Fri, Jun 09, 2006 - Page 19 News List

Popcorn 爆米花

Children taste different flavors of popcorn at a movie theater in the US.
美國一家電影院裡,孩童品嚐各種風味的爆米花。 (照片:美聯社)

PHOTO : AP

Have you ever wondered why popcorn pops? Have you ever wondered why some of the seeds don't pop no matter how long you heat them?

There is water inside every popcorn seed. When you put the seeds in the microwave, the water inside them heats up and turns into steam. The steam can't get out because the seed's shell seals it inside, so eventually the seed explodes! The steam from the explosion is what gives the popcorn its light taste.

As for the seeds that don't explode, two things might have happened to them. If there is a hole in the shell, the steam leaks out instead of building up and causing the seed to pop. Sometimes there isn't enough water in the seed to cause an explosion. (Marc Langer, staff writer)

你曾經好奇過爆米花為何會爆開嗎?你曾想過不管你加熱多久,有些玉米粒為何就是爆不開?

爆米花的玉米粒裡頭都含有水份。當你把玉米粒放入微波爐內,玉米粒的水就會受熱,變成水蒸氣。由於玉米粒的外殼將水蒸氣鎖在裡頭,跑出不來,所以玉米粒最後就會爆開!爆出的水氣正是帶給爆米花清爽滋味的東西。

至於不會爆開的玉米粒,可能有兩個原因。假如玉米粒的外殼有破洞,水蒸氣就會跑出來,不會聚集在一起讓玉米爆開。有時則是玉米粒裡頭的水份不夠,無法爆成爆米花。 (翻譯:賴美君)

Today's Words 今天單字

1. steam n.

蒸氣 (zheng1 qi4)

例:Sometimes I can barely see through the steam when I take a very hot shower.

(當我用很熱的水淋浴時,有時蒸氣瀰漫什麼也看不清。)

2. shell n.

殼 (ke2)

例:The turtle hid inside its shell when I tried to pick it up.

(我想把那隻烏龜抓起來時,牠躲進殼裡。)

3. seal v.i/ v.t

密封(mi4 feng1)

例:I always seal my leftover food in a plastic

bag and put it in the refrigerator.

(我總是將剩菜用塑膠袋封好,放進冰箱。)


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