Astonishing Facts on Popcorn!

America loves popcorn. We eat over 16 billion quarts per year. Every man, woman and child enjoy 65 quarts of popcorn each. Popcorn is a whole grain snack with only 55 caloies per cup. If you use an air popper it has 31 calories. Popcorn is a good snack for you too!

Popcorn's scientific name is Zea Mays Everta . Popcorn is a member of the grass family. It is a type of corn or maize. There are 5 types of corn. They are Flour, Dent or Field, Flint, Sweet and popcorn. Popcorn is the only type that pops. The moisture in the kernals makes it pop. That level of moisture is between 13 to 13 1/2 percent.

Popcorn comes in two different types. Mushroom and Snowflake. Most concession poppers use the Snowflake. The Snowflake pops up fluffier and looks better. Most candy makers use the Mushroom variety. The Mushroom type holds up to handling and takes the candy coating better.There are 700 known varieties of popcorn.

Kettle corn was intoduced to the settlers in the early 1700's. They would pop it in large cast iron kettles. The settlers used lard and what ever sweetner they had on hand. Mostly they used molasses, sugar cane or honey.

Kettle corn that you see being popped at county fairs and farmers market is one of the hottest ways to make money using popcorn. It has a very low overhead and an extremely high profit margin. Sometimes you can recover your initial investment in a few shows.

Mr. Perry Spencer is credited with discovering microwave popcorn in 1945. He discovered that when popcorn was placed near a microwave it would pop. This led the way to the development of the microwave oven.

The oldest known popcorn was found in Bat cave in west New Mexico in 1948. The ears of popcorn were as small as a penny to over 2 inches long.

Popcorn was very popular during the great depression in the 1890's . It was sold in bags for 5 to 10 cents each. Street vendors would follow the crowds pushing their gas and steam powered poppers selling them popcorn.This was a luxury few people could enjoy. Many people started their own popcorn businesses to help their families during the lean times.

Popcorn sales dropped off when the television became popular in the 1950's. Movie theater attendance and the consumption of popcorn dropped too when the public started making popcorn at home. Home poppers were introduced in 1925.

January 19 is National Popcorn Day!
April 7th is Caramel Popcorn Day!
October is National Popcorn Popping Month!

Native Americans would pop their popcorn on the cob. They would stick a skewer through the cob and hold it over an open flame causing the popcorn to pop right on the cob.

The English colonists ate popcorn at the first Thanksgiving feast in Plymouth, Massachusetts. It was brought as a gift by the chief's brother. The colonists ate the popcorn with milk and sugar. This is the first known breakfast cereal.

Popcorn is low in calories along with apples, pears, cheese, nuts and plain yougurt. It is listed as a sugar free snack by the American Dental Association.

For weight control, The American Diabetes Association uses popcorn as a bread exchange. It provdes the the necessary roughage and fiber to aid in digestion and the overall health of the body. Popcorn provides 1.3 grams of dietary fiber needed.

The unpopped kernals are called "old maids" or "spinsters". Good popcorn should produce less than 2 percent of "old maids". Popcorn kernals will start popping at the temperature of 347 degrees. Popcorn can pop as high as 3 feet.

Popcorn contains more protein, iron and phosphorus than potato chips, an ice crean cone, pretzels or soda crackers.

Popcorn comes in many different flavors in different parts of the world. Germany, Luxemburg, Switzerland and Belgium love sweet popcorn. The rest of Europe prefers salty popcorn. Americans love it with salt and butter and a host of sweet coatings. The Japanese eat their popcorn with seaweed or shrimp flavorings.

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