Who Knew? 8 Fascinating Facts About the History of Popcorn

There’s something about popcorn that just screams movie night – it’s the perfect companion to an action flick, horror flick, or anything in between!

But how much do you know about America’s favorite snack? From its ancient roots to the microwave-friendly bags available at your grocery store, here are 8 facts about popcorn that you never knew!

John W. Hanley

Popcorn has been around for centuries and is believed to have originated in Mexico. It was first introduced to the American colonists by the Native Americans, who also taught them how to popped the kernels. Today, popcorn is a popular snack food enjoyed by people all over the world.

Charles Cretors

Inventor of the popcorn machine and thus responsible for bringing popcorn to the masses, Charles Cretors was born in 1832 in Chicago. A foodie at heart, Cretors was always looking for new ways to bring delicious snacks to his fellow Americans. In the early 1880s, he hit upon the idea of using hot air to pop corn and soon created a machine to do just that. His company, C.

George Crum

In 1853, a chef named George Crum was working in a Saratoga Springs resort when a customer sent back his fried potatoes, complaining they were too thick. Crum decided to take revenge by slicing the potatoes thinly and frying them into a delightful crisp. The customer loved them, and the potato chip was born! As for popcorn, Crum is credited with inventing the first flavored variety: salt and vinegar. Today, there are all sorts of delicious popcorn flavors to choose from - perfect for any foodie!

Jiffy Pop

Invented in the late 1950s, Jiffy Pop was a godsend for busy families. Just add a little oil to the pan, pour in the silver pouch of popcorn kernels, give it a shake, and voila! In minutes, you had fresh, hot popcorn. Woo-hoo!

United States Department of Agriculture (USDA)

Did you know that the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) publishes an annual report on popcorn production in the United States? This report includes some pretty cool facts about this popular snack food. For example, did you know that Illinois produces the most popcorn in the country? Or that around 16,000 acres of farmland are devoted to growing popcorn? That's a LOT of acres!

American Popcorn Company

The American Popcorn Company was founded in 1957 by Orville Redenbacher and Charles Bowman. The company became famous for its microwaveable popcorn, which was first introduced in 1985. Today, the company is one of the leading popcorn manufacturers in the United States. Did you know that Orville Redenbacher was actually a real person? He was born on a farm in Indiana and started making popcorn at the age of 12!

Indiana State Fair

The Indiana State Fair...if you're an American, you very well may have heard of it! That's because it's one of the largest and oldest fairs in the country. It started in 1852 as a small agricultural fair and has grown into a huge event that attracts over a million visitors each year. Cool fact: the first person to walk on the moon, Neil Armstrong, was born in Indiana. Fun fact: Popcorn was first introduced to the fair in 1876 and has been a popular snack ever since.

Most Popcorn Ever Eaten in One Sitting

The most popcorn ever eaten in one sitting is 16 gallons. This record was set by Kevin Strahle, also known as L.A. Beast. Strahle is a competitive eater and YouTuber who decided to take on the challenge after seeing a similar feat performed by a circus elephant. Totally insane, and totally awesome! As L.A. Beast would say..."Have a Good Day!"

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