Popcorn Facts & History
HTD CANADA POPCORN COMPANY - Popcorn Facts & History
The oldest ears of popcorn ever found were discovered in the Bat Cave of west central New Mexico in 1948 and 1950.
Ranging from smaller than a penny to about 2 inches, the oldest Bat Cave ears are about 4,000 years old.
Popcorn was integral to early 16th century Aztec Indian ceremonies. Bernardino de Sahagun writes "And also a number of young women danced, having so vowed, a popcorn dance. As thick as tassels of maize were their popcorn garlands. And these they placed upon the girls heads"
In 1519, Cortes got his first sight of popcorn when he invaded Mexico and came into contact with the Aztecs. Popcorn was an important food for the Aztec Indians, who also used popcorn as decoration for ceremonial headdresses, necklaces and ornaments on statues of their gods, including Tlaloc, the god of rain and fertility
Popcorn was very popular from the 1890s until the Great Depression. Street vendors used to follow crowds around, pushing steam or gas-powered poppers through fairs, parks and expositions
Popcorn went into a slump during the early 1950s, when television became popular. Attendance at movie theaters dropped and, with it, popcorn consumption. When the public began eating popcorn at home, the new relationship between television and popcorn led to a resurge in popularity.
Compared to most snack foods, popcorn is low in calories. Air-popped popcorn has only 31 calories per cup. Oil-popped is only 55 per cup
Of the 6 types of maize/corn—pod, sweet, flour, dent, flint, and popcorn—only popcorn pops.
Popcorn is a whole grain. It is made up of three components: the germ, endosperm, and pericarp (also know as the hull).
Popcorn needs between 13.5-14% moisture to pop.
Popcorn differs from other types of maize/corn in that is has a thicker pericarp/hull. The hull allows pressure from the heated water to build and eventually bursts open. The inside starch becomes gelatinous while being heated; when the hull bursts, the gelatinized starch spills out and cools, giving it its familiar popcorn shape.
Most popcorn comes in two basic shapes when its popped snowflake and mushroom. Snowflake is used in movie theaters and ballparks because it looks and pops bigger. Mushroom is used for candy confections because it does not crumble.
How high popcorn kernels can pop Up to 3 feet in the air.
Unpopped popcorn should not be stored in the refrigerator. 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
Popcorn has more protein than any other cereal grain. It also has more iron than eggs or roast beef. It has more fiber than pretzels or potato chips.
The worlds largest popcorn ball was 12 feet in diameter and weighed 5,000 pounds. It required 2,000 pounds of corn, 40,000 pounds of sugar, 280 gallons of corn syrup, and 400 gallons of water
There are about 1,600 popcorn kernels in 1 cup.
Unpopped popcorn kernels are called "spinsters" or "old maids." Quality popcorn should produce 98% popped kernels with under 2% being spinsters.
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. It is also rich in antioxidants (polyphenols). Most of the nutrients are found in the "hull" or shell rather than the fluffy, white part. However, popcorn that has too much butter, oil, or salt compromises its health benefits.
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