Amazing Facts Popcorn

35 Amazing and Interesting Facts about Popcorn | Amazing Facts 4U 

  1. Evidence in Peru suggests that popcorn existed as early as 4700 B.C., making it one of the oldest forms of corn. The oldest ears of popcorn ever found came from New Mexico.
  2. The Aztecs used popcorn during ceremonies. Several young women would dance a “popcorn dance” with popcorn garlands on their heads. They also used popcorn as decoration for ceremonial headdresses, necklaces, and ornaments on statues of their gods.
  3. Grains of popcorn around 1,000 years old have been found in tombs in Peru. The kernels are so well preserved that they can still be popped.
  4. A 1,000-year-old popped kernel of popcorn was found in a dry cave in the southwestern part of Utah.
  5. Christopher Columbus allegedly introduced popcorn to the Europeans in the late 15th century.
  6. Americans eat more popcorn than any other country eating so much popcorn every year that this would fill the Empire State Building 18 times. By volume, popcorn is America’s favorite snack food.
  7. While other businesses failed during the Great Depression, the popcorn business thrived. Popcorn sold at around 5 to 10 cents a bag, making it one of the more affordable treats for poor families.
  8. Nebraska produces an estimated 1,20,000 Tons of popcorn per year more than any other state which is about 25% of all the popcorn the produced in USA every year.
  9. Popcorn is the official snack of Illinois and annual “Popcorn Day” on January 19th is observed every year since 1958.
  10. Popcorn is a healthy snack for diabetics and can be exchanged for bread especially for weight control.
  11. Unpopped popcorn should not be stored in the refrigerator as the refrigerator will dry out the moisture in the kernels. Without the moisture, popcorn will not pop. The ideal place to store popcorn is in a cool, dry cupboard.
  12. Popcorn kernels have been found to pop up to 3 feet in the air.
  13. Popcorn has more protein than any other cereal grain. It also has more iron than eggs or roast beef. It has more fiber than potato chips.
  14. Popcorn has more phosphorus, protein, and iron than ice cream cone or potato chips.
  15. Popped popcorn comes in two shapes: “snowflake” or “mushroom.” Because “snowflake” shaped popcorn is bigger, movie theaters typically sell that shape.
  16. Popcorn has been sold in theaters since 1912. It has been a big money maker as it is generally overpriced. In movie theaters, for every dollar spent on popcorn, about 90 cents is profit.
  17. Unpopped popcorn kernels are called “spinsters” or “old maids.” Quality popcorn should produce 98% popped kernels with under 2% being spinsters.
  18. There are two possible explanations for “spinsters” or “old maids”. The first is that they didn’t contain sufficient moisture (Ideal moisture 13.5%) to create an explosion; the second is that their outer coating (the hull) was damaged, so that steam escaped gradually, rather than with a pop.
  19. Popcorn is made up of both yellow and white kernels but only about 1 in 10 kernels are white.
  20. Approximately 70% of popcorn sold in America is eaten in the home. The other 30% is eaten in theaters, stadiums, school, etc.
  21. Autumn is the peak time for popcorn consumption, followed by the winter months. Popcorn sales taper off during the spring and summer.
  22. There are six major maize types: pod corn, sweet corn, flour corn, dent corn, flint corn, and popcorn. Popcorn kernels come in three shapes: rice, pearl, and South American. Most commercial popcorn is the pearl type. The major trait shared by all types of popcorn kernels is their ability to explode and create a flake when kernels are exposed to heat.
  23. Popcorn “pop” because of moisture in it. A kernel of popcorn when heated, turns water into steam and the kernels “pop.” Popcorn maize is different than many other grains because its shell is not water permeable, making it possible for pressure to build up until the kernel finally explodes.
  24. The ideal popping temperature for popcorn is 400-460° Fahrenheit. A kernel will pop, on average, when it reaches 347° Fahrenheit (175 degrees Celsius). At this temperature the pressure reaches about 60 Kg per square inch and the kernel explodes.
  25. There is no such thing as “hull-less” popcorn. All popcorn needs a hull in order to pop. Some varieties of popcorn have been bred so the hull shatters upon popping, making it appear to be hull-less.
  26. The world’s oldest known popper, a shallow vessel with a handle and hole on top was designed around A.D. 300. American businessman Charles Cretors invented large-scale commercial popcorn machines in 1893 which was presented at World’s Fair in Chicago.
  27. Home poppers were first introduced around 1925.
  28. In 1945, Percy Spencer discovered that when popcorn was placed under microwave energy, it popped. This led to experiments with other foods, and the birth of the microwave oven.
  29. Popcorn kernels, like those of all cereal, have three major components: the germ or embryo, the endosperm, and the outer hull called the pericarp.
  30. Popped corn contains large amounts of protein, vitamins, and minerals. Among other health benefits, popped corn helps build bones and muscle tissues and assists in digestion.
  31. Amazingly most of the nutrients are found in the “hull” or shell rather than the fluffy, white part.
  32. A single portion of popcorn contains more antioxidants called “polyphenols” than all the fruit and vegetables most people eat in a day. A serving of popcorn provides up to 300 mg polyphenols in contrast to 115 mg for a serving of sweet corn and 160 mg for all fruits per serving.
  33. Popcorn is a whole grain snack with only 55 calories per cup. If you use an air popper it has just 31 calories. To get a full serving of whole grains, you need to eat three full cups. Popcorn is high in fiber, very low in fat, and contains no salt or sugar or Sodium. oil is often added during preparation and butter, sugar, and salt are all popular toppings which may compromise nutritional quality.
  34. One cup of popcorn provides the 1.3 grams of dietary fiber needed.
  35. If you laid popcorn kernels end to end from coast to coast beginning in New York City and ending in Los Angeles, it would take more than 350 million popped kernels to span the distance.

By Amazing Facts 4U Team

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