Today Special : National Popcorn Day
Join us on January 19 as we celebrate National Popcorn Day! Buttered, salted, kettled, drizzled with caramel, popcorn is one of those snacks perfect anytime, anywhere. It’s great on the go, in the theater, or in your living room! Just be prepared to dig some of it out of your teeth.
HISTORY OF NATIONAL POPCORN DAY
Did you know that the corn we eat and the corn we pop are two different varieties of maize? In fact, the corn you’d find on your dinner table is most likely unable to pop at all! Only one variety of corn is able to become popcorn: Zea mays everta. This particular corn variety has small ears, and the kernels burst when exposed to dry heat.
In 1948, small heads of Zea mays everta were discovered by Herbert Dick and Earle Smith in the Bat Cave of west central New Mexico. Ranging from smaller than a penny to about two inches, the oldest Bat Cave ears were about 4,000 years old. Several individually popped kernels were also discovered, which have since been carbon dated and shown to be approximately 5,600 years old.
There’s also evidence of early use of popcorn in Peru, Mexico, and Guatemala, as well as other places in Central and South America. Aztecs used popcorn to decorate their clothes, create ceremonial embellishments, and also for nourishment. Native Americans have also been found to consume and utilize popcorn in their day to day lives.
In a cave in Utah, thought to be inhabited by Pueblo Native Americans, popcorn has been found that dates back to over 1,000 years ago. French explorers who traveled to the new world discovered popcorn being made by the Iroquois Natives in the Great Lakes region. As colonists moved around North America, and as the USA came to be, many people adopted popcorn as a popular and healthy snack.
NATIONAL POPCORN DAY ACTIVITIES
- Make Popcorn Jewelry : Why not make a long necklace for you, friends, family members—even strangers. It will definitely make you the most popular person at the office happy hour.
- Plan a Movie Marathon : Three weeks into January? Chances are you just want to hide and eat comfort food—but, your resolutions. There’s a win-win! Tee up your favorite Star Wars Trilogy (Pro Tip: not the prequels) and pop a big bowl of popcorn. You can enjoy the wisdom of Yoda and keep to your diet. (A little olive oil and salt with the carb-y goodness of the popcorn may just hit the spot!)
- Put on the Popcorn Olympics at Your Office : Popcorn basketball, popcorn air hockey, popcorn relay race? Burn off the pent-up energy gathered from sitting in a chair all day and get competitive with your coworkers. And when you’re feeling a little peckish, munch on some popcorn and keep the fun going!
WHY WE LOVE NATIONAL POPCORN DAY
- It’s Easy and Fast to Make : Whether you’re cooking on the stovetop or in the microwave, popcorn takes a matter of minutes—and you can personalize it with your own favorite toppings: classic butter, spices, and even sriracha! Yum.
- It’s Filling : Popcorn is a whole grain—the starchy inside of the grain has been fluffed with heat and air. The carbohydrates and air add up, making a wonderful snack alternative for those watching their waistline.
- It Comes With Good Memories : Think of the morning matinee with your dad or that sweet (and awkward) first date at the movies. Popcorn tends to be part of festive occasions and meaningful moments.