Popcorn Facts

Popcorn Facts
Popcorn is made from heated corn kernels. Popcorn may have existed as far back as 3600 BC, as evidence of its existence at that time in Mexico was discovered. Corn itself was domesticated approximately 9,000 years ago in Mexico. Popcorn was sold in the 19th century in the US as Nonpareil or Pearls. It was first referred to as 'popped corn' in a 1948 dictionary. Popcorn was originally popped manually. In the 1890s a popcorn maker was invented by Charles Cretors which made it possible to pop the corn with steam power. The popcorn business thrived during the Great Depression due to its inexpensive cost. It was during World War II that sugar rations increased the sale of popcorn in movie theaters and it soon became a trend that has continued until today.
Interesting Popcorn Facts:
One of the most famous brands of popcorn - Orville Redenbacher - was launched in 1970.
There are six places in the United States that claim to be 'Popcorn Capital of the World', including North Loup, Nebraska; Marion, Ohio; Schaller, Iowa; Van Buren, Indiana; Valparaiso, Indiana; and Ridgeway, Illinois.
Corn grown for the purposes of making popcorn is mostly grown in Indiana and Nebraska. Texas is also beginning to grow corn specifically for popping.
Popcorn pops because the water and oil naturally contained in the kernel is heated, which creates pressurized steam. The kernel's starch then gelatinizes and becomes soft. When the steam is heated enough the hull reaches its breaking point and explodes. The starch and proteins of the kernel turn into airy foam which is known as popcorn.
The first caramel corn was released in 1893 at the Columbian Exposition. In 1896 the creator's brother altered the original recipe slightly and released Cracker Jack popcorn.
Originally popcorn vendors would pop their popcorn by holding a wire basket over a fire source. When Cretor's popcorn machine was invented it made it possible to pop the corn kernels in oil with steam. This made for a much more evenly popped product.
In China some popcorn vendors use a popcorn hammer, which creates a pressure in the sealed cast-iron canister that explodes all the kernels at once when the lid is released.
Americans consume enough popcorn each year to fill the Empire State Building a total of 18 times.
One quarter of all the popcorn produced in the United States each year is made in Nebraska. This equals roughly 250 million pounds of popcorn.
There is more protein in popcorn than in any other cereal grain.
There is more iron in popcorn than in roast beef or eggs.
Once cup of un-popped popcorn kernels equals approximately 1,600 kernels.
Popcorn is more popular in the United States than in any other country.
Popcorn sales decreased briefly when the TV became a household appliance. Once it became easier to make it at home however sales increased again.
Popcorn kernels were found in 1000 year old tombs in Peru and they are so well preserved that they are still able to be popped.

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