America’s oldest snack: Popcorn!
Today we’re turning up the heat and popping up the fun to celebrate America’s oldest snack: Popcorn.
Did you know that Americans consume some 16 billion quarts of this whole grain treat each year? That’s 52 quarts per man, woman, and child!
Do you remember where you were when you had your first bite?
It doesn’t matter how you cover it: butter, caramel, or dusted with black truffle oil and parmesan cheese. Popcorn is the tasty treat that’s dominated the world’s snacking culture for centuries. Popcorn is also so much more than a snack; it’s a unifying factor across the globe. Everyone fondly remembers when they had their first taste and exactly where they were.
I clearly remember going to the movies as a kid and nudging my siblings in the ribs to get a leg up on the popcorn scarfing. Next it was Jiffy Pop on the stove and gleefully watching as the fluffy, white kernels exploded all over the kitchen (sorry for the mess, Mom). Then microwave popcorn became all the rage and it was a game to see how much you could pop before it burned to a crisp. But nothing will ever compare to that fresh-popped flavor from the kettle that just melts in your mouth.
Popcorn and any of the classic fun foods tie us to places and spaces in time. They’re passed down through generations like fine heirlooms to be treasured. So I say raise your glass today and celebrate all that is good and buttery with popcorn. Share it with your loved ones or take a relaxing moment for yourself and remember that child-like joy of the first taste.
Fun Popcorn Facts From the Popcorn Board (www.popcorn.org)
The oldest ears of popcorn ever found were discovered in the bat cave of West Central New Mexico in 1948 and 1950. Ranging from smaller than a penny to about 2 inches, the oldest Bat Cave ears are about 4,000 years old.
Most U.S. popcorn is grown in the Midwest, primarily in Indiana, Nebraska, Ohio, Illinois, Iowa, Kentucky and Missouri.
The world’s largest popcorn ball was created by volunteers in Sac City, Iowa in February, 2009. It weighed 5,000 lbs., stood over 8 ft. tall, and measured 28.8 ft. in circumference.
Compared to most snack foods, popcorn is low in calories. Air-popped popcorn has only 31 calories per cup. Oil-popped is only 55 per cup.
In 1519, Cortes got his first sight of popcorn when he invaded Mexico and came into contact with the Aztecs. Popcorn was an important food for the Aztec Indians, who also used popcorn as decoration for ceremonial headdresses, necklaces and ornaments on statues of their gods.