At first glance, the idea of popcorn on a burger seems unusual. But then, technically, anything can be a burger topping. Plenty of adventurous diners have come to think of their hamburger as almost a blank canvas, piling on all kinds of unconventional toppings, from pineapple to peanut butter. It was only a matter of time until someone thought to put this famous snack food with an ancient history between a bun and a patty.
So, what makes this classic movie theater snack worth a try on your burger? First, it is the flavor profile. A properly cooked and seasoned burger already has plenty of umami flavor. Popcorn, flavored typically with butter and salt, adds to this. Plain, unseasoned popcorn –- with its delicate, nutty flavor –- can bring an earthy dimension to your hamburger, emphasizing the grassiness of your grass-fed beef. Sweet varieties, like kettle corn or caramel corn, can create a salty-sweet contrast.
Make Your Burger Crunchy With Popcorn
The combination of burger and popcorn is attractive enough for some to combine them in another way, bringing the flavor of a burger to popcorn. For example, Erie, Pennsylvania's PopLuck Gourmet Popcorn offers a bacon cheeseburger-flavored popcorn. But there's another reason to bring popcorn to your burger. That's the texture.
Crunchy and salty snacks like potato chips are already a hit on sandwiches for many people. The same textural principle goes for popcorn on a burger. Biting into a hamburger with popcorn will give you a similar "chomp." Combined with the texture of the beef and melted cheese, it can be pretty satisfying.
Something to keep in mind, however, is that the fat and moisture of a cooked burger patty will seep into the popped popcorn kernels, potentially making them soggy. There is a way around this, though. Candy–coated popcorn, like the kettle corn and caramel corn mentioned above, seals in the popcorn's crunch.
Use The Popcorn As Breadcrumbs
Using popcorn as a burger topping sounds tempting enough, but here are other ways to bring the two together. Grinding popcorn in a food processor creates a consistency similar to breadcrumbs, commonly added to burger blends to help with texture and shape.
Doing the same with the ground popcorn provides a tender mouthfeel and imparts the popcorn's nutty earthiness into the ground beef. Naturally, it will do the same with the salt, butter, cheddar, maple, or any other flavors the popcorn may have.
You can also use crumbled popcorn as a crispy coating for meats in an air fryer. If you plan to air fry your bacon before putting it on your burger, try using the popcorn as a coating. It will give you the best of all worlds: the flavor of bacon and popcorn, with both staying crispy as you bite into your juicy burger.
Read the original article on Daily Meal.