Who Popped the Corn?
Is there a snack food you never get tired of? For my cute husband that food is popcorn. I learned quickly when we were first married that making popcorn in our home meant you better have a BIG bowl. I wish there was a real Harry Potter spell that could make a bowl continuously fill over and over. He has a great talent and art of shoveling in the popcorn like a pro. So, needless to say after four years of marriage we’ve gone through many a popcorn kernels. To me popcorn is a food that holds memories.
Growing up we had the special microwave popcorns once in a while but we had an ancient popcorn popping machine that was pulled out on movie nights and filled many a bowl. I loved pouring in the hard kernels with the special cup and watching them fall into the deep pit. Then you would sit and listen. First the popcorn kernels would start to wiggle and jump and then a chorus of pops would lead to a flood of popped corn falling out of the machine into a giant bowl. I love the memories of making popcorn as a kid. Now with my little family we make it on the stove in a whirlypop machine that you have to spin to get your corn popped. It’s been fun to try different oils to pop it in and see what flavor it adds. Our favorite to cook our kernels with is coconut oil. It adds an awesome flavor and you don’t really have to add anything else to it. Except I am kind of a salt snob and always like a little salt kick on there. What method do you use to get your popcorn bowls filled? There are quite a variety of ways to pop corn.
In the beginning days of this great snack it was roasted over a classic fire. The oldest popcorn ever found to date was discovered in the "Bat Cave" of central New Mexico. It is thought to be about 5,600 years old. Incredibly in tombs in Peru, archaeologists found ancient kernels of popcorn that are so well preserved that they can still pop. This snack has been around quite a while it seems. Corn was first domesticated in Mexico 9,000 years ago and it is speculated that popcorn was introduced to the pre-Columbian North America by the Iroquois. During the Great Depression, popcorn was fairly inexpensive at 5–10 cents a bag and became popular. Thus, while other businesses failed, the popcorn business thrived and became a source of income for many struggling farmers. During World War II, sugar rations diminished candy production, and Americans compensated by eating three times as much popcorn as they had before. The snack became popular at theaters, much to the initial displeasure of many of the theater owners. But once poppers were installed in theater lobbies and the venture was a financial success the trend soon spread.
Now one can’t think of a theatre without popcorn, right! I love hearing the history behind a food, and popcorn sure has a fun one. It’s neat to think that this beloved snack may have been eaten in the jungles of South America thousands of years ago and we still enjoy it today. We definitely have a lot more option nowadays with how we make it and what flavors we try it in. There are candy shops dedicated to popcorn now and they can come up with the craziest tastes. You’ve got the classics like chocolate, caramel or butter, but then there are pickle flavored, or cake batter and all types. What are some toppings or flavors you like to add to your popcorn? My favorite, besides just a classic salt, is a good caramel corn. But I have also really enjoyed trying to add different spices and such to create our own combo.
Try making Personalized Popcorn for your family. Mix together your favorite herbs, spices and other seasonings to create one-of-a-kind blends, then funnel them into salt shakers. When it’s snack time, just toss popcorn with melted butter or olive oil and your special family seasoning mix to taste. (Tip: If your mix contains anything fresh, like grated cheese or citrus zest, slip a piece of parchment or wax paper over the shaker, then screw on the lid and store in the fridge.) These make great gifts as well to give friends or a new neighbor. A personalized popcorn kit is sure to be a hit. I’d love to hear what your favorites are, comment below with your popping good ideas for this great snack! I’d love to get more ideas for this snack I make in bucket loads for my little family.
Monthly Newsletter Contributor since 2015
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