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Popcorn Seasoning Recipe

Though popcorn today is a very colorful, salty snack to be eaten at festivals and movie theaters, it once was a delicate ingredient to many pre-Columbian civilizations. Perhaps as far back as 2000 BCE (based on the finding of popped kernels in a cave in New Mexico), the puffy snack was used for a variety of ceremonial and ritualistic conventions. The Aztecs used popcorn both as food and decoration, threading it to form necklaces and headdresses. Other societies also applied popcorn to areas of religion, designing ornaments to worship statues of their gods.

One of the earliest encounters from the Old World of popcorn comes from a Franciscan priest describing an Aztec ritual: "They scattered before him parched corn, called momochitl, a kind of corn which bursts when parched and discloses its contents and makes itself look like a very white flower; they said these were hailstones given to the god of water."

Prep: 3 min | Cooking: 2 min | Total: 5 min

Serves 4


  • Popcorn kernels (one package or 1/4 cup)

  • Paprika (1/2 tsp)

  • Salt (1/2 tsp)

  • Garlic powder (1/4 tsp)

  • Onion powder (1/4 tsp)

  • Chili powder (1/4 tsp)


  1. Cook the popcorn according to package instructions (I find 2 minutes to be best, but each microwave is different).

  2. Place the popped popcorn in a large bowl or pot. Add paprika, salt, garlic powder, onion powder, and chili powder. Cover the bowl and toss until seasoning is well incorporated. Serve.

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