A good batch of popcorn is all about timing: Remove it from the heat source too soon and you’ll end up with a bunch of unpopped kernels; leave it unattended too long and you’ll be stuck with a burnt, inedible mess. This video, spotted by Motherboard, invites you to slow down and appreciate the culinary chemistry at play, one glorious kernel at a time.
For their experiment, the filmmakers behind the Youtube channel Warped Perception used a Phantom Flex 4K high-speed camera to capture popcorn bursting at 30,000 frames per second. The video starts with the corn contained in its hard, glossy hull. This outer shell is good at containing the moisture and starchy endosperm in each kernel of popcorn, but as the steam builds the exterior eventually gives way.The sudden drop in pressure is what makes the starch and proteins in the endosperm puff up, and the comparatively cool air outside the shell is what sets it into its snackable form. You can watch the whole mouth-watering process below.