White Vs. Yellow Popcorn

Image by Flickr.com, courtesy of Rhett Maxwell

Once popcorn is popped, it may be difficult to detect whether it came from white or yellow corn. Learn about the distinct characteristics of these two kernel types to decide which you prefer.

Kernel Types

Popcorn kernels come in several varieties. In addition to white and yellow, corn can also be red, blue, black or even multicolored. However, white and yellow are the types most commonly found in stores, with yellow being more widely available than white.


All types of kernels are a shade of white inside, so even when their popped they all look alike.


Once popped, yellow popcorn will be about 46 times the original kernel size. White popcorn pops to about 35 to 40 times the original kernel size.


Yellow kernels produce fluffy popcorn that is often shaped like butterflies or snowflakes. White kernels pop into tender, mushroom-shaped popcorn. The kernels themselves vary in shape also. Yellow kernels are round, while white kernels are shaped more like rice.


Yellow kernels tend to retain a slight corn taste, while white popcorn is subtly sweet.