On January 19, 2021, just as they have done every January 19 since 1988, people from all over America will come together to celebrate National Popcorn Day. And why not? After all, whether it’s around the campfire or at the cinema, popcorn has been the go-to snack in the Americas for centuries.
Pop! Crunch! Munch!
Though the 16th century Aztecs may have used popcorn in headdresses to honor the god of maize and fertility they called Tlaloc, in 1947, anthropologist Herbert Dick and botanist Earle Smith, found popcorn in a New Mexico dry cave known as the “Bat Cave” that was carbon dated to sometime around 3550 B.C.
In another cave in Utah that is believed to have been inhabited by the Pueblo, a kernel of corn was found that dated back a thousand years.
In the Great Lakes region, French explorers were treated to popcorn by the Iroquois. Spanish explorers were also impressed by this corn that burst into a little white flower.
And talk about “snap, crackle and pop”, early colonists used to eat popcorn like we eat corn flakes today – with a little milk and sugar. Of course, they also enjoyed it as a snack, sometimes even mixing it with a little molasses, much like the kettle corn we know today.
Popcorn Becomes Popular
It wasn’t until the late-nineteenth century, however, that popcorn would be made available to the masses when candy store owner Charles Cretors invented a machine that used steam for popping corn. Up until then, corn was dry-popped over a fire in a basket seasoned by pouring butter over it. However, his usually resulted in the popcorn being burnt and the butter unevenly seasoning the popcorn.
On the other hand, Cretors’ new invention allowed the popcorn to pop in the butter with each kernel being cooked to perfection and seasoned equally throughout. Cretors took his new invention to the 1893 Columbian Exposition in Chicago, and people from all over the world were introduced to popcorn. This crunchy treat became so popular that, by the turn of the century seven years later, the streets of Chicago were full of Cretors’ horse-drawn popcorn wagons.
Also at the expo that year, Louis Rueckheim added peanuts and molasses to popcorn and invented Cracker Jacks. They would later become so popular at baseball games that Jack Norworth and Albert Von Tilzer would mention them in their 1908 song Take Me Out to the Ballgame.
Popcorn would make its way to the movies in 1938. That’s when Glen W. Dickson would be the first theater owner to install popcorn machines in his Midwestern cinemas. Because they paid for themselves in such a short period of time, popcorn machines were soon found in nearly every theater from coast to coast.
Popcorn Comes Home
Today, Americans eat around 17 billion quarts of popcorn each year. You can fill the Empire State Building 18 times with that much popcorn! And now you don’t even have to go to the movies or a baseball game to enjoy this tasty treat. Thanks to Percy Spencer’s invention of the microwave oven in 1947 and the subsequent invention of microwave popcorn in 1981, you can enjoy popcorn anytime of the day and in a variety of flavors from the classic buttered to sweet cake batter flavor of Birthday Cake popcorn.
So, why are we telling you all of this now with National Popcorn Day still days away? Well, of course it’s so you can have plenty of your favorite popcorn from Stuckey’s on hand for this yummy national event. Whether you want to celebrate the day with our classic caramel popcorn or the more festive flavor of Funfetti Celebration, order yours today from stuckeys.com to be sure you get it in time join in on all of the crunchy fun of National Popcorn Day.
Stuckey’s – We’re Making Road Trips Fun Again
Whether your next road trip is by car or by rail, it’s not really a road trip without taking Stuckey’s along. From our world famous Stuckey’s Pecan Log Rolls to our mouthwatering Hunkey Dorey, Stuckey’s has all the road trips snacks you’ll need to get you where you’re going.
For all of the pecany good treats and cool merch you’ll need for your next big road adventure, browse our online store now!
Stuckey’s – We’re Making Road Trips Fun Again!