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In many high quality ready made popcorn, the popped grains are almost perfectly round, while home popped grains are the usual irregular shape.

How is that lovely round shape achieved?

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I don't like round popcorn. I like them irregularly-shaped. It gives more diversity to the bowl when I look at it. I don't like to look at food that are too uniform in shapes and sizes. Creeps me up. –  Blessed Geek Nov 1 '12 at 20:09
    
The round popcorn is often preferred for things like kettle corn and carmel corn. The more consistent shape allows for better coating of the piece of popcorn (or so they say). –  Josh Nov 1 '12 at 21:29
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1 Answer

up vote 15 down vote accepted

From a quick search, it looks like this is just a different variety of popcorn, called mushroom. The normal kind is called butterfly. The two are mentioned in the wikipedia article (last paragraph of the linked section), along with a photo. It looks like it's pretty easy to buy online, if you prefer it. The round kernels are a little sturdier and easier to coat, but at least to me that sturdiness is also a slight toughness, so I prefer the butterfly-style popcorn most of us are used to.

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