The History Of Popcorn

Popcorn boasts a rich history that dates back thousands of years. It has traveled through time, from ancient civilizations to modern movie theaters, evolving in flavor and preparation techniques. It’s believed that this crunchy delight’s first use was popping, with the oldest popcorn ears, estimated to be around 5,600 years old, being discovered in the Bat Cave of New Mexico.

Let’s delve into the history of popcorn and explore its journey to becoming a staple snack we enjoy today.

When People Started Eating Popcorn

The story of popcorn dates back approximately 10,000 years ago in Mesoamerica (the modern-day Mexico), where it was first cultivated domestically. It refers specifically to a variety of heated and popped corn and was an integral treat to the indigenous Aztec people.

Archaeologists also discovered that indigenous Iroquois people popped corn kernels in heated pottery jars in the Great Lakes region as early as the 1600s. Early explorers and settlers encountered Native Americans who popped corn using hot sand, introducing them to this novel snack.

The First People to Eat Popcorn

It is believed that the first people to eat popcorn were the Aztec Indians. However, popcorn’s history also reveals that it was used as decoration for ceremonial headdresses with popped kernels, ornaments on statues, and necklaces.

When People Started Eating Popcorn at the Movies

Popcorn’s association with movie theaters began in the early 20th century during the Great Depression. It became a popular and affordable snack sold by street vendors outside theaters, where its enticing aroma soon drew moviegoers.

By the mid-1930s, cinema owners recognized the potential profit of selling popcorn and installed popping machines in their lobbies, marking the beginning of a timeless tradition – eating popcorn at the movies. The bet paid off as more movie theaters began relying on concession sales as their main source of profit.

However, the popularity of eating popcorn at the movies surged during World War II when sugar rationing made candy scarce. The inexpensive and easy-to-make snack quickly became the go-to option for many movie audiences. Today, the experience of watching a movie without a tub of freshly popped popcorn feels incomplete.

When People Started Adding Flavors to Popcorn

Surprisingly, adding flavors to popcorn is a relatively modern innovation, with the advent of new flavorings and technologies surging. Popcorn became available in different flavors beyond the traditional salt and butter.

One of the earliest flavors was caramel, which became an instant hit. Soon, gourmet popcorn companies emerged, offering a wide range of creative flavors, from chocolate and cheese to spicy jalapeño and even savory herb blends.

Since then, flavored popcorn has become more popular, with versatile and endless flavor possibilities. It’s an ever-evolving snack with the appeal of a simple yet delightful treat. Popcorn has been a part of human culture for millennia. And its evolution in flavor and preparation continues to captivate more snack enthusiasts worldwide.

Topsy’s Popcorn brings a touch of popcorn history to everyone’s snacking experience. We explore a range of flavors and treat customers to delicious tins of their favorite snacks.