Popcorn is one of the oldest American foods.
Archeological excavations of the Bat Cave in west-central New
Mexico in 1948 turned up popcorn ears nearly 4,000 years old.
Although popcorn has a long history, it took until 1880 for seed
catalogs to include popcorn. Today, most popcorn grown in the United
States comes from the midwestern states, including Illinois.
Today, Americans consume 16 billion quarts of popped popcorn annually,
or approximately 54 quarts per person. Autumn is the peak season for
popcorn sales for home consumption
Today many people probably think popcorn comes only in a microwavable
bag, but it can also be successfully popped the "old-fashioned way" --
on the stovetop.
While salt and butter are popular additions
to popcorn, there are options for adding flavor
without adding salt or calories:
sprinkle warm popcorn with herbs, such as marjoram, thyme, summer
savory, basil, rosemary, or sage. Another way to add flavor
spices, such as garlic, dry mustard, curry, or chili powder.
A low-calorie way to prepare popcorn is air popping. One cup of
air-popped popcorn contains 31 calories, one gram of protein, six grams
of carbohydrate, one gram of fiber, and just a trace of fat.
popcorn contains about 60 calories.
Popcorn is a
whole-grain food, which makes it a complex carbohydrate source that is
not only low in calories, but high in fiber.
Did You Know?
Popcorn kernels that do not pop are called "old maids."
Popcorn pops when heated because the kernels contain a small
amount of water stored in a circle of soft starch inside the hard outer
casing. When heated, the water expands, creating pressure within, until
eventually the casing gives way and the kernels explode and pop,
allowing the water to escape as steam, turning the kernels inside out.
Sources: The Popcorn Board, University of Illinois Extension
Direcy from he grower and processor