It is said that popcorn originated in Mexico. The oldest ears of corn were found in a bat cave in west central Mexico in 1948. Cachise Indians who date back to 2,500 B.C. are thought to have grown and eaten corn. A funeral urn dating back to 300 A.D. also shows a picture of a corn god with a primitive head-dress on.
Popcorn was first introduced to English colonists at the first Thanksgiving feast in Plymouth, Massachusetts. It was brought as a goodwill gift by one of the chief's brothers. The colonists then thought of eating it with milk and sugar and this was what came to be known as the breakfast cereal. At this time, there were more than 700 varieties of this snack.
When Columbus first arrived in the West Indies he noticed that the natives there were eating popcorn and were using it for decoration too. When Mexico was invaded by the Cortes in 1519, they discovered that this snack was important to the Aztecs too. It was used for decorating their ceremonial head-dresses, necklaces as well as for food.
According to the USDA website, 1.0 oz popcorn has the following nutrients.
|Total Lipid||1.29 g|
|Total Dietary Fiber||4.1 g|
|Total Saturated Fatty Acids||0.162 g|
|Total Monounsaturated Fatty Acids||0.312 g|
|Total Polyunsaturated Fatty Acids||0.539 g|
- Popcorn is scientifically known as Zea mays everta.
- The ones do not pop are called "old maids."
- When popped, popcorn kernels can reach a height of 3 feet.
- "Popability" is a term coined for the percentage of kernels that pop.
- The bulk is eaten at home.
- Around 17 quarts of this whole grain is consumed by Americans.
- There are six types of corn - pod, sweet, flour, dent, flint and popcorn. Out of these only popcorn pops.
- It is low in calories as compared to other snacks. A cup of air-popped popcorn would have 31 calories and a cup of oil-popped only 55 per cup.
- Most of it in the U.S. is grown in the Midwest, Nebraska, Ohio, Illinois, Iowa, Kentucky and Missouri.
- When popped, it comes in two basic shapes - Snowflake and Mushroom. Snowflake is bigger and pops better too, that is the reason it is used in movie theaters and ballparks. Mushroom is used for candy confectioners, as it does not crumble.
- Most microwave ovens have a popcorn button too, this just goes on to prove how much people like popcorn.
- The Guinness book of records have recorded the world's largest popcorn ball weighing 3,423 lb (1,552.64 kg) and it was made by employees at The Popcorn Factory, Lake Forest, Illinois, USA on 29 September 2006.
- The largest popcorn festival is the Marion Popcorn Festival. This festival attracts over two hundred thousand people. The American Bus Association have named it one of the top 100 Events.
- The largest restored popcorn antiques can be found in the Wyandot Popcorn Museum, which was first opened in September 1982.
- National Popcorn Day is celebrated on the 19th January.
- Caramel Popcorn Day is celebrated on the 7th of April.
- National Popcorn Poppin' Month is celebrated in October.
So come on....let us celebrate by popping some corn!!