Posted on Leave a comment

How was Popcorn Invented?

Popcorn Today many people enjoy the taste of popcorn, but few ever think about where it first came from, right? How was popcorn invented?

Popcorn comes from corn– a large grain plant first domesticated by people in Mexico about 10,000 years ago. How and why does the corn pop? Well, corn has little kernels that normally have hard outer shells. However, when you heat the kernel, moisture within the kernel gets steamy and bursts the outer shell. The soft inner flake inside the kernel is then released and you’ve got edible popcorn.

While popcorn probably existed thousands of years ago if and when our ancestors heated up their corn over fires, modern day popcorn in America got its start in the early 1800s. As the Midwest grew, with more and more people moving there to farm the land, corn became a major crop of the region. In addition, thanks to steel plows, the soil was “worked” to help make it suitable for crops like corn and more. Soon, the Midwest was full of farms. In the 1820s, popcorn became a commodity, sold as “Pearl” or “Nonpareil” in parts of the United States. It wasn’t until the 1840s that popcorn became pretty common as a snack for people, perhaps aided by write-ups in magazines of the time.

You know how every year it seems like a new bunch of words make it into the dictionary? Back in 1848, “popcorn” made it into Bartlett’s Dictionary of Americanisms. Since corn makes a popping noise when it pops, the name popcorn made sense… and still does.

Eventually the corn “popper” became popular. It was a device made of a box, wire gauze, and long handle. The popper allowed the masses to put kernels in a wire box and hold it over an open flame, making their own popcorn.

Of course, all sorts of variations developed, from “Cracker Jack” to the beloved “movie popcorn” sold in theaters.

Miracle Strip Popcorn of Fort Walton Beach rents and sells popcorn machines and carts, as well as the things that go along with making popcorn, like oils, seasonings, and packaging. If you would like to have tasty popcorn at your next event for guests to enjoy, call 850-864-1139.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.