Fundamentally, popcorn is nothing but corn kernels that puff up when heated. As such, it’s safe to assume that Gourmet Popcorn is gluten-free – or is it?
Plain corn is gluten-free and regular air-popped kernels are also gluten-free. The problem arises when flavoring or toppings are added.
There are still many brands that are safe to eat, as long as you stay away from the few brands that may pose a risk for cross-contamination.
Most Popcorn is Gluten Free
Gluten is a protein found in certain grains including wheat, barley, and rye. Corn is a gluten-free grain, therefore, plain popcorn is also gluten-free. This makes it a safe snack for people with celiac disease as well as sufferers of non-celiac gluten sensitivity.
however, there are a few things you should know before you rush to the store to stock up on popcorn. Not all store-bought popcorn is safe for celiac sufferers even though popcorn kernels in and of themselves are gluten-free. The problem isn’t with the corn – it’s with the processing and the potential for cross-contamination with gluten-containing ingredients.
Fortunately, most major popcorn brands carry a “gluten-free” label on the product which makes it easy to shop safely. Keep reading to find out which brands are gluten-free.
Tips for Shopping for Gourmet Gluten-Free Popcorn
You’ve probably gotten used to reading food labels, whether you suffer from celiac disease or gluten sensitivity. The first place you should check is the allergen warning – if the product contains wheat, you should double-check the ingredients to check for sources of gluten. In fact, unless the product is clearly labeled “gluten-free” you should carefully read the ingredients list.
There are plenty of gluten-free options for gourmet popcorn. But you want to make sure you are getting true gourmet, gluten-free popcorn.
What About Movie Theater Popcorn?
For many people, movie theater popcorn is half the reason for going to a movie – or the entire reason. You’re unlikely to find a theater that sells popcorn that is specifically labeled “gluten-free.” But just because your local theater doesn’t advertise gluten-free popcorn, doesn’t mean it’s not safe.
Two of the largest cinema chains in the United States – AMC and Regal – claim that their popcorn is considered gluten-free. Cinemark, another major company, says that their popcorn is gluten-free as long as you forego the buttery topping. Keep in mind that even if the theater sells gluten-free popcorn, the cooking oil and popcorn salt may not be free from dairy or soy.
Even if the theater of your choice can’t confirm whether their popcorn is gluten-free, there is a low risk of cross-contamination. This is because most theaters primarily sell packaged goods like candy and snacks. The exception to this rule is cafe cinemas that serve meals to patrons. So you may want to talk to a chef or manager in this case, just to be safe. If you are very sensitive to trace gluten, it may be safest to avoid movie theater popcorn entirely.
Gourmet popcorn is an amazing treat. It can keep you honest from a nutritional standpoint, depending on the flavor. Always ask questions when selecting a company to buy your Gourmet Popcorn from. This way you can make sure your purchase is a pleasant, stress, and gluten-free one. Here at Best Popcorn Company, we have great gluten-free options. Make sure to contact us today for more information on our many different flavors and the ingredients in those many flavors. Ask how we can cater for your wedding or event!