Savoury popcorn company based in Consett, County Durham

PUBLISHED: 01:16 12 September 2011 | UPDATED: 19:58 20 February 2013

Flavours include salty sweet and hot chilli and fennel

Flavours include salty sweet and hot chilli and fennel

The premium, predominantly savoury popcorn market is still very much in its infancy, but a County Durham company is leading the way Words by Sue Campbell

Popcorn was first discovered thousands of years ago by Native Americans in North America. It is one of the oldest forms of corn theres evidence of popcorn from 3600 B.C. found in New Mexico.

Popcorn is corn which expands from the kernel and puffs up when heated. Corn is able to pop because its kernels have a hard moisture-sealed hull and a dense starchy filling. This allows pressure to build inside the kernel until an explosive pop results.

For me conjures up pictures of 1950s America, along with drive in movies and bobbysocks, but its been over here for some time.

Most peoples experience of popcorn is that pricey stuff covered in caramel and sugar that you can buy in the supermarkets and which makes your teeth stick together. Im getting a sugar rush just thinking about it.

Either that or the stuff you get in enormous buckets at the cinema, that adheres to your shoes as you find your way out of your seat.

However, a side of market which is seeing significant growth is that of savoury popcorn. And the delightfully named Corn Again from Consett in County Durham is showing how its done.

Its becoming more popular and even cropping up on the TV chef shows.
The premium, predominantly savoury popcorn market is still very much in its infancy but as the hand-cooked crisps market becomes increasingly crowded Corn Again is bringing new and exciting flavours to the masses.

Corn Again is the UKs first gourmet savoury and sweet popcorn manufacturer. It popped into existence in April 2009, founded by husband and wife team Richard and Catherine Furze.

Using only natural ingredients, the couple make four flavours in 100g bags; three of which are savoury (garlic and herb, chilli and Fennel and salty sweet) and their latest which is sweet (sweet cinnamon spice).

Initially we found that people were saying, oh no, savoury popcorn, that is just wrong, said Catherine. We couldnt get over that hump but we found that if we had a sweet variety as well they would try the sweet one and then a savoury one too. It was our entry point.

Corn Again is now available in 19 ASDA stores throughout North East England, Dobbies Garden Centre, Tyneside Cinema and listings are continuing to grow.

The print version of this article appeared in the September 2011 issue of North East Life

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