October is National Popcorn Poppin' Month
Popcorn lovers hold onto your hats, October is National Popcorn Poppin’ Month! According to the Popcorn Board, a national non-profit organization, October was chosen because "of the popcorn harvest which takes place each fall in the Midwest. Each year when the new crop is harvested, it reminds us popcorn will always be the naturally fun snack for the entire family. Popcorn Poppin' Month is the perfect time to celebrate popcorn."
Popcorn has changed the world as we know it. What was first used by Aztec Indians in the 16th century as decoration for ceremonial headdresses, necklaces, and ornaments on statues of their gods has now evolved into a beloved American snack. Americans consume some 14 billion quarts of this whole-grain snack. That is 43 quarts per man, woman, and child.
But what exactly is this low-calorie food and how is it made? Popcorn is a type of maize and is made up of three components: the germ, endosperm, and pericarp (also known as the hull). It differs from other types of maize because it has a thicker hull. “The hull allows pressure from the heated water to build and eventually bursts open”, says Popcorn Board. “The inside starch becomes gelatinous while being heated; when the hull bursts, the gelatinized starch spills out and cools, giving it its familiar popcorn shape.” And once that shape is created, no one can keep their hands off the tasty snack!
So, make a bowl and join the Popcorn Poppin’ Month celebration! Check out our popcorn recipes.
Fun Popcorn Facts from the Popcorn Board (www.popcorn.org)
- Popcorn kernels can pop up to 3 feet in the air.
- 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, according to Guinness World Records 2015, was created in 2013 at the Indiana State Fair. With the help of Pop Weaver, Snax in Pax, and Indiana's Family of Farmers, the popcorn ball weighed in at 6,510 pounds, 8 feet in diameter.
- Early Native Americans believed a spirit lived inside each kernel of popcorn. When heated, the spirit grew angry, burst out of its home, and fled into the air as a disgruntled puff of steam.
- 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.