Caramel corn and kettle corn; both sweet treats made from popcorn, but which is better? Which do you prefer to snack on? What’s the difference between these two unique crunchy sweets?
Caramel corn is made from regular popping corn. Once popped, it is mixed with hot caramel that creates a thin, crunchy, and sweet coating over each popped kernel. Historically, caramel corn was sweetened with molasses. Molasses is what gave boxes of Cracker Jack their unique flavor, introduced at the Chicago World’s Fair in 1893.
While caramel corn isn’t sold in microwavable containers to make at home, it’s available in many forms (Cracker Jack, Fiddle Faddle, Crunch N’ Munch) at grocery stores. Some vendors mix in chocolate or nuts to create an entirely new snack to enjoy.
Kettle corn is also made from regular popping corn. The difference is how it’s popped. Kettle corn is traditionally made in a large, iron kettle that has been oiled. The popcorn is popped before it is tossed with a little salt, and of course some sugar, to give it that addictive flavor. The oil from the iron kettle is what keeps the seasonings on the popped kernels.
While kettle corn dates back to the 18th century, it had a major comeback in the early 21st century.
Kettle corn can be enjoyed warm just after popping or cool, from a stored container. While it’s often served at fairs, carnivals, and concession stands, it’s also sold in sealed bags at grocery stores and in boxes of instant kettle corn that can be made at home.
Both styles of popcorn can be enjoyed warm or at room temperature, both are often sold at concession stands and grocery stores, and both satisfy your desires for something sweet and crunchy. So, which do you prefer, caramel corn or kettle corn?