Americans consume some 15 billion quarts of this whole grain, good-for-you treat. That’s 45 quarts per man, woman, and child.
Popcorn is a type of maize (or corn), a member of the grass family, and is scientifically known as Zea mays everta.
Popcorn differs from other types of maize/corn in that it has a thicker pericarp/hull. The hull allows pressure from the heated water to build and eventually bursts open. The inside starch becomes gelatinous while being heated; when the hull bursts, the gelatinized starch spills out and cools, giving it its familiar popcorn shape.