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Interesting Facts About Popcorn

Some interresting facts about popcorn! We hope you enjoy.

History Facts...

Popcorn Today...

Where Popcorn comes from

What Makes Popcorn Pop?

Why don't we Make Popcorn in Butter?


History Facts

The Arawak and Carib Indians were using popcorn for decorations and food in the West Indies in 1492.

The Aztecs in Mexico adorned in popcorn necklaces and ceremonial headdresses in 1519.

The French explorers in the Great Lakes region watched Iroquois popping corn in pottery crocks with heated sand.

Excavators of the Bat Cave of West Central New Mexico discovered popcorn ears nearly 5,600 years old, according to radio-carbon tests. An 80,000 year old fossil pollen found 200 feet below Mexico City has been identified as corn pollen. In tombs on the east coast of Peru, researchers uncovered 1,000 year old grains of popcorn so well preserved they still pop.

Pottery popcorn poppers dating back to pre-Inca cultures in Peru; an old (300 A.D.) funeral urn in Mexico depicting a Maize god with a popcorn decorated headdress.

Research has proven that the ancestors of most Native American tribes enjoyed popcorn even before the birth of Christ. Some things never change.

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Popcorn Today...

Americans consume 54 quarts per man, woman and child each year. Approximately 70 percent of that is purchased at retail stores in both raw and popped form, and eaten at home.

The remainder pops up almost any place associated with fun, food and fitness -- movie theaters, sporting events, entertainment arenas, amusement parks, and other recreational centers. Kids love popcorn because it tastes good and adults favor popcorn for its nutritional value.

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Where Popcorn comes from

Popcorn is a whole grain maize product. It's grown in the corn belt states of the U.S., where most of the popcorn grown is sold worldwide. It resembles corn-on-the-cob but only popcorn kernels will pop.

Popcorn can be ear-harvested, where the whole ear of corn is cut and stored for eight to 12 months, until the moisture levels in the kernels reach optimum levels. The kernels are then stripped from the cobs and graded to eliminate the ones which are too small to pop efficiently.

Popcorn can be harvested by the combine method where corn cobs are picked and shelled simultaneously. The kernels are dried with hot forced air, packed and distributed for sale.

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What Makes Popcorn Pop?

Popcorn's pops because small amounts of water is stored in a circle of soft starch inside the hard outer casing. When heated, the water expands, creating pressure within, until the casing gives way and the kernels explode. The water escapes as steam, turning the kernels inside out.

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Why don't we Make Popcorn in Butter?

The best popping temperature is between 400 and 460 degrees Fahrenheit. Oil burns at 500 degrees. Any cooking oil works if it can retain the proper temperature. We don't pop popcorn in butter because it doesn't retain the proper temperature.

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