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You probably didn’t know October is National Popcorn Month. It is.
You probably didn’t know you can pay $250 for gold-encrusted popcorn eaten by “Kings, Queens, Tycoons, Fire Breathing Dragons, the guy who invented paper clips, and Unicorns.” You can.
Don’t feel bad — we didn’t either. As penance, Debt.com did some research on the economics of popcorn. Here’s what we found…
In five minutes. And it tastes better.
The Seattle Times suggests doing it in a sauce pan on the stove, like this:
Put the oil in an 8-inch high-sided saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the popcorn; the bottom of the pan should be covered in a single layer of kernels. Cover partially and cook undisturbed until the kernels begin popping. Once the corn is popping in earnest, give the pan an occasional shake.
Just like microwave popcorn, stop when you hear nothing popping for a second or two. Add salt and you’re done.
No stove? You can do it dorm-style with a microwave and a brown paper bag, too. Drizzle the tablespoon of oil over half a cup of popcorn kernels, put it in a brown paper bag, fold the top twice so it stays shut, and microwave for 2 and a half to 3 minutes. Pour into a bowl and salt it.
It takes longer, but you’ll probably agree the results are worth it. For instance, here’s a recipe for maple bacon popcorn that takes about half an hour…
What you need
What to do:
Check out other creative ways to make your own gourmet popcorn here.
Berco’s Billion Dollar Popcorn doesn’t actually cost a billion dollars, but at $250 a tin, it’s still pretty pricey. It’s made with organic sugar, butter from a Vermont creamery, Danish salt, and Nielsen Massey bourbon vanilla, all topped with “23 karat edible gold flakes.” (The price isn’t because of the gold, because you can get gold-flake chocolate-covered bacon for $40.)
Yep. You always knew that you were getting ripped off when buying popcorn at the movies, but now you know just how much.
Professor Richard McKenzie, who wrote a book about popcorn called Why Popcorn Costs So Much at the Movies, And Other Pricing Puzzles, estimates it must cost less than 10 cents an ounce to make movie theater popcorn. That means popcorn has an estimated markup price of 1,300 percent.
But if theaters didn’t do that, they’d have to raise ticket prices to stay in business. At least popcorn is an optional part of the experience, and there are usually coupons.
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