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When their kernels heat up, the moisture inside turns to steam, shattering the hull into smaller pieces in an instant. You'll quickly notice that the small pieces of hull are now a part of the popped corn.

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It's called "hulless" popcorn, and in the world of gourmet popcorn—and that world is ever-expanding—it's a genius idea. A company called PopcornPetes, which operates farms in America's heartland, has branded a specific variety of corn that, when popped, is in its words "virtually hulless." When their kernels heat up, the moisture inside turns to steam, shattering the hull into smaller pieces in an instant. You'll quickly notice that the small pieces of hull are now a part of the popped corn. As a result, you experience a lot less of un-popped corn, significantly less burnt popcorn and a lot more flavor. Better yet, you're picking a lot fewer hulls from your teeth for the next several hours.

PopcornPetes manufactures bags of microwave popcorn ($29.95 for 18 bags, with free shipping) or four-pound bags of raw kernels (our favorite) for $14.95, again with free shipping. For our money, the raw kernels pop fresher and are much more tender with less hull.