Popcorn is one of Americans’ favorite snack foods, so it’s no wonder those kernels have their own holiday. Today, January 19th, marks National Popcorn Day, and what better way to celebrate it than to indulge in the irresistible treat.
Light, fluffy, and jam-packed with flavor, popcorn has been a popular snack-time favorite for centuries. Although commonly associated with movie theaters and sports stadiums, more than 70 percent of popcorn is consumed in the home, and the United States leads the world in annual popcorn production and consumption. Only one type of corn—popcorn—has that distinctive ability to pop, and the popping occurs when the kernel is heated to a temperature of nearly 350 degrees. The high temperature affects the starch and moisture inside the kernel, increasing the internal pressure until the hull of the kernel bursts open and voila! Popcorn!
Fun Facts About the Popular Snack
1519 – Explorer Hernán Cortés is introduced to popcorn while exploring Mexico
1893 – At the World’s Columbian Exposition, Charles Cretors introduces the world’s first mobile popcorn machine.
1914 – The American Pop Corn Company, maker of Jolly Time popcorn, is founded.
1930s – Depression-era families turn to popcorn as a budget-friendly treat.
1944 – Orville Redenbacher begins growing popcorn.
1945 – Percy Spencer and the Raytheon Manufacturing Company file a patent for the microwave cooking process.
1945 – Movie theater consumptions accounts for more than half of all popcorn eaten in the United States.
1959 – Frederick C. Mennen begins marketing Jiffy Pop in a convenient aluminum foil stove-top cooking pan.
1978 – The hot-air popcorn popper is invented and allows consumers to prepare low-calorie, low-fat popcorn at home.
1983 – Microwave popcorn bags become widely available and produce $53 million in retail sales.
2003 – Jolly Time produces its 1 billionth bag of microwave popcorn.
2014 – Americans annually consume 16 billion quarts of popcorn
Today, we rely heavily on microwaveable popcorn, which was introduced in the 1980s.
Corny Facts About Popcorn
. The top popcorn-producing states are Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Michigan, Missouri, Nebraska and Ohio.
. Most of the popcorn consumed worldwide is grown in the U.S.
. If stored correctly, popcorn kernels can last for millennia. Archeologists have unearthed kernels that are still popable in ancient Peruvian tombs.
. Popcorn is packed with healthy fats, antioxidants, vitamin E, vitamin B and protein. It also contains about 1 gram of fiber per cup, which has more iron than an egg.
. When eaten plain (without any butter, that is), popcorn accounts for just 30 calories per cup.
There’s nothing better than fresh, homemade popcorn.
1/4 cup of coconut or canola oil
2/3 cup of popcorn kernels
3 tablespoons of butter
The best thing about making your own popcorn is you can add whatever flavors you like. There are dozens and dozens of flavors, from anise to watermelon. Here’s a sampling:
Here are some ideas to add a “Zing” to your popped corn:
The National Active and Retired Federal Employees Associations or (NARFE) selected Ranch Events to cater their Holiday lunch. Thanks to Event Planner, Ramon Salido, NARFE was extremely happy with their event. They were so pleased with the food and service, Ramon received a gracious email that stated the following:
Thank you for providing an excellent catering service at our Holiday Luncheon. The food was great, the presentation was very nice as the tables were decorated in red table throws with complimentary green napkins, and we got some 110 people (seniors, who tend to be a bit persnickety) served in 25 minutes. We did have two carvers (as requested) and Scott’s suggestions, the Event Captain, on the line layout were right on. Many thanks to Scott and his crew. We will be using Scott’s layout for next year so the luncheon service should run even smoother.