begins to pop, using oven gloves, hold the lid down firmly while you use your other hand to shake the pan. Once you’re sure all the popcorn has finished popping, remove the lid and empty the contents into your favourite sharing bowl. To finish, simply flavor with fine sea salt as required. 
     
  2. 2: Kettle corn is a great snack for those with a sweet tooth and super easy to make too. Simply follow the instructions for salted popcorn however when you reach the point of throwing in your unpopped kernels, you must also add 2/3 cups of granulated sugar. Again, immediately replace the lid and shake vigorously every few seconds. Once again, when you’re sure the popping has stopped, remove the lid and pour into your serving bowl. Sprinkle once again with fine sea salt and then stir gently with a wooden spoon. Leave to cool a little before serving and then simply enjoy. 
     
  3. 3: Chipotle kettle corn is another firm favourite amongst popcorn flavours that seems to be travelling the world at the moment. Once again, this recipe is super easy. Simply follow the directions for kettle corn however when it comes to adding your salt, you must also add in half to 1 teaspoon of ground chipotle powder. Be careful not to add too much or you risk being a little overspiced. Once again, stir gently and cool a little before serving. 
     
  4. 4: Chilli butter popcorn tastes just as good as it sounds, if not better. First begin as if you were preparing to make salted popcorn however instead of sprinkling with salt, things get a little different. Melt 4 tablespoons of your favourite salted butter and then stir. Once you’ve done this, you then need to add in to your melted butter 1-3 teaspoons of chilli powder to taste. Once you’ve got the right mixture for you, simply drizzle over your freshly popped popcorn and toss for an even coating before serving. 
     
  5. 5: Garlic and parmesan popcorn is a little adventurous for some but once you convince the hesitant visitors to try some, you’ll no doubt be fighting them off for more. In a microwave safe Tupperware dish, throw in 3 tablespoons of butter and one half of a clove of garlic that’s been minced or crushed. Cover the dish and heat on high until the butter is completely melted. Remove the lid, stir and then add ground black pepper to taste. Follow the instructions for salted popcorn until it comes to adding your salt. Instead, drizzle with the garlic butter and then simply grate a generous amount of fresh Parmesan and watch it melt over the heat. Toss for an even coating and serve immediately. 
     
  6. 6: Super health boost popcorn is the ideal snack for your workout buddies to enjoy after a session at the gym and it couldn’t be easier to make either. Simply follow the instructions for salted popcorn however reduce the coconut oil to a mere 1-tablespoon. If you can we also advise using extra virgin coconut oil too. After pouring yourpopped popcorn into a large bowl, sprinkle with a very small amount of fine sea salt. On top of this however, for that real health boost, sprinkle 1 teaspoon of ground flaxseed and 3 teaspoons of nutritional yeast flakes. Once again, toss thoroughly for an even coating before serving. 

Our Popcorn delivered to your door!

Making your very own popcorn is indeed a hugely fun way to enjoy your favourite snack however if you don’t have the time or perhaps merely want the convenience of freshly popped popcorn being delivered to your door then take a peek at some of the fab flavours we have on offer here. Whether you want enough sweet popcorn for your party or just enough to curb your cravings on a Friday night, you can grab it here at Empire Popcorn Company.

Sweet popcorn vs savoury popcorn

Monday, 6 July 2015 13:17:00 Europe/London

Sweet popcorn vs savoury popcorn

As you may already know, popcorn has been around since the 1800s. It was back then, and still is now, one of the most popular snacks on the planet. With such popularity came the inevitable expansion in terms of flavours. No longer were we satisfied with mere sweet popcorn or salted popcorn. Gourmet popcorn flavours were introduced and taste buds were once again happy but with such a wide variety of flavours came the age-old debate of sweet popcorn vs. savoury popcorn.

It’s a simple fact of life that human beings like different flavours when it comes to their food, no two people are the same and that’s why we have both sweet and savoury foods. Many people ask what the difference is between sweet and savoury? The most basic definition would be that sweet food has the flavour of sugar or honey while savoury food isn’t sweet at all, but instead full flavoured and in some cases a little spicy.

Many people look at sweet and savoury flavours and see two completely different entities and in some cases, yes they are. Savoury food can sometimes be categorised as anything that isn’t sweet so meat for instance would be savoury, Vegetables, generally speaking, are also on the savoury side of the fence.

Snack foods, finger foods and most types of hors d’oeuvres are often savoury also. Foods that are prepared with a minimum amount of sugar and don’t focus on achieving a sugary taste would be savoury. Sweet on the other hand is produced by sugar that can either come from the natural sugar that lies in fruits or it could take form in the likes of chocolate or sugary sweets.

The majority of people like things sweet and each have their own personal preferences. While some prefer the fruity flavours when it comes to the sweet side, others enjoy the chocolate or vanilla options. Just as savoury foods can combine, so too can sweet foods and a great example of this would be chocolate and orange or strawberry and lemon and it’s no different with our sweet popcorn and savoury popcorn too.

It’s simply a case of mixing the right flavours for example, our sweet lemon popcorn gives your taste buds a devilishly delicious surprise when mixed with our sweet strawberry pink flavoured popcorn. Likewise with our original sweet popcorn when mixed with our sea salted popcorn, only good things can happen. Nuts are sometimes referred to as the bridge that runs between the sweet and the savoury simply because they can be coated in sugar or butter and placed in sweet foods like cookies or roasted with salt and garlic and eaten by hand or in an Asian stir fry.

Sweet popcorn can compliment savoury popcorn

With this in mind, perhaps the question shouldn’t be sweet popcornvs savoury popcorn but which sweet popcorn should be mixed with which savoury popcorn? It would seem that sweet and savoury foods will often compliment each other at dinner for example; a delicious salad could contain the savoury flavours of cheese and bacon bits while enjoying a deliciously sweet fruit such as apple or strawberries on the side. The same can be said for popcorn too, sweet popcorn will often work really well when combined with salted popcorn. Sweet and savoury foods can be combined to produce beautifully complex flavours but when we get down to the bare bones, can you really choose between sweet popcorn and savoury popcorn?

Sweet and savoury flavours go hand in hand. While a pork roast enjoys an apple glaze, Asian noodles find themselves incomplete until they’re topped in sweet sauces. Glazed carrots blend perfectly with savoury flavours too, as does sweet corn when cooked in salt and pepper. The possibilities of flavours truly are endless when you open your mind and are willing to combine. More often than not it can even be a case of not being able to tell between the two. With such slight differences, it can be difficult to distinguish between sweet and savoury so to make things easier we suggest mixing them both together for maximum flavour and appeal.

Mix sweet popcorn with savoury popcorn for the ultimate experience

Now of course, we know full well that our delicious gourmet popcorn flavours taste just as amazing on their own but we also know just what can be achieved when they’re combined together. A popular flavour of ours happens to be our cheese and bacon. A true favourite for the savoury lovers amongst us with its perfect combination of cheddar and pork flavours but did you know that this particular flavour can be complimented perfectly with a little strawberry pink popcorn thrown in the mix. Just as you would a salad, why not mix your popcorn too?

If however, you’re not a fan of mixing sweet and savoury together, then why don’t you try experimenting with mixing savoury and savoury or sweet and sweet? Two different sweet popcorn flavours can work amazingly well such as our lemon popcorn and our vanilla popcorn. If you’re a savoury fan that loves your spice, why not mix some of our popular hot madras popcorn with a little of our jalapeno popcorn to give your favourite Indian flavours a little extra kick? When it comes to our sweet popcorn and savoury popcorn, the possibilities really are endless. The journey to discovering your favourite flavour and favourite mixture happens to be pretty exciting too.

Enjoy flavours from around the world with our delicious popcorn

Monday, 22 June 2015 13:45:25 Europe/London

Enjoy flavours from around the world with our delicious popcorn

Here at Empire, we pride ourselves on the quality of our popcorn. Made from only the finest ingredients, it really is testament to all our hard work and dedication to popcorn, our favourite snack. Over the years we spent time perfecting the real original flavours such as sweet popcorn, sea salted popcorn and even butter salt popcorn but this just wasn’t enough.

We knew there was more to this delicious snack and that was proven in full when we first begun developing our gourmet flavours. Now, over a decade has gone by and we have an extensive range of flavours available for our customers, old and new, to enjoy. What better way to celebrate our rather amazing achievements than by experiencing flavours from around the world with our delicious popcorn.

Taste the wonders of Sri Lanka with our cinnamon popcorn

A lot of people it would seem are completely unaware where the beloved flavours of cinnamon actually come from. It’s a spice that we use all of time, be it in the kitchen to add flavours to our favourite apple dessert or even in the house as a delightful air freshener. It’s one of those seriously sweet spices and it’s hugely versatile too, so much so that we often take it for granted. It goes great in savoury dishes like soups and surprisingly enough can work wonders on meats such as chicken too.

Despite it perhaps being best known for appearances in desserts or at breakfast, it’s actually become one of our most popularpopcornflavours here at Empire Popcorn too. As much as our cinnamon popcorn is loved and enjoyed by thousands, it’s not wholly apparent where it actually comes from and for some its origin may surprise them but did you know that it actually comes from Sri Lanka? Not only does it come from Sri Lanka but it’s also made from the bark of the evergreen trees known as Cinnamomum. So go ahead and have a taste of our Sri Lankan flavours with our cinnamon popcorn.

Fly away to Buenos Aires with our Pina Colada popcorn

The Pina Colada cocktail has been a hugely popular summer drink for as long as we can remember which made it the obvious choice for our next popcorn flavour. Its tropical taste is hugely popular but it’s not actually been around for that long. There are a number of theories when it comes to the popular drink and the oldest story revolves around a pirate known as Roberto Cofresi who supposedly served his shipmates cocktails that were a mix of white rum, coconut milk and pineapple.

The saddest part of the story was that his famous recipe died with him when he passed away in 1825 however that’s not the only theory surrounding the beach perfect drink. There’s also the theory that a Spaniard named Ramon, who worked as a bartender and a waiter met with a chef named Pepe. Pepe hired Ramon to be his bartender in San Juan and it’s here that his experimentation was said to begin and where the now famous Pina Colada was supposedly created in 1963. The most believable of all the theories happens to be of a guy also named Ramon, who introduced the Pina Colada to a bar in Sa Juan in 1954.

The Caribe Hilton was one of the most famous hotels of its day and would quite often host high rollers and star-studded parties. Ramon used these parties as the perfect place to experiment with his cocktails and after three months of mixing, shaking and blending a multitude of ingredients, he created the Caribe Hilton signature drink aka the Pina Colada. Want to enjoy the more tropical flavours of the world? Then Pina Colada popcorn is the perfect choice.

Don’t forget your roots with cheddar cheese popcorn

Cheddar cheese is quite likely the most consumed type of cheese in the entire world, which makes it all the more exciting that it was actually first made in Somerset back in the 12th century. Cheddar cheese took its name from the caves or gorge that remained in the town of Cheddar as these were the places that were used to store the cheese. The constant temperatures and ideal humidity of the caves provided a near perfect environment for maturing the cheese. The town where cheddar was created also lent its name to a part of the cheese making process too, known as cheddaring. It would seem that there really is nothing quite as British as cheddar cheese so what better way to celebrate your roots than with our delicious cheddar cheese popcorn?

Here at Empire Popcorn Company, our gourmet popcorn flavours go way beyond these three options. Not only do we have a fine selection of quality popcorn flavours such as toffee popcorn, sweet popcorn and sea salt popcorn but we also have other wonderful flavours that guarantee to give you the taste of the exotic. From the Indian aromas of our Hot Madras that give you a kick of spice with delicate madras after tones to our Spicy Thai that offers the hot and spicy flavours of Thailand.

All of our gourmet popcorn flavours are available in a range of sizes too so it doesn’t matter if you’re looking for a Friday night snack on the sofa or enough popcorn to feed the five thousand at your next party, here at Empire we’ve got it covered. You can even make your parties super authentic with the help of our traditional popcorn cups and tubs, so what are you waiting for? Enjoy delicious flavours from around the world with our extraordinary popcorn. There’s a flavour for every mood but which one is your favourite?

Our sweet popcorn can make any party complete

Thursday, 18 June 2015 11:21:48 Europe/London

Our sweet popcorn can make any party complete

Here at Empire Popcorn Company, we couldn’t be more excited that summer is finally on its way. Not only does it mean longer days filled with sunshine and warm temperatures but it also means BBQ season is well and truly here. Garden parties, even in the rain, are exactly what make the hard slog through the winter worth it. The garden furniture appears, the BBQ gets cleaned and the lawn gets a quick mow. There’s just one thing you can’t forget aside from some rather fabulous cuts of meat and that’s our sweet popcorn because here at Empire we believe our sweet popcorn is what truly makes any party complete.

Big kids love the authentic popcorn feel with our popcorn accessories

When it comes to throwing the perfect party, we know it takes a little more than just throwing out a few bowls of popcorn for people to snack on inbetween their burgers and hotdogs. In order to really make the place come alive, you need to go the whole hog and what better way to do that than by giving your guests the ultimate trip down memory lane with our authentic popcorn accessories. Instead of dishing up our sweet popcornin regular boring crockery, you can instead give them authentic popcorn cups and food tubs to eat out of.

The minute they start enjoying some of our favourite gourmet popcorn flavours from our fairground accessories, they’ll instantly be taken back to the days of their childhood. See their faces light up with excitement as they reminisce of days at the local fair, eating freshly popped popcorn before jumping on the spinning teacups or bouncing around on the bouncy castle. Children and big kids alike really do love the authentic feel of our wonderfully crafted popcorn accessories. Make things even easier on yourself by taking a look at our huge party packs we have available. They come in a wide variety of different flavours from hot jalapeno to bacon and cheese flavours.

Pop your own sweet popcorn with our quality raw kernels

You could always go that one step further and make everyone smile by popping your very own sweet popcornwith our high quality raw kernels. You don’t need to hire big expensive popcorn machines when you have a heat source and place to put your pot right in front of you…your BBQ.

It’s no different to placing a pot of popcorn kernels on your stove or in your microwave, just dedicate a space on your BBQ to the popcorn pot and keep your eyes firmly on it waiting for the very last pop. Then all you need to is stir in your favourite flavourings from our huge selection packs and hey presto, you’re good to go. There’s nothing better than freshly popped popcorn in our authentic popcorn cups that’s for sure.

Popcorn’s healthy too

For some parents, the downside to having friends that like to throw parties are the huge amount of sugary snacks that get put out, giving their children a million cavities a day. Not to mention enough fat content to let them last the winter in the arctic. Now however, they needn’t worry especially now it’s been discovered that it’s one of the healthiest snacks you can choose. In some cases, popcorn is healthier than fruit and veg too. This means it’s most definitely time to throw out those crisps and dip before your next party and instead grab tonnes of healthy popcorn. So let’s take a look at the nutritional value of popcorn.

The most recent studies have finally shed light on the fact that popcorn has a multitude of health benefits and that’s all thanks to whole grains, fibre and a large amount of antioxidants all being wrapped up in this one snack. Popcorn is one of the very few whole grain snacks available and because it’s a whole grain, it contains healthy oils, vitamin E and a number of B vitamins too. It also contains protein and a range of minerals as well as a high fibre content. It’s the dietary fibre that’s yet another major benefit of this wonderful whole grain. It offers a whopping 4 grams of fibre for every 4 cups of popcorn and as the vast majority of us only eat about half of our daily requirement of fibre, it’s a great and tasty way to top that up.

An adequate fibre intake will not only help you remain regular but it’s also been proven to lower your risk of cardiovascular disease as well as reduce blood cholesterol. That’s not all though, popcorn has also been found to surpass a number of fruits in terms of polyphenol concentration and according to recently published studies, polyphenols all help in the prevention of diseases such as cancer, diabetes and even osteoporosis.

Spice up your parties with our amazing gourmet popcorn flavours

Here at Empire our exciting gourmet popcorn flavours are vast. Ranging from more original flavours that are loved by all such as sweet popcorn and toffee popcorn, to some that are a little more exciting. Guaranteed to spice up any party is our Hot Madras popcorn.

This spicy offering will leave your tongue tingling before its delicious Indian aftertaste hits you. If you’re more of a Thai fan then why not try our Spicy Thai. It’s hot, spicy and guaranteed to give you something that you’ve never tasted before. We also have a range of other exciting flavours such as cherry, vanilla and even pina colada so no matter what your taste, we’ve got something for everyone.

Tantalising new tastes of gourmet popcorn

Tuesday, 9 June 2015 10:18:52 Europe/London

Tantalising new tastes of gourmet popcorn

You’ve no doubt been enjoying popcorn for years and why not? It’s been a hugely popular snack with both children and adults since the 1800’s. Popcorn’s popularity, especially at the movies, is unquestionable.It was so popular in fact that it was one of the very few products to actually have its sales increase during The Depression.

Back then flavours ranged from sweet popcorn, salted popcorn and if you were lucky toffee popcorn and up and until recently, it wasn’t much different but oh how times have changed. Here at Empire Popcorn Company we’ve elevated popcorn to give it gourmet status. If the standard offerings available to you at your local supermarket leave your taste buds feeling a little less than satisfied then Empire can help. We’re providing a rather tantalising new take on the classic white fluffy snack by shaking things up with delicious gourmet popcorn flavours.

Our flavours span the entire range of sweet and savoury so it doesn’t matter what your taste buds are crying out for because we’ll have something to suit the moment. Our gourmet popcorn even offers rather novel flavours too that are guaranteed to excite even the most jaded of popcorn lovers. Pina Coladas by the beach anyone? Purple grapes for an unexpected fruit flavoured explosion? Bacon and cheese without all the hideous calories? Who could say no to such amazing flavours?

Quality control for our gourmet popcorn flavours

At Empire Popcorn Company, our reputation doesn’t rest on gourmet popcorn flavours alone. In addition to our wide range of gourmet popcorn offerings, we’ve also managed to create popcorn that tastes better than any other popcorn out there. Whether you buy your popcorn from the supermarket shelf or order online from another popcorn manufacturer, we guarantee that once you taste Empire popcorn, you won’t turn back. First and foremost we create our popcorn with the very finest of ingredients ensuring quality control as a priority. All of our popcorn is created with only the very finest rapeseed oil and additive free fine sea salt.

This not only ensures every single one of our customers areconsuming quality foods but also helps us to stick to our green policies too. Every one of our popcorn flavours offer subtle nuances that are an utter pleasure to very slowly uncover. Bite by delicious bite, you’ll find each mouthful almost like an adventure. You’ll explore the different subtle flavours that emerge within the wide number of different popcorn varieties that guarantee to challenge all four of your basic taste sensations.

From the delightful heat of our wonderful Hot Madras to the exotic Caribbean undertones of Sweet and Spicy Jamaican, we just know you’ll be blown away. For the savoury lovers amongst us, our Sea Salt and Cracked Black Pepper can’t be beat and is a sure fire hit for the more sophisticated and refined palates of seasoned popcorn lovers no matter what your age.Our popcorn experimentation is mixed with the true sense of what popcorn lovers adore about their all-time favourite snack – its lightness, its airiness and the full flavour that leaves you satisfied without that hideous bloated and heavy feeling.

Here at Empire we truly believe we’re blazing a trail and leading the way when it comes to authentic and full flavoured gourmet popcorncombined with real fun and originality. A great example of this would be out butter salt popcorn that boasts a real genuine slow-churned flavour in comparison to the multitude of chemically enhanced flavours from lesser quality popcorn brands.

Our wonderful flavours truly taste like they’ve been popped by hand and sprinkled with the freshest ingredients. Our Cinnamon flavoured popcorn is reminiscent of relaxed Sundays spent chatting around the breakfast table and only with our true quality ingredients can that be achieved. Whether your popcorn preferences are more toward the simplicity of traditional popcorn flavours or you’re one of a rare breed who dares to try the new and exciting novelty varieties, Empire popcorn really is a sure fire way to impress. Our gourmet popcorn products are unsurpassed in flavour and creativity.

Give the gift of gourmet popcorn

Just thinking about our delicious gourmet popcorn is indeed enough to make your mouth water so why not give the gift of gourmet popcorn? Give you friends and loved ones real fresh tasting popcorn made with true quality ingredients and let them savour that mouth watering treat. The gift of gourmet popcorn is never an ordinary one, in fact it can be quite extraordinary especially when there are so many flavours to choose from.

It’s quite literally the perfect gift to choose that you can match to meet the desires of whoever is lucky enough to receive it. Not only will it be fun for you to put together, but a package of gourmet popcorn flavours picked for that individual is a sure fire way to make someone feel extra special. Do you have a friend that just loves the fun flavours of Bubblegum? Then why not treat them to a wonderful gift of Bubblegumgourmet popcorn?

If they love bubblegum then we think they’d also love our Pink Strawberry sweet popcorn too. Add them both together and create the perfect fun mix for your sweet-toothed friend. Maybe you have a family member that has more conservative taste buds in which case our Cheddar Cheese flavoured popcorn and Sour Crème and Chive popcorn would create the perfect tailored gift for them. Gourmet popcorn is fun, creative and will be appreciated by anyone so make that special someone’s day even more amazing than it already is with the gift of gourmet popcorn in their favourite flavour.

Grow your own popcorn popcorn kernels

Monday, 11 May 2015 17:19:04 Europe/London

Grow your own popcorn popcorn kernels

Generally speaking there are very few simple pleasures in life that compare to eating something freshly grown from your very own garden. The satisfaction deepens even more so when it’s your own hard labour such as the act of sowing seeds, troweling the beds, watering and even fertilising. This is not only a hobby but a way of life for some that most will testify as therapeutic and rewarding. If you’re on the look out for a fun project for all the family then why don’t you try planting one of the UK’s most well loved snack foods – popcorn.

Start growing your popcorn kernels indoors

Spring is now fully underway and for those who enjoy a spot of time in the garden, hands will no doubt be itching to get back in to the dirt. This year however we suggest plotting a little space in the garden for you and your children to work. Now’s the perfect time to get your children involved and teach them all about science, agriculture and even nature, all the while having fun in the sun.

Before venturing into the garden however we do suggest planting indoors first as this will give your children the opportunity to watch the kernels sprout and grow. It’s simple and will give your children a project they can really sink their teeth into, with butter and salt an optional extra at the end.

What you need when growing your popcorn

When it comes to growing popcorn you’ll first need popcorn kernels along with a plastic bag or glass jar and some paper towels, water and of course soil. First soak a few paper towels in the water and then place them in a plastic bag or glass jar (whichever you’ve chosen to use) then place a few kernels inside the bag or jar. You’ll want to make sure they sit on top of the paper towels too. Once you’ve completed this we then advise placing the bag or jar in a place that receives plenty of sunlight, around six hours a day as a minimum.

This will ensure it’s kept relatively warm at all times too. The kernels should begin to sprout and grow over the course of the following few weeks. In the mean time, if the towels get too dry then we advise watering them again. Once you begin to see the popcorn seeds sprouting then it’s time to plant them in a pot with soil and keep the soil moist.

Popcorn kernels need around 90+ days to mature

Once all the late spring frost has disappeared and the soil is thoroughly warmed then you can begin to transplant your seedlings to the garden however to be safe we advise waiting around 10 to 14 days after the last frost. The popcorn kernels will need around 90+ days to actually mature and because popcorn can cross pollinate with other varieties of corn, you must be careful by keeping them far enough apart from each other either in terms of physical space or time of planting.

A minimum of 250 feet should be placed in between corn varieties when planted or for those planting in normal size gardens we advise planting them around 14 days apart.

Popcorn will need another four to six weeks of thorough drying

Leave the popcorn in your garden until the stalks and husks appear brown and dry and when you can no longer leave a mark on the kernel with your fingernail, you know it’s time to harvest. Simply twist and snap each ear from the stalk but make sure to do this before the frost hits. In order to prepare the popcorn for indoor curing then we advise carefully stripping away the dry husk from each ear.

The kernels will be partially dried or cured which is a necessity for long-term storage. Besides merely drying on the stalks, your popcorn will need another four to six weeks of thorough drying in a warm and ventilated area. For this we advise placing them in mesh bags and spreading said bags around a warm and ventilated room such as a garage perhaps. After curing, you should place the bags of corn in a cool and dry place. Here it can be kept for years as long as it’s cool and dark. After just a month of curing the kernels can be removed from the ears and placed in airtight jars. There’s no real trick to this part however, simply grasp the ear in both hands and twist until all kernels drop out.

If that's too much, you can always buy your popcorn kernels!

Then all that’s left to do is to pop them when you’re ready. If you’re a particularly busy person and this all sounds a bit too much in terms of time and effort then might we suggest simply buying popcorn kernels ready to pop at home from us here at Empire. Instead of waiting weeks for your kernels to grow, you can wait a mere matter of days for fresh kernels to be delivered to your door ready for you to enjoy the fun of popping them with your children. For some however even this can become a bit too time consuming when having to juggle work and family commitments. For this we suggest browsing our gourmet popcorn pages and selecting a popcorn flavour of your choice.

Then all that’s involved is waiting for your freshly popped popcorn to be delivered to your door. We offer all manner of sweet and savoury flavours from good old originals that will have you wandering down memory lane to some rather new and exciting gourmet flavours such as Hot Madras, Pina Colada and even Spicy Thai.

The question is, can you decide on just one flavour? For the full range of flavours we have on offer just click here

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