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View Full Version : Do other seeds "pop" like corn? (a query in three parts)


Askia
06-18-2004, 11:49 PM
If so, which ones?

If not (as I suspect) why not? Why do heated corn kernels produce edible fluffy exploded insides and not, say, cherry pits?

Is there any likelihood we can someday genetically modify seeds so that they CAN "pop" and we'd end up with varieties like popples (popped apple seeds), popkins (popped pumpkin seeds) and popflowers (popped sunflower seeds) and such? Or is my imagination getting away with me again?

Nametag
06-19-2004, 12:17 AM
Well, you're on the right track. Popcorn is a special strain, and normal corn kernels won't pop. I imagine you could develop popping strains of other seeds as well, but I'm not sure it would be worth it.

Diogenes the Cynic
06-19-2004, 12:35 AM
In my debauched youth, a couple of buddies and I once attempted to pop marijuana seeds like popcorn. The experiment yielded only burnt seeds. It was very disappointing.

Askia
06-19-2004, 02:47 AM
I imagine you could develop popping strains of other seeds as well, but I'm not sure it would be worth it. Diogenes' popped marijuana seeds idea would be worth it. Besides the novelty, it'd give you the munchies, and you'd eat more popped marijuana, which would still make you hungry, and force you to buy more popped marijuana seeds. This idea is GOLD.

Jeff Lichtman
06-19-2004, 02:55 AM
It is possible to pop quinoa and some types of amaranth seeds.

Corn pops when the water inside turns to steam. For a seed to be poppable, it must contain some water and have a coat or shell that holds in the steam until it suddenly lets go all at once. Also, for the seed to turn inside-out, the inside of the seed must expand when the seed coat bursts.

A cherry pit doesn't have muchwater in it, and the seed coat is so tough that it will never explode. Also, I doubt the kernel would expand even if the seed coat did burst.

Sesame seeds and mustard seeds pop open when heated, but they don't turn inside-out like popcorn does. This is because the inside doesn't expand when the pressure is released.

It's common for the starches in grains to expand when they are heated under pressure which is suddenly released. I believe this is how they make puffed rice for cereal.

You wouldn't want to eat popped apple or cherry seeds in any quantity. Both contain cyanide.

CrazyCatLady
06-19-2004, 03:21 AM
Well, according to that Christmas song, chestnuts pop. Are chestnuts considered seeds?

Manduck
06-19-2004, 06:35 AM
Mustard seeds will pop, but they don't get all fluffy like popcorn; they just pop.

HeyHomie
06-19-2004, 06:44 AM
Well, according to that Christmas song, chestnuts pop. Are chestnuts considered seeds?

I posted a thread about that subject many Christmases ago, and the answer was that "explode" is a much better word. You don't wind up with a popcorn-kernel like object; rather, you wind up with hundreds of little bits of chestnut shrapnel.

notfrommensa
06-19-2004, 08:08 AM
There is a crop called "milo" (aka grain sorghum) that I am told will pop, and the resulting tast is very similar to Popcorn.

Balthisar
06-19-2004, 09:16 AM
I'll add to the above that for a seed to pop and be fluffy like popcorn, it must be high in starch. That's the majority of what popcorn is.

Here's a popcorn link on How Stuff Works (http://home.howstuffworks.com/question255.htm).

CrazyCatLady
06-19-2004, 11:05 AM
I posted a thread about that subject many Christmases ago, and the answer was that "explode" is a much better word. You don't wind up with a popcorn-kernel like object; rather, you wind up with hundreds of little bits of chestnut shrapnel.

Why would anybody want to sit around the fire watching that? Did it say in the other thread?

Shoeless
06-19-2004, 12:55 PM
Not sure if this is exactly what the OP is looking for, but during a vacation in Yellowstone a few years back, I learned that one of the species of pine trees in the area (lodgepole pines, IIRC) require intense heat in order for the seed pods to pop open. So without a forest fire every so often, you wind up with not very many lodgepole seedlings, and the other tree species start taking over and crowding them out.

Gorsnak
06-19-2004, 01:03 PM
Nobody here has heard of puffed wheat?

Granted, you can't pop it just by heating it, like popcorn, but it's the same sort of deal.

dtilque
06-19-2004, 06:51 PM
Not sure if this is exactly what the OP is looking for, but during a vacation in Yellowstone a few years back, I learned that one of the species of pine trees in the area (lodgepole pines, IIRC) require intense heat in order for the seed pods to pop open. So without a forest fire every so often, you wind up with not very many lodgepole seedlings, and the other tree species start taking over and crowding them out.
But those seeds don't pop, at least not the way popcorn does. Lodgepole pine cones are naturally sealed with wax and it takes a forest fire to melt the wax and release the seeds.

Mangetout
06-19-2004, 07:35 PM
Nobody here has heard of puffed wheat?

Granted, you can't pop it just by heating it, like popcorn, but it's the same sort of deal.Likewise puffed rice (krispies) - as you say though, they aren't produced the same way as popcorn; I think they are pressure-cooked first (or something).

Lynn Bodoni
06-20-2004, 05:17 AM
Why would anybody want to sit around the fire watching that? Did it say in the other thread? Probably someone wanted roasted chestnuts, and ended up with exploding chestnuts instead. I tried to roast chestnuts a couple of times, and I found it to be a huge PITA.

Seven
06-20-2004, 06:00 AM
I found pumpkin seeds kind of pop when cooked in butter.