Whether you’re at home, snuggled up on the couch or at your favorite movie theatre – popcorn is sort of a big deal! But, when you’re newly diagnosed with Celiac disease or a gluten allergy, you start questioning whether your favorite foods are suddenly off limits. What was once a simple snack can suddenly become a major dilemma. Is popcorn gluten free? Is it safe for Celiacs to eat?
Good news, popcorn lovers! Popcorn IS gluten free! This is because corn itself is naturally gluten free. But, if you’re purchasing bags of pre-popped popcorn with flavors or toppings on it – beware! The toppings themselves might not be gluten free. In that case, you’ll always need to check the labels on the package to determine if it’s a gluten free snack. If the popcorn IS gluten free, it’ll be clearly stated on the bag.
Is popcorn safe for Celiacs?
The answer is yes – but always check bags of popcorn to see if wheat or other gluten-containing ingredients have been added as a flavor or topping. To be the safest: make your own popcorn at home! My go-to popcorn popper (Canadian link here) is one that makes a big bowl of popcorn at home in your microwave. It only takes a couple of minutes to go from a bowl of popcorn kernels to a bowl full of delicious popped corn! Then, add lots of glorious melted butter (or margarine if you’re dairy free too) and salt, of course. Voila!
You’ll have the perfect, safe-to-eat gluten free snack. Chow down, popcorn lovers!
Is movie theatre popcorn gluten free?
If you’re not at home – but are rather heading out to a movie at the local theatre – then you’re always best to ask before you buy the popcorn. Again, most popcorn is gluten free (and even the buttery topping is too)…but never assume that flavors or other toppings are.
Major movie theatre chains, such as Cineplex say the following on their website:
“Our popcorn is gluten and vegan friendly however, may not be prepared in a gluten-free/vegan-friendly kitchen.” They seem to be warning that cross contamination could possibly be an issue. (From a legal standpoint, many companies will say this, even if the likelihood of such is very rare.) But, from online reviews – most Celiacs say that they’ve never had an issue eating popcorn at one of their theatres.
So…many people have had good experiences eating the popcorn out at the theatre. But, if in doubt – always ask! Or, to make your movie experience more fun, just do research ahead of time and check the website of your local movie theatre to see if their popcorn and butter topping is gluten free. Then, you’ll never need to worry!
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