A Brief History of Popcorn


Popcorn is a staple in American culture. It’s a movie theatre favourite, and it’s often the default snack when we’re watching TV at home. But have you ever stopped to think about where this delicious treat came from? Believe it or not, popcorn has a long and fascinating history that stretches back thousands of years.

As everyone knows, popcorn is a delicious snack that can be enjoyed by people of all ages. But what many people don’t know is the interesting history behind this popular treat. Popcorn has been around for centuries, and its popularity has continued to grow over time. So why is popcorn so popular? Let’s take a closer look at the history of this tasty snack.

Ancient origins

Corn itself has been enjoyed by people-particularly by the ancient Americans, from at least 10,000 years ago. The Aztecs were known to have cooked popcorn as early as 4700 BC. Based on recent archaeological studies, fossils of ear-like corn were found in Peru, along with other artifacts that seem to trace the crop to be a type of food enjoyed by the gods and Incan kings.

The American myth

The first Thanksgiving was a success thanks in part to corn. It’s said that the Pilgrims learned how to raise and harvest this crop from Native Americans like Squanto, but there isn’t much proof other than some myths about their trading skills-though these rumours may have been started by contemporary British adventurers looking for thrill seeking opportunities during colonial times.

The settlers at Plymouth did indeed grow corn, but it was a variant more suited for making flour. The first mention of popcorn being served during Thanksgiving comes from an invented story published in 1889 over 200 years after the event took place.

French expedition

Some of the first Europeans to set foot in upstate New York were French explorers who wrote about how Iroquois tribes people would pop tough corn kernels with heated sand. They are thought to have been among those that made their way as far north into Canada, spreading this ancient tradition all along what was then called “the frontier.”


Charles Cretors, an entrepreneur from Chicago, is credited with inventing the first popcorn machine in 1894. This new invention quickly became a favourite late-night snack for families and friends alike as they flocked to enjoy this healthier alternative to traditional fare at fires or picnics – but not before some famous chefs had their say!

First reactions were mixed: while many liked how light it felt on stomachs after heavy meals; others criticised its lack of flavour until booster spices were added later down through history’s kitchen cupboards.

The microwave innovation

Microwaves are everywhere, from cooking food to heating up the theatre seat. But one thing they weren’t used for was popping popcorn – until 1981. A patent for microwave popcorn was issued that same year and in just 10 years home consumption increased by tens of thousands pounds each year after that; today people around the world eat about 1 million pounds of popcorn every year.

In a nutshell

The popcorn we enjoy today has come a long way, and yet it gives us the same smile of satisfaction. It can still be consumed as is, or with added flavours. Gourmet popcorn variants have also gained widespread popularity, not only as a mere snack but as a present or giveaway during special occasions.

Regardless, if there’s one snack that even the future generation will continue to love, that would just be popcorn and nothing else.

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