Reposted from West Bend Popcorn.
Before we get to popping (and trust us, we will!), we thought we’d kick off what is undoubtedly the best day of the year with some tasty trivia about America’s favorite snack food (and statistically, that’s a fact!):
- Americans eat enough popcorn annually to fill the Empire State Building 18 times over (that’s around 17 billion quarts!)
- Popcorn has more protein than any other cereal grain, and more iron than eggs or roast beef.
- Popcorn is naturally high in fiber; low in calories; and sodium-, sugar-, and fat-free. A cup of plain popcorn contains just 31 calories!
- Each kernel of popcorn contains a small amount of water, which, when heated, turns to steam. This steam builds pressure. When the pressure reaches about 135 pounds per square inch, the kernel will explode.
- Kernels that are too dry won’t be able to create steam (or pressure) and won’t pop. These unpopped kernels are playfully called “old maids,” “widows” or “spinsters.”
- Refrigeration dries out the moisture in popcorn kernels. Store them in a cool, dry cupboard to minimize the number of spinsters at the bottom of your bowl.
- The world’s oldest known popper, a shallow vessel with a handle and hole on top was designed around A.D. 300. The first popcorn machine made its debut 1,500 years later at the 1893 World’s Fair in Chicago.
- Traditionally, Native American tribes flavored popcorn with dried herbs and spices, possibly even chili. They also made popcorn into soup and beer, and made popcorn headdresses and corsages!