Popcorn has been known to pop 3 feet into the air.
Oh No You Didn't
Kernels that don't pop are called old maids.
Billion, with a “B”
Americans consume about 1.12 billion pounds of popcorn each year.
Every year, the United States grows nearly 500,000 tons of popcorn.
The first people to discover popcorn might have been the Aztec Indians in the 16th century; they used it as food, and for decorations, necklaces and ornaments.
That's Really, Really Old
In 1948, a team of archeologists discovered a 4,000 year-old cob of popcorn in a cave in New Mexico. It still popped.
Native Americans pounded popcorn into cornmeal and ate it as a confection. They also made popcorn beer and popcorn soup.
Charles Cretors of Chicago introduced the first mobile popcorn-popping machine at the 1893 Columbian Exposition.
Don't Eat It All At Once
The Guinness Book of Records reports that the world's largest popcorn ball measured 12 feet in diameter and weighed 2,000 pounds.
That's Just Flaky
A popped kernel of corn is known as a flake. Flakes that look like protruding wings are called “butterfly” while ball-shaped flakes are called “mushroom.”
Popcorn became wildly popular during the Depression, as it was one of few affordable “luxuries.” Movie theaters quickly capitalized on popcorn's allure, and popcorn-and-a-movie became permanently linked.
Call Us Corny
Commercial corn crops are bred to pop large kernels to fill bags faster; unfortunately, this tinkering has led to a dramatic decrease in the corny, slightly nutty taste that we associate with popcorn.
Our popcorn facts were gleaned from a variety of sources, including:
- Andrew F. Smith. Popped Culture: A Social History of Popcorn in America. Washington: Smithsonian Institution Press, 2001
- Halauer, Arnel R. (2001). Specialty Corns. CRC Press.
- Discover Magazine
- Popcorn Board
- Wyandot Popcorn Museum