When you walk into a movie theater, what’s the first snack you reach for when you visit the refreshment counter? Nine times out of ten, the choice is popcorn. Other times it’s the Sno-Caps and popcorn combo (don’t knock it till you try it). Popcorn has become the favorite snack of Americans due to its versatility and the blank canvas that lends itself to a wide variety of flavor combinations to enhance the experience.
From sweet caramel popcorn to zingy cheese popcorn, there are dozens of flavors of popcorn to explore. However, many consumers don’t know that popcorn has such a long and fun-filled history. Below are 20 unique facts about popcorn you probably didn’t know!
Historical Facts about Popcorn
When it comes to sifting through the different perfect popcorn facts out there, starting with the history of the humble and ever-popular snack is the way to go. Its history reaches back far into the early days of humanity and shows how far it has come.
Popcorn has a long and storied history as a go-to snack for people through the ages. As cooking methods have evolved over time, this tried and true movie snack has remained a staple in diets across the world. Some fun historical facts about the humble popcorn include:
1. Popcorn is over 5,000 years old.
2. Microwaveable popcorn was first introduced in 1945.
3. In the early 1900s, popcorn received a ban from cinemas. This ban was thought to have been implemented because popcorn made such a large mess on the theatre floors.
4. Americans began eating 3x more popcorn during World War II due to the country’s sugar shortage.
Popcorn’s versatility has enabled people to incorporate it into their more health-conscious diets. As different global and societal conditions have affected the type of snacks and food people can generate, popcorn has remained a resilient option for people to turn to in times of crisis.
Physical Facts About Popcorn
Taking the unpopped corn kernels by themselves, they don’t seem that impressive at first glance. However, diving into the science of cooking and seeing how popcorn gets made helps shine a light on the popular snack. Some of the physical facts about popcorn include:
5. Popcorn can expand to three times the size of the kernel when popped.
6. The ideal temperature for popping popcorn is about 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
7. Popcorn kernels can pop up to three feet in the air.
8. You should never keep unpopped popcorn in the fridge because refrigeration removes the kernels’ moisture.
Understanding what makes popcorn unique from other popular choices helps inform people about their favorite snacks’ ins and outs. These facts can help people learn how to make their personal supply of popcorn and what to expect when they start. Also, some of these facts can come in handy for your next game of Quizzo!
Nutritional Facts About Popcorn
We’ve talked about how popcorn can become an essential part of people’s diets as they seek healthier snack alternatives. While people should consult a nutritionist and read ingredient labels when considering something for their diet, these facts about popcorn can help make a case for their inclusion in your diet plan:
9. Compared to other snacks, popcorn is low in both calories and fat.
10. Popcorn doesn’t contain gluten, making it an excellent choice for men and women who have dietary restrictions or choose a gluten-free diet.
11. If you want to get a full serving of protein eating popcorn, you’d have to consume three cups of popcorn.
Miscellaneous Fun Facts About Popcorn
Now that we covered the historical, physical, and nutritional facts about popcorn, we can now get into the strange, mind-boggling, and fun facts about America’s favorite snack food! Popcorn has become an essential part of the American experience; these are some of the best random fun facts about the humble snack food:
12. Popcorn is the official state snack of Illinois.
13. Despite this status, Nebraska produces more popcorn than any other state.
14. January 19th is National Popcorn Day.
15. Some companies refer to unpopped kernels as “old maids” or “spinsters.”
16. Most movie theaters earn more profit from popcorn sales than ticket sales.
17. The world’s largest popcorn ball weighed about 5,000 pounds.
18. Americans eat about 17 billion quarts of popcorn a year.
19. October is the national Popping Popcorn Month.
20. Orville Redenbacher’s produces the number one selling popcorn globally — but is it the “best darn” popcorn in the world? We’re not so sure.
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