Koko's Guide to Austin Book - Updated for 2022!

Desserts

Sweet and Spicy Pepitas Popcorn Balls

October 21, 2010

“Every once in a while, someone will mail me a single popcorn kernel that didn’t pop. I’ll get out a fresh kernel, tape it to a piece of paper and mail it back to them.” – Orville Redenbacher.

If you believe Nebraskan myth, popcorn balls just happened naturally. On a hot and rainy summer day, legend has it that two Nebraska fields were experiencing different extremes in weather. In a field where sugar cane was growing, the crop was being treated to a deluge of warm rain. Next door, a corn field was in direct sunlight being scorched by the summer sun. The rain washed the sugar cane downhill toward the neighboring cornfield, where the heat was so blistering that the corn was popping off the stalks! The syrupy sugar cane washed over the exploding corn kernels, rolling it into balls as it went. But then, grasshoppers ate all of the balls, so the farmers were forced to try to recreate the phenomenon– making the snack we know now. [Source: Hayley Wells]

Obviously, this tale seems far fetched but I’m too busy munching away on popcorn balls to give it any further thought! Popcorn balls are delicious change from the ordinary popcorn you would normally eat during a movie. The pepitas add a bonus crunch while the cayenne adds a surprise kick!

What are pepitas? 
Pepitas are pumpkin seeds. Typically rather flat and asymmetrically oval, and light green in color. Marinated and roasted, they are an autumn seasonal favorite. I can’t get enough of these! I found myself munching away more than I put in the popcorn balls.

[tasty-recipe id=”17931″]

Tip: Do not skip the step on coating your hands with butter. The caramel makes the popcorn super sticky to the point where they stick to your hands more so than sticking together as a popcorn ball. I put a drizzle of milk chocolate over the popcorn balls to make them more gourmet. The “taste of koko” signature drizzle! 🙂

WRITTEN BY:

Jane Ko is the Austin blogger behind A Taste of Koko, Austin's top food and travel blog featuring the hottest restaurants and weekend getaways. Jane has been a speaker at South by Southwest (SXSW), Texas Conference for Women, BlogHer, and more on entrepreneurship and social media. She lives in Austin Texas with her dog and cat.

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