Plain Popcorn vs. Flavored Popcorn

16 Oct

Popcorn is an excellent go-to snack. Apart from their deliciousness, popcorn also has a lot of nutritional value. It contains lots of minerals, vitamins, insoluble fiber, and other nutrients.

Popcorn is also known for its eternal debate of plain vs. flavored popcorn. So, how do you like your popcorn? Plain or Flavored? 

Mushroom popcorn

If you’re like me, then you like it flavored, seasoned with salt and chocolate topping. But not everyone is like me. You might like yours plain with no seasoning or topping. And that’s fine! 

Popcorn consumption dates as far back in history as 1930. But have you ever stopped to wonder what happens to the kernels when you are waiting for the popcorn to pop? The pressure from the steam emanated during the temperature increase causes kernels to expand and puff-up.

A major determinant in the expansion of kernels is the variety and conditions of the kernels, in terms of moisture and oil. Appropriate moisture content in kernels helps to create enough steam to aid its size increase. 

Popcorn classification

Popcorn is generally classified into two categories, based on flavors. They are:

  • Plain popcorn
  • Flavored popcorn

Plain Popcorn Vs Flavored popcorn

Plain popcorn refers to unblemished kernels, with only a few ingredients added during preparation. You don’t add any topping, seasoning, or flavor to the plain popcorn. The plain popcorn in terms of dietary benefits has fewer carbohydrates, more protein, and minimal fiber. Moreover, it is gluten-free with minimum sodium. 

A bowl of white plain popcorn

Flavored popcorn refers to kernels that contain synthetic compounds or natural derivatives used to enhance the result and aesthetic of popcorn. There are various types of flavored popcorn available around. 

Flavored popcorn has numerous benefits such as:

  • Availability of varying choices, as a result of various arrays of flavors.
  • If you are allergic to certain flavors, you can choose from the wide range of flavors available. 
  • Flavored popcorn has more carbohydrate
  • It has more fiber.
  • You can choose from different taste variation

Plain Popcorn vs. Flavored Popcorn: Texture and Shape

In terms of texture, plain popcorn often assumes two flake shape, the butterfly flake type, and the mushroom flake type. The butterfly flake has a light, irregular shapes protruding from the sides. They are lighter, tender, and fluffier. The mushroom flakes, on the other hand, assumes a more compact ball shape. They are larger and stronger than butterfly flakes. 


Flavored popcorn often comes in the form of mushroom flakes, which are compact and ball-shaped. Mushroom flakes have a larger surface area, and holds up well during flavored popcorn’s coating and stirring processes. However, some flavored popcorn can also appear in the butterfly flake shape.

Some of the many flavors of popcorn include cinnamon, chocolate, almond pecan, tart blueberry, and many others. Furthermore, another major difference is the quality of the corn kernels used and the mode of preparation. 

A bowl holding flavored popcorn

In conclusion, it’s safe to say that the major differences between the two are the lack or addition of flavors, nutritional value, and taste.

Nonetheless, both types of popcorn are great options for movie night! Try out the different types of popcorn, and see what you like. The different flavors available might even surprise you. Here’s to you and your popcorn adventure! 

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