A special variety of dried corn that contains a high moisture content. About 14% of the composition of the kernel is water, which creates steam when the kernel is heated. This causes the popcorn kernels to explode and pop open because the steam cannot escape. Popcorn is typically available in white or yellow varieties. Yellow popcorn has a golden tint and is larger in size, while white popcorn is smaller in size, both as unpopped kernels and when popped.
Popcorn is prepared by heating the kernels in a small quantity of cooking oil placed in a heavy skillet or saucepan over high heat. The pan is shaken as the corn pops to keep the corn moving in the pan and to prevent the kernels from burning. When the popping slows significantly, the pan is removed from the heat. The popcorn is eaten plain or it can be seasoned as desired.