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Berkeley Springs, West Virginia
Heat up the steel tub in the Manley machine for approximately half an hour.
Turn on the rotor, close the steel lid, and let it pop. Sprinkle with finer grain popcorn salt.
Serves: Enough for about 4 folks with big orders.
Real butter popcorn is one of the favorite attractions at the STAR Theatre in Berkeley Springs, West Virginia, supporting the local claim that it's the best popcorn to be found in four states! When reports surfaced in 1994 revealing the high fat dangers of theater popcorn, we rebelled and did our own study.
For nearly two decades, STAR popcorn had been popped in 100 percent peanut oil in the 7-foot tall, red, glowing Manley popcorn machine. Crunching the numbers, we found that our 8.5-ounce box of plain popcorn, a bargain at one dollar, had only 179 calories and was 16 percent fat. Because the oil used is "good" peanut oil, those 20 grams of fat in each box included only 3.42 grams of saturated ("bad") fat.
The conclusion made by Tari Hampe, famed owner of the eponymous cafe next door as well as an expert on fat, was "The STAR's popcorn is a good-looking food and the best snack for kids to eat at the movies."
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