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Popcorn around the world

Making It Grow Radio Minute
SC Public Radio



Hello, I'm Amanda McNulty with Clemson Extension and Making It Grow.

I'm the chief chef and bottle washer at my old house where we've never had a dishwasher along with no central heater or air, but I digress. Sometimes it's so hot that fixing supper is more of a chore than usual, but I've taken a clue from my friend Mary Pittman and just served popcorn.

Corn is native to the New World, developed thousands of years ago by the Incas, and from there it's gone on to be the main food for 20% of the people in the world. Archaeologists have identified remains of popcorn from at least 6,000 years ago.

What makes popcorn pop? The interior is high in starch with a small amount of water, and when it's heated, the very hard shell around it is forced open by the expanding steam.

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Amanda McNulty is a Clemson University Extension Horticulture agent and the host of South Carolina ETV’s Making It Grow! gardening program. She studied horticulture at Clemson University as a non-traditional student. “I’m so fortunate that my early attempts at getting a degree got side tracked as I’m a lot better at getting dirty in the garden than practicing diplomacy!” McNulty also studied at South Carolina State University and earned a graduate degree in teaching there.