Inventory, 4 oz : 0
This item was last sold on : 08/07/22
Popcorn shoots are small in size, averaging 5 to 10 centimeters in length, and have elongated, slender leaves with a short stem. The leaves are smooth, flat, and delicate, generally growing in an oval to cylindrical shape, and bear even, curved edges ributing to the shoot’s sleek appearance. Popcorn shoots will appear bright yellow, pale yellow, white, to pale green, depending on the shoot’s cultivation environment. If the shoots are sprouted in darkness, they will take on a yellow-white hue, while shoots cultivated in the sun will be greener and develop a more fibrous texture. In addition to the straight leaves, each shoot will have a white, firm, and crunchy stem. Popcorn shoots are crunchy, succulent, and tender. The shoots have a distinctly sweet flavor that lingers on the palate combined with a mild corn taste and a tart, grassy undertone.
Popcorn shoots are available year-round.
Popcorn shoots, botanically classified as Zea mays, are tiny, edible greens belonging to the Poaceae family. The shoots are naturally sprouted from flint corn kernels and are generally harvested 14 to 20 days after sowing. Popcorn shoots are traditional grown in the dark in a process known as blanching. This prevents the shoots from undergoing photosynthesis and producing chlorophyll, resulting in the shoot’s pale yellow-white coloring. Blanching also helps the shoots develop a crisp and tender texture. Popcorn shoots are sometimes known as Popcorn microgreens, Corn shoots, Gold Popcorn shoots, and Micro Gold shoots. The distinct shoots are favored for their very sweet flavor and are utilized by chefs as a surprising garnish to add color, taste, and texture to culinary dishes, elevating the dining experience.
Popcorn shoots are a source of vitamin A to maintain healthy organ functioning, vitamin E to protect the body against free radical damage, B vitamins to promote overall well-being, and vitamin C to strengthen the immune system while reducing inflammation. The shoots also provide calcium and phosphorus to build strong bones and teeth, potassium to balance fluid levels within the body, and other nutrients, including iron and magnesium.
Popcorn shoots have a sweet, subtly grassy flavor well suited as a finishing element over a wide array of appetizers, main dishes, and desserts. The tender shoots cannot withstand high heat and should be added at the end of the cooking process to prevent the leaves from wilting. The shoots also have a neutral taste, allowing them to be incorporated into sweet or savory preparations. Popcorn shoots can be tossed into salads, layered into burgers and sandwiches, or placed on caprese as a colorful appetizer. The shoots can also be garnished over roasted meats and seafood, scrambled with eggs, or used as a taco or burrito ingredient. Try adding Popcorn shoots to corn chowders, risottos, or sauteed veggies. The crispy shoots can also be blended into sauces such as pesto or fermented into a corn-mash liquor. Popcorn shoots pair well with jicama, cherry tomatoes, avocado, dill, mushrooms, potatoes, meats such as beef, poultry, and pork, and seafood including fish, shrimp, and crab. Whole, unwashed Popcorn shoots will keep up to ten days when covered to prevent light from penetrating the sealed container and stored in the refrigerator.
Popcorn shoots are grown from the same kernels used for popcorn. In the United States, popcorn was a staple food source among Southwestern Native American tribes, and researchers even discovered a 1,000-year-old popped kernel in a cave once inhabited by early peoples. Native Americans would typically eat popcorn by itself as a snack or incorporate it into soups, and European colonists later mixed the puffed kernels with milk and sugar as a breakfast dish. Native American folklore also believed that there were spirits inside each kernel of popcorn. When the kernels were heated, the spirits would become angry, eventually bursting out of their homes in a puff of steam, leaving behind the edible, crunchy food. While popcorn was the primary use for corn kerns for centuries, the kernels became favored for producing nutritious sprouts in the late 20th and 21st centuries. Popcorn shoots rose to fame in the United States during the 1990s. Microgreens appeared on the plates of high-end restaurants in the ’90s, and Popcorn shoots were promoted as a sweet and unusual, edible garnish. Popcorn kernels must be soaked in water for 8 to 14 hours, drained, and then spread out in a container across planting medium. It takes approximately 1 to 2 days for the kernels to sprout, and the shoots can be grown in darkness or with light, depending on preference.
Popcorn shoots were created during the late 20th and early 21st centuries in the United States as a part of the booming microgreen trend used by high-end chefs. The crisp shoots were later offered to all chefs and home cooks through distributors, select retailers, and online businesses. The Popcorn shoots featured in the photograph above were developed at Fresh Origins Farm in San Diego, California, the leading American producer of naturally grown microgreens since the mid-1990s. Fresh Origins has been using the mild Southern California climate year-round to produce robust, healthy, and flavorful microgreens for over twenty years, and the farm closely partners with chefs to create innovative varieties with unique flavorings. Today Popcorn shoots can be found through select distribution partners of Fresh Origins across the United States, including Specialty Produce, and are also found through partners in Canada. They can also be found through grocers, online retailers, and distributors in the United States and Europe.
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Recipes that include Shoots Popcorn. One is easiest, three is harder.
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