In my time here as a writer at Spoon, I've managed to get myself a bit of a reputation amongst my peers for claiming that popular foods are overrated. This probably stems from the fact that I'm the author of an article which shames Reese's (not mentioning the one that slams cereal as a breakfast food). All in all, while my Instagram, which showcases the meals I regularly eat, seems to pique the interest of others, my food choices are not always deemed popular. However, I'm here to change my tune with this article — instead of slating food companies for the sheer amount of sugar they seem to unnecessarily pour into products, I'm here to elevate the underdog of the snack world: popcorn.

Popcorn is the friend that's kind of always there but no one really knows why. It's eaten out of obligation at the cinema because "that's what you do", rather than because anyone is desperate to choose it. But let this be the case no longer!

1. It's cheap

twenty, 20, dollar, bill, cash, money, Pay
Caroline Ingalls

Have you ever bought popcorn off the shelf? You can buy an entire big bag of sweet and salted for just £1 from Tesco (and it tastes amazing, too)! Portion it on purchase and you're all snacked up for the week. Next to things like nuts, popcorn seems dirt cheap.

2. It's cheerful

skinny pop, popcorn, eating popcorn, snacks, snacking, apple
Jocelyn Hsu

At least — I am when I've got my little tub full to dig into (just ask anyone on my badminton team — it's my go to match snack!). 

3. There are so many varieties

popcorn, corn, caramel, cereal, kettle corn, butter, sweet, salt
Chelsea Hawk

I went through a phase of buying popcorn kernels, popping them myself and putting whatever flavours I fancied that day into a bowl and munching. There are the classics like Butterkist toffee and then there are brands such as Propercorn who delve into the weird and wonderful world of bizarre flavours. Whatever you fancy, it's totally an option when it comes to popcorn.

4. It's healthy

popcorn, corn, sweet, cereal, kettle corn, butter, salt
Renee Chiu

This is the point where I guess I have to acknowledge that 90% of popcorn is actually just air. That being said, it means that it's super low in calories (until you add the sugar, of course!). I'm by no means a stickler when it comes to calories, and I actively don't calorie count, but it does kind of help when you know that the thing you're mindlessly snacking on isn't doubling your intake for the day.

5. It doesn't leave a mess

popcorn, corn, cereal, kettle corn, salt, sweet
Sara Carte

I'm pretty strict about having clean hands. I can't even eat an apple without having to go and wash my hands afterwards, let alone something like chocolate, which melts and leaves sticky marks all over your fingers. Popcorn is a whole other matter — it's dry, it's clean and it's an added bonus.

Popcorn is the underrated angel of the century and it's about time it got its own pedestal. It's been regarded as a last resort for far too long and this misplaced perception creates a reluctance to actually go out and buy it. So come on, guys — let's start making popcorn a first choice!