10 Things You Didn’t Know About Popcorn

Here are some popcorn facts that I have come across while researching various topics in the past.

  1. Charles Cretors, founder of C. Cretors and Company in Chicago, introduced the world’s first mobile popcorn machine at the World’s Columbian Exposition in Chicago in 1893.
  2. Most popcorn comes in two basic shapes when it’s popped: Snowflake and Mushroom. Snowflake is sold in movie theaters and ballparks because it looks bigger. Mushroom is usually used in confection shops because it holds up well and doesn’t crumble like Snowflake popcorn does.
  3. National Popcorn Day is in January, yet National Popcorn Month is October. According to tradition, National Popcorn Day is celebrated on January 19th each year. There is some suggestion that Popcorn Day may have been, at one point, tied to the Super Bowl. Also, National Caramel Corn Day is April 7th.
  4. Most of the world’s popcorn is grown in Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Michigan, Missouri, Nebraska, and Ohio.
  5. The first time popcorn was mentioned in a cookbook was in 1846. Some of the popcorn flavorings used during the mid 1800’s include orange & lemon juice, peppermint, honey, vanilla, and molasses & sugar, which later became known as caramel corn!
  6. Native Americans would spread oil on an ear of popcorn and lay it near a fire, causing the kernels to pop while still attached to the ear. It was eaten similar to corn-on-the-cob.
  7. The world’s largest popcorn ball, as measured by the Guinness Book of World Records, is 12 feet in diameter, containing 2,000 pounds of popcorn, 40,000 pounds of sugar, 280 gallons of corn syrup and 400 gallons of water.
  8. Once popped, popcorn kernels will expand over 40 times its original size.
  9. Popcorn went into a slump during the early 1950’s, when television became popular. Attendance at movie theaters dropped and, with it, popcorn consumption. When the public began eating popcorn at home, the new relationship between television and popcorn led to a resurge in popularity.
  10. Microwave popcorn was the first use of microwave heating in the 1940’s. It has already accounted for over $240 million in annual U.S. popcorn sales. Since 1936, popcorn yield in the U.S. has almost doubled.