When you buy popcorn at the movie theater, what type of corn they use makes a big difference. There are two major types of corn used to make buttery, crispy snacks- sweet corn and plain white popcorn.
Sweet corns contain high fructose sugars that become liquid when heated. These include golden or hominy poppable kernels and popped dried beans such as de-germized yellow maize (also known as Irish moss). The sugar in these corns helps stabilize the air bubbles during popping which gives your popcorn more flavor and texture.
Plain white popcorn is made from unrefined starch that becomes gummy and salty due to the heat. This type of corn does not have special additives like salt or sugar. You may notice some people talking about “clean” popcorn, but this just means there are no extra chemicals added.
This article will talk mostly about plain white popcorn because it is usually cheaper than other pops and can be homemade if you know how to cook pasta! However, do note that either kind of popcorn can be budget friendly if done right.