Popcorn in Europe?

My career puts me in contact with people from different cultures, including Europe. One of my colleagues said that it used to be a good joke to give a European a bag of unpopped popcorn and tell them to take it home and “fry” it, because, allegedly, Europe did not have popcorn, and what a hoot it would be to have a European running around their kitchen wondering what to do about the white stuff flying out of their frying pan!! Now, this colleague is actually over retirement age (he’s pushing 68) and has told me that it’s been over half a century since he’s been to Europe. So my question is, do Europeans have, or know about popcorn? Or is my beloved friend and co-worker ready to to get sent out to pasture?

Popcorn exists in Europe. It’s not very popular, but people know what it is.
I don’t remember it in movie theaters. Europeans are usually drinking beer or other alcoholic beverages during movies.

Corn on the cob would be a very weird sight in Europe, but not in places like Japan.

In germany at fests they sell popcorn but in all the cases I have tried it, it was sweet! not salty like american popcorn. You could not tell by looking at it and it was a nasty let down the first time I had it that way.

I can’t speak for continental Europe, but in the UK popcorn is probably as popular as it is in the US.

Sure, we’ve got popcorn - and where I’m from, it’s generally salted. Customs differ, of course. But if popcorn was part of European cultural heritage in 1950 is hard to say.

mattk, no way is popcorn as popular in the UK as it is here. People here eat it not only by the bucket load, but constantly too. I see people not only eating it from these enormous 25-gallon drums in the cinema, but on the way to work, queueing up after work to get it for the bus home etc etc.

In the Netherlands, it’s mostly a movie thing. You get a bucket of popcorn (which usualy says something like “Original USA Popcorn”). It’s also popular at kids parties, and sometimes even grown up parties. I remember when salted popcorn was introduced: it must have been the mid 80’s. Before that, it was all sweet. I prefer salted myself.

Yep , add Ireland to that aswell.

We have corn on the cob as well.

in Hungary, they sell popcorn on the street, metro stops, movies, etc. and here it’s salrt, unlike in germany, when i went to see “shakespeare in love” and bought a huge bucket of the stuff. imagine my disgust and horror when i shoveled a fistful into my mouth and it was sugary! blech!! i couldn’t eat any of the stuff.

plus, you can also find corn on the cob sold all over the place in budapest. normally, you’ll find it at fair grounds, but there are vendors on the street too who sell it. neither popcorn nor corn-on-the-cob are novelties here.

Regarding the “corn on the cob” thing: I’ve got some relatives from Italy who I recently met and they wanted to try an “authentic American meal”. My folks decided that Barbeque was as “authentic” as it got and made a standard bbq with all the fixings, including corn-on-the-cob. My relative’s first reaction was the sort of half-hearted laugh you do when you think a practical joke has been played on you. When we insisted that, yes, we ate corn on the cob, and demonstrated, they were agahst. They kept claiming that it was “pig fodder”. I suppose it would be as if someone handed an American a pile of boiled wheat stalks.

Nonetheless, they enjoyed the rest of the meal, but would not eat the corn. And kept giving strange looks to those of us who did.


Why, just a couple of weeks ago as I was going into Sam’s, there was a little stand outside selling “German kettle corn”. I’m a big fan of popcorn, and was thinking about buying some, when I noticed the clear sugary glaze on the stuff. No thank ya.

I can’t understand the revulsion to sweet popcorn. I think it’s yummy.

Fenris, your relatives probably thought they were being offered field corn, or feed corn. This type of corn generally IS only fed to animals, though some folks eat it. What we Americans eat is sweet corn…which is smaller, sweeter, and generally tastier. It also doesn’t yield as much per acre, but them’s the breaks.

I happen to love sweetened popcorn…as in caramel corn, toffee corn, and the like. I love popcorn balls.

In Germany it is in fact possible to get popcorn kernels to pop yourself, but strangely enough only at organic food stores (or organic aisles of better supermarkets). But it doesn’t seem to be something the average person does or would know how to do.

I’m sure you can buy ‘unpopped’ popcorn in most supermarkets in the UK. I’ve purchased it several times.

Same over here. There are even those popcorn microwave bags that expand in size during popping. Supercool :wink:

Was that 3000 cloggers?
::applauds wildly::

Dammit!! I stop paying attention for one friggin’ minute, and I waste my 3000th post on Popcorn!!!

Oh well…

unfolds paper

I would like to thank my mother, my father, android, myself, Cecil Adams, goats, Neil Peart…


Our Portuguese babysitter fixes popcorn for the kids from time to time and the first time I tasted it I was very surprised to find that it was sweet. I think she just puts regular table sugar on it instead of salt.