Popcorn: Rosemary-Garlic Popcorn – Snack or Croutons

Garlic-Rosemary Popcorn Croutons_ForkFingersChopsticks.com

The modern American palate considers popcorn snack food. However, the other night I watched a flick where the leading lady fed her family popcorn for breakfast. In the movie, she was broke. Nonetheless, it was way out of the box for me. Popcorn cereal?

It may seem kitschy now, but decades ago, popcorn cereal was avant-garde.

According to the history of popcorn cookery, popcorn was on the verge of becoming a staple ingredient in the early 1900s – commonly eaten at every meal. The upper and middle-class are credited with developing this broader recipe repertoire, which was later adopted by the less affluent and farmers.

Besides cereal (cold and hot), popcorn was used to make puddings, bread, popcorn balls, and stuffing.

Popcorn was also used as a replacement for croutons and crackers. The crispy texture was a perfect garnish for soup and salads.

Like most of you, I fall in line with the majority of people who snack on popcorn – usually just salted and buttered. But, with just a little more effort I’ve created an herbed popcorn that can be eaten as regular snack food or as a topper for soup and salad.

The recipe below for rosemary-garlic popcorn is a lovely addition to a hot bowl of tomato soup. Add the popcorn to your dish just before eating, especially with soups.

The recipe is flexible – your favorite herbs and seasoning could be substituted. How about garlic and chive, basil and sun-dried tomato, or chile and lime? At your local spice store there is a plethora of seasoning mixes that could be used and some include powdered cheese – which makes for even tastier popcorn croutons.

If you eat herbed popcorn or use popcorn for something other than a snack, please share in the comments. I’d love to hear from you.

Tidbits on Popcorn:

  1. Popcorn consumption rose in the United States after World War II, when grains were sent to Europe.
  2. The precursor to today’s microwave popcorn evolved from popping the entire cob with kernels in an early model of the  “microwave oven” around 1945.
  3. Popped popcorn is a very profitable business product. It is bought by weight and sold by volume. The aroma of freshly popped popcorn significantly induces sales at movie theatres. Therefore, they regularly pop it.

Source: Popped Culture: A Social History of Popcorn in America by Andrew F. Smith; Corn: Meals & More by Olwen Woodier; Crazy for Corn by Betty Fussell.

Garlic-Rosemary Popcorn - Herbs - Popped - ForkFingerChopsticks

Rosemary-Garlic Popcorn

Makes about 4 quarts


4 quarts freshly popped popcorn

3 tablespoons olive oil or melted butter*

1 teaspoon dried rosemary, ground

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon granulated garlic or garlic powder

1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese (optional)

*I use 2 tablespoons olive oil and 1 tablespoon melted butter


  1. Preheat the oven to 300F degrees. Grind the rosemary, salt and granulated garlic in a mortar and pestle or spice grinder. The finer the grind, the more evenly it will spread. Set aside.
  2. After popcorn is freshly popped, place in a large, clean paper bag or a washable muslin bag. Drizzle about half of the olive oil/butter. Fold the bag over at the top and shake well to coat. Repeat adding the remaining olive oil/butter.
  3. Next, add half of the herbed-salt mixture. Fold the bag over at the top and shake. Repeat adding more seasoning to taste.
  4. Spread the popcorn evenly over a baking sheet. Bake for about five to ten minutes, until the popcorn is dry and crisp. Remove from the oven. Optional: sprinkle with grated parmesan cheese while hot. Serve hot to eat as a snack or as a topping for soup or salads.


Herbs/Seasoning: herbs – chives, basil, oregano, cilantro, etc. (dried or fresh – note dried herbs have more concentrated flavor, so you may need to use more fresh herbs if substituting); seasoning – chile, hot sauce, cheese, nutritional yeast. If using garlic salt, reduce salt accordingly.

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16 Responses to Popcorn: Rosemary-Garlic Popcorn – Snack or Croutons

  1. kirby says:

    this was a fun recipe to watch and help make. i never knew there were so many different types of just popcorn kernel varieties. but as aj said, keeping it simple (a little salt, a tad of (real) butter) is still the best recipe for me when it comes to eating p-corn. curious does anyone out there still drown their popcorn w/a stick of butter?

  2. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by ForkFingersChopstick. ForkFingersChopstick said: New blog post: Popcorn: Rosemary-Garlic Popcorn – Snack or Croutons http://bit.ly/b45tPE […]

  3. Tera says:

    Pure genius! I’m trying it.

    Andrea (FFC): Tera- thanks for leaving a comment. Let us know if you try any other herb combos and if you came up with any other creative uses. Enjoy!

  4. Nicola Grun says:

    This post makes me chuckle a little. I recently popped a bag of “microwave” popcorn and coated it with some melted peanut butter. That kind of goes along with the “popcorn ball” idea. Interesting stuff!

    Andrea (FFC): So was the PB popcorn good?

  5. Popcorn cereal? I like it! I bet it would be great with chocolate milk poured over it.o

    Corn and chocolate — two foods used by pre-Columbians in the New World.

    Andrea (FFC): Let us know how that goes. Read more on the history of chocolate in a post from early 2010.

  6. Very interesting. Popcorn might be good in a soft taco or tostada for some extra texture.

    Andrea (FFC): I’m game for a lot but don’t muck with my tacos. . . Okay. maybe I’ll try it.

  7. sippitysup says:

    Hi I just wanted to take a moment and say hello! We’ll be meeting at “Camp” on Friday. My name is GREG and I am Sippity Sup!

    Andrea (FFC): So thoughtful of you to stop through in advance of camp. It was pure pleasure meeting you.

  8. Food-G says:

    This is so fun! Love what you’re doing on here. Not only is my mouth watering, but I feel like I learned something : )

    So glad to know you!


    Andrea (FFC): Hey Ginny. So good to meet you at Camp. Thanks for checking out the site and taking time to leave a comment. Glad to know there are other food geeks who get into these details. Catch ya soon.

  9. Hi Andrea ~ I’m so glad we met at Camp. You are the perfect roommate! And your website is SO interesting. I eat popcorn every night as a snack, but also use it as a garnish on cheddar beer soup.

    Andrea (FFC): Glad you were my roomie too! You are a wise woman who can take damn good photos. P.S. Glad you’re a popcorn nut too.

  10. In Ecuador (at least in the Quito area), popcorn is often served as a condiment for ceviche or soup — not the gut-busting butter-flavored portions that Americans vacuum up in the movies, but a small handful of plain popcorn accompanying something else.

    Claire @ http://www.culinary-colorado.com

    Andrea (FFC): Nice tip.

  11. How very interesting about popcorn! I have never heard of it’s history or popularity like this. Maybe it’s status changed with the popular use of it in movie theaters.

    Like the idea of tossing it in herbs and using it in place of croutons on soup. I’m giving that a try.

    Andrea – it was nice to meet you at Camp too. Hopefully there will be future events where we can all meet-up again. =)

    Andrea (FFC): Movie theatre popcorn brought on a whole new surge of eaters. But the stuff they make in the theatre can’t touch home-made. Look forward to seeing you again.

  12. Tangier says:

    Great blog, I shared this blog with my friends. Hope to hear more from you. Also try Tajine of lamb to artichokes and peas. They traditionally use local ingredients, such as olives, figs, and dates, to prepare lamb. Unbelievably delicious.

    Andrea (FFC): Thanks for visiting and for sharing with your friends. I love Moroccan food! When it starts to cool this way, I’ll have to make another tajine with some of the ingredients you suggested.

  13. I’ve tried weird popcorn things several times and, for me, it just doesn’t work. Having something that’s technically tasteless substituted for something that does have taste (ie: croutons) is just odd. Plus the texture is yukky.

    Of course, just IMO. Each to their own :)

    Andrea (FFC): Well at least you tried popcorn for other non-traditional uses. I am curious about different cultural uses for ingredients, and sometimes its to my liking and sometimes not so much. But well-seasoned flavored popcorn was delish in my book. Plus, the American cookery history was also a good read.

  14. Lemuel says:

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  15. Tomoko says:

    I read this post fully regarding the comparison of newest and
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  16. janet says:

    We are in Ecudore on a holiday and yesterday were presented with a small basket of popcorn with our soup. We didn’t know what to do with it so added it to the soup. We were thrilled! What a simple and healthy way to add some texture to soup without changing the flavour. Soups here are absolutely delicious. We are foodies who want only pure food so using popcorn is great. Loved the article.

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