Popcorn, Anyone?

 

I don’t know why in all the stories I’ve published that I’ve never written about popcorn until this Christmas book I’m writing. A great oversight on my part!

Anyway, I’ve done some research and what I found is interesting.

Even though popcorn is grown on ears, it’s very different altogether from sweet or field corn. The hull of popcorn is just the right thickness to allow it to burst open. Inside each kernel of popcorn is a small droplet. It needs between 13.5-14% moisture to pop. Don’t ask me how it gets the water inside there.

All I know is that the water turns to steam when heated and pressure builds.

 

 

The oldest ears of popcorn were found in a cave in New Mexico in 1948. The oldest found there were 4,000 years old, so it’s been around an awfully long time.

The Aztecs used popcorn in their ceremonies, decorations, and dances. It was an important food for them as well. When Spanish explorers invaded Mexico, they were astounded by these little exploding kernels of corn.

In South America, popcorn was found in 1,000 year old burial grounds and was so well-preserved it still popped.

Long before corn flakes made an appearance, Ella Kellogg ate ground popped popcorn with milk every morning for breakfast. Her husband, John Kellogg, praised popcorn as being easily digested and highly wholesome. I don’t know if I’d want it in a bowl with milk.

 

 

In Victorian times, popcorn decorated fireplace mantels, doorways, and Christmas trees. Kids used to string popcorn and cranberries and was often the only thing on trees unless paper ornaments.

 

 

Here are some Corny facts:

Today, Americans consume 15 billion quarts of popped popcorn yearly.

Most of the popcorn consumed throughout the world comes from the U.S.

Major states producing it are Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Michigan, Missouri, Nebraska, and Ohio.

National Popcorn Day is January 19th or whatever day the Superbowl falls on.

* * *

Darn, I’m itching to go to the movies! I can smell the popcorn now.

So, I’ve just added a scene in my Christmas book where my heroine pops popcorn for two little kids and they also string some to decorate with. In case you’re curious, the title of the book is A Cowboy Christmas Legend. Look for it September 2021.

Okay, your turn. How much popcorn do you eat? And what is the most surprising fact you learned?

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Here in the Texas Panhandle, we do love our cowboys. There's just something about a man in a Stetson and jeans that makes my heart beat faster. I'm not much of a cook but I love to do genealogy and I'm a bit of a rock hound. I'm also a NY Times & USA Today bestselling author of historical western romance. You can contact me through my website and I'd love to connect with you on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and more. HAPPY READING!
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53 thoughts on “Popcorn, Anyone?”

    • Good morning, Denise! I’m so happy you came by. I really love popcorn. Just the smell of it makes my mouth water even if I’m full. There’s something about that smell that I can’t resist. Have a blessed day.

    • Good morning, Laura! Exactly. Me too. Before this I was astounded to learn that popcorn grows on cobs. I had no idea where it came from. So funny. I don’t think I ever really thought about it. And that the Aztecs grew it so thousands of years ago blew my mind. Glad you enjoyed my post.

    • I love the smell of popcorn, more than I like the taste. My favorite flavors are white cheddar and caramel. I had no idea popcorn was thousands of years old. Wow! Thanks for the info, Linda. Looking forward to reading your Christmas story.

  1. Good morning Linda. I’m with you about the movies, some popcorn, and an awesome show. I sure miss that.
    I eat a little popcorn, but not like Rob, he usually eats popcorn about 4 times a week.
    I remember my Granny Lucas used to heat up her Cast iron skillet and pop it for us when we spent the night with her. Wow, I had forgotten about that, so thanks for the trip down memory lane.
    It’s amazing all the treats made out of popcorn nowadays during the Christmas holidays.
    Ok, it’s early in the morning, but now I’m craving movie popcorn, with of course, extra butter.
    I can’t wait until your Christmas book, darn sept 2021 seems like a lifetime away.
    Love you my sister friend.

    • Good morning, Miss Tonya! I’m so glad to see you. That popcorn smell is so loud and it draws you, no matter if you’ve just eaten. I don’t know what it is about that smell. I never had any cooked in a cast iron skillet but oh man! I bet that’s so good. I never had much popcorn growing up. Don’t know why. It’s certainly pretty cheap. The holidays really do bring out the popcorn recipes. While I was doing my research on popcorn, I saw a recipe for cookies. They looked like chocolate chip cookies when baked. I really love popcorn balls. Very yummy. It’s a very versatile treat.

      I can hear your groan about the Christmas book. That is a quite a ways out. It’ll give you something to look forward to though. 🙂

      Love you dearly, sister friend!

  2. My all time favorite snack is movie popcorn with extra butter. I buy the largest one so I can refill after movie and eat it. Love learning new things and I can smell it now. Have a blessed day and can’t wait for your book.

  3. I love popcorn but not suppose to eat it. I do sometimes anyway.When you get older with stomach issues they tell you not to do a lot of things but you just don’t stick with their orders at least I don’t.

  4. We love popcorn in our house. So much so, that we grew popping corn last summer! We have buckets full of it now!

    • Hi, Susan P! How amazing that you grew your own popcorn! Wow! That’s an idea and if you got an overabundance, you could sell it. Thanks for coming. I hope you have a blessed day.

  5. I eat popcorn on a weekly basis. I even have it for lunch on occasion. I knew a lot of what you presented except I had not realized which states produce popcorn.

    • Hi Janinecatmom! I’m happy you liked my post and maybe learned something as well. Speaking for myself, I never gave it much thought either. Actually had no idea where it came from. Have a blessed day.

  6. we eat it a lot and Indiana is where much is grown!! Some of the bigger companies are just north of where I live – I love the blue or red since it is mostly without hulls!

    • Hi Teresa F! I’m so happy to see you. Yes, you do indeed live in a popcorn state. I’m sure it’s a money-making crop since we’re the only country growing it to speak of. We don’t get the colored popcorn here but I have seen it other places. Nice to know it doesn’t have a lot of hulls. Sending love and blessings your way.

  7. I don’t eat that much but my husband does. If I do it usually has chocolate or peanut butter on it. I personally don’t think popcorn is easy to digest. Thats the fact I find surprising. Thank you for sharing.

    • Hi, Charlene! Thanks for coming, lady. I don’t know if Mr. Kellogg was an authority on the digestive qualities. I think he just saw that as a selling tool. Popcorn is probably really good with chocolate on it. I’ll have to find some. Have a blessed day!

  8. Good morning MS. Linda! I love popcorn but I haven’t been eating it much since the pandemic. You may wonder what the pandemic has to do with it, right? My normal popcorn consumption would normally be a, “that’s what I want for lunch” kind of meal. Since my daughter has been home since early March and I’ve been fixing more meals than I normally would I just haven’t fixed popcorn. I miss going to the movie and eating popcorn. It will be a long time until I do that though. Our theatre in Palestine has opened 50% capacity and only a small percentage of showing per day compared to normal because of extensive cleaning regimens between shows. I haven’t thought to check and see what has been going on at the theatre in Athens. I bet the popcorn industry has really been adversely affected by the pandemic and I hadn’t even thought about that until now. Can you imagine the losses they’ve sustained because of movie theaters being shut down and low capacity for so long. I bet this is where a lot of crop dumping came in due to lack of storage space. Maybe Americans have been better than me about eating popcorn at home. I’m sure if I had little ones it would be a regular snack! Oh my, seeing Legend in the title of your Christmas book gave me goosebumps! I can’t wait!

    • Hey, Miss Steph! Oh man, I miss going to the theater! It’s been so long. Wish I was close enough to a drive in kind. I take spurts in making popcorn. But I do love it.

      Yes, I have a new generation of Legends coming. The first one is Gracie’s and the Christmas one is about Sam Jr. Each one so far has been very different.And of course their dads have to make an appearance. Should be fun! Blessings to you and your daughters.

  9. Welcome. Wow that surprises me how long it has been around. We used to have popcorn once a week. Once a week we would have family movie night along with hot dogs and a drink and of course popcorn. Now it is just my husband and I, My husband still has it once a week, but I cant do grains anymore, so while he eats his popcorn (and yes I love the smell – torture) I eat my fruit like a good girl

    • Hi Lori! You are being a really good girl! I just can’t resist that smell. I’m glad you enjoyed my post and learned something as well. Blessings and love!

  10. Linda, Have you tried Skinny Pop? It’s yummy. I haven’t eaten popcorn is a long time. Thank you for this in interesting post.

    • Hi Jlamb1964! Thank you so much for coming. I’m glad you enjoyed my post. Hey, if we only ate what was good for us we’d hate eating period. There would be no point, no enjoyment. I think we deserve to feel special. Have a blessed day!

  11. Linda, that is so interesting. I didn’t think about them having popcorn so far back to ancient times! Growing up, we had an old pressure cooker with an old battered tin lid that Mom used when she made popcorn–no pressure, just this old lid placed on top of the pressure cooker. Dad had that down to a fine art–I think that was probably the only thing he ever ‘cooked’ until he got older and learned to make a meat patty and Ore Ida potatoes for dinner. LOL Anyhow, I found out after I was grown that my uncle used to grow popcorn here in OK. I never even KNEW there was such a specialized variety of corn for popping–guess I just never thought about it, or believed it was something they did in the processing of “regular” corn. The things we learn in life, huh? LOL I love popcorn, especially at the movies. I will sit and eat a huge bucket of it there. My guilty pleasure. I love caramel popcorn too, like “Fiddle-Faddle” –I had a recipe for that but never did make it as I’m the only one in my family that likes the caramel version. This was a really interesting post.

    • Hi Cheryl! Wow, you uncle grew it and you didn’t know! Like you, I thought they did something special to regular corn. I didn’t know it was it’s own brand of corn. There’s nothing better than popcorn and a movie. Just love it and pray we can do it again soon. Love and hugs, Filly Sister!

  12. I eat it once in a blue moon… I am surprised that finding it still able to pop after sitting in a burial site that long…

    • Hi Colleen! It’s great to see you, lady! I’m so glad you came. That popcorn in that burial site for a thousand years and still popped just blew my mind. Amazing! Sending blessings and love.

  13. Hello dear friend Ms Linda. I really enjoyed the blog. Interesting info about popcorn that I never knew or thought about! When I was growing up we popped popcorn in a pot on the stove, with a lid, of course, or we had a great mess! And you to shake the pot back and forth on the eye to keep it from burning. Then came the jiffy popcorn in the little skillet shaped foil pan that had the foil cover that expanded as it popped. Now the bags for the microwave are all the young folks today know about! (But they handier and less cleanup!) Sorry didn’t mean to ramble, but I throughly enjoyed the historical info about popcorn! Many things that I didn’t know!! Thanks for this!! Hugs!

    • Hey, Miss Ruth! Great to see you, lady! I’m glad you enjoyed my post. I agree about the ease of microwave popping. That was smart. Like you, my mom used a pot with a lid on top of the stove and remember how she used to shake it. We didn’t have it very often back then but I think that’s because it hard for Mom to chew it. Her teeth weren’t that good. Thank you for coming over. I really did enjoy seeing you. You’re a very dear friend and I love you very much.

      • That was so interesting about popcorn. The most surprising fact was the popcorn they found with the 1000 year old popcorn in it. I don’t know if I would have tried it.
        All my life so far I ate popcorn…well maybe when I was a baby I didn’t eat it. ? Sometimes we still fix popcorn over the stove but we usually fix it in the microwave. Oh we’ve fix the kind that’s in a pie plate and aluminum foil rises when it pops.

        • Hi Pam, thanks for coming to read my post. I’m glad you found it interesting. You sound like quite the popcorn fan. Me too. I just wonder what that popcorn would’ve tasted like after being in that burial site for so long. Hopefully, they put extra butter on it! Ha! Inquiring minds….
          Have a blessed day.

  14. I do love popcorn although I don’t eat it as much now but when I worked I had it nearly everyday it was my break snack of choice. I love the white cheddar popcorn Smartfood comes in a black bag. I will buy it in the individual single serve bags sometime.

    • Hey lady! Sorry I didn’t get to your comment yesterday. I’ve never tried that Smartfood popcorn. It sounds delicious. I think we all slow down on eating popcorn as we get older. I know I have too. Blessings and love dear friend.

  15. I eat popcorn more when it’s cooler. There’s something about popcorn that makes it a cooler weather treat for me. I much prefer it with lots of butter, too!! I remember when my Daddy used to pop it on the stove top. He’d add peanuts sometimes, too.

    • Hi Trudy! Thanks for coming. I’m happy to see you. Oh Yum! Peanuts added would make popcorn even better. That sounds so good. Cooler weather will hopefully show up in another couple of months. It’s getting closer. 🙂

  16. A very interesting post, sister. I had no idea popcorn has been around that long. Remember when Mom used to put oil in a cast iron Dutch oven and pop corn on the stovetop? I love movie popcorn the most. It’s just the best with lots of butter!

    • Hey, Jan! This is nice. Thanks for coming. I do remember Mom making popcorn but we didn’t have it a whole lot, the best I can recall. I agree about movie popcorn. Man, that’s good stuff! The smell when you walk into a theater draws you toward the popcorn. Love you bunches, sister!

  17. Thank you so very much for these popcorn facts, that is very interesting. I mostly love to ear popcorn while watching a movie at the movies. We used to eat more popcorn when our now 2 grown children with children of their own were growing up. I love sweet corn. I love the caramel popcorn. When we used to take our now 2 grown children camping when they were young , we would always buy the stove top popcorn and make it on the campfire, or on the little stove, it was so much fun! Your Christmas book sounds like a really good read, I will be looking out for it. Thank you so much for such an awesome post. I wouldn’t want popcorn in a bowl with milk. Have a Great week and stay safe. God Bless you and your family.

    • Hi Alicia! I’ve never done it, but I’m sure that popcorn in the little tin container was great cooked over an open fire. Yummy! I wouldn’t want it in a bowl with milk either. Doesn’t sound appetizing in the least. Thanks for looking for my Christmas book that comes out next year. I think it’ll be fun with a new generation of Legends. Have a blessed day, my friend, and stay safe.

  18. We love popcorn! And yes, nothing quite like that buttery, salty movie theater popcorn. The history you shared was so fun to read. Thank you, Linda, and happy writing! So fun you incorporated popcorn into the story!

    • Thanks for liking my post, Shanna. I thought that history was too interesting to not share. I don’t know how available popcorn was on the American frontier, but I’m sure some had it. Have a blessed day, my Filly sister. Sending love.

  19. I love popcorn. We have grown it a few times. The ears and kernels are smaller than sweet corn and most indian corn. Getting it off the cob is rough on the fingers, though if you just do it barehanded. I didn’t realize there was evidence of popcorn that far back in Mexico or anywhere else. It is amazing that it would still pop. It does tend to lose that stored moisture if you don’t store it properly, and then it doesn’t pop well or at all.
    We have an air popper which is good, but then I drizzle way too much butter on it. Getting a big tub of pop corn at the movies (one that can be refilled) with too much “butter” on it is a weakness for me. Luckily we do not go to the movies very often. I will often pop it for a snack at home. We have strung popcorn and popcorn & cranberries for Christmas decorations. I’ve don it with my children, with Scout troops, and with other children’s groups (library. school, historic sites). In most cases, more is eaten than strung.
    It seems a bit odd talking Christmas this time of the year, but both the thought of cooler weather and the need for good thoughts make it quite all right this year. Take good care of yourself and stay healthy. I hope your family members are recovering well.

    • Hi Patricia! Great seeing you. I’m happy you enjoyed the interesting facts about popcorn. Growing your own must’ve been fun. I think I’d like to grow some. I agree that it’s surprising that thousand year old popcorn still popped. It must’ve been stored in an airtight container of some sort and put in a cool place. That’s all I can figure. How fun to string your own popcorn. Yes, it does seem odd to be talking Christmas this early and I wouldn’t normally be except for this Christmas book I’m writing in the middle of summer. HaHa! Have a wonderful day and stay safe and cool, my friend. Love you bunches.

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