Did you know that Americans eat 13 billion quarts of popcorn each year? Now I’m not a mathematician but that sounds like a lot of Popcorn. So it should come as no surprise that the US has a day dedicated to popcorn.
January 19th is National Popcorn Day in the United States of America. Popcorn dates back to the 16th century but didn’t become popular in the US until the late 1800’s. Believe it or not, popcorn started out in the US as a popular breakfast food. Ella Kellogg (sound familiar?) enjoyed her popcorn ground with milk or cream. John Harvard Kellogg stayed popcorn was a wholesome and easily digestible food. I could be wrong but I think they were on to something. Popcorn was the inspiration for many cereals to come.
Wonder where popcorn comes from? Popcorn producing states are Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Michigan Mississippi, Nebraska and Ohio.
Popcorn has been used as a holiday decoration. People decorated their Christmas trees with popcorn and even gave popcorn balls as gifts.
Popcorn didn’t become a movie theater treat until the 1920’s. Before this time, theaters didn’t sell popcorn because it was too messy. Popcorn vendors outside of the theaters would sell popcorn to people going into the theater and theater owners soon followed suit once they realized how popular it was. Popcorn has become a good staple for moviegoers, whether in the theater or at home. Whenever we have movie night at home, we pop a bag of popcorn. It is funny how we always have a box of microwave popcorn in my house and only touch it when we watch a movie.
The popcorn business thrived even during the Great Depression as it was an affordable treat.
As I mentioned earlier, popcorn dates back to the 16th century. Aztec Indians used popcorn in ceremonies, where women would wear popcorn garlands upon their head. Peruvian Indians in the 17th century toasted a type of corn until it burst. Kernels of popcorn were found in burial grounds in coastal northern Chile where it was so well preserved it could still be popped even though they were over a thousand years old.