National Popcorn Poppin Month
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When is "National Popcorn Poppin Month"?
The whole month of October is celebrated as
National Popcorn Poppin Month.

Why was the month of October chosen?
Because of the popcorn harvest which takes place each fall in the Midwest.

What type of holiday is this?
This holiday is a Food Holiday.

What is this Holiday for & how is it celebrated?
This holiday is for poppin up some popcorn and enjoying this great simple snack that has been popular for thousands of years.

Origin of this Holiday?
This holiday became "official" in 1999, when then Secretary of Agriculture Dan Glickman proclaimed October as National Popcorn Poppin’ Month.

What is popcorn?
Popcorn or popping corn is a type of corn which explodes from the kernel and puffs up when heated. Special varieties are grown to give improved popping yield. Some wild types will pop, but the cultivated strain is Zea mays averta, which is a special kind of flint corn. The process of making popcorn was first discovered by Native Americans thousands of years ago.

Popcorn History
Popcorn was first discovered by the native Americans, who believed that the popping noise was that of an angry god who escaped the kernel.  Popcorn was very popular in the 1890s, until World War I. As corn crops became more depleted during this war, nuts were used instead of corn. During the Depression, popcorn was a luxury at 5-10 cents a bag. When some of the other businesses failed, the popcorn business thrived. An example is "an Oklahoma banker who went broke when his bank failed, bought a popcorn machine, and started a business in a small store near a theater. After a couple of years, his popcorn business made enough money to buy back three of the farms he'd lost." During World War II, Americans ate three times more popcorn than they had before because of the sugar that was going overseas.

Popcorn Capital of the world?
At least six localities (all in the United States of America) claim to be the "Popcorn Capital of the World": Valparaiso, Indiana; Van Buren, Indiana; Marion, Ohio; Ridgway, Illinois; Schaller, Iowa; and North Loup, Nebraska.

Popcorn Production
According to the USDA, most of the maize used for popcorn production is specifically planted for this purpose; most is grown in Nebraska and Indiana, with increasing area in Texas.

Official State Snack Food
As the result of an elementary school project, popcorn became the official state snack food of Illinois.

Most Popular Brands of Popcorn
Some of the most popular brands of popcorn today are Orville Redenbacher's, Pop Secret, Act II, Jolly Time, and private label brands.

As a food
Popcorn is usually served salted or sweetened. In North America, it is traditionally served salted, although a sweetened version, generally called caramel corn, is also commonly available. In the United Kingdom, ready-made popcorn is available either salted or simply sweetened with sugar, both varieties being equally popular. Toffee (i.e. caramel) popcorn is also available, but tends to be more expensive. Popcorn is a popular snack at sporting events and in cinemas, where it has been served since 1912. Although small quantities can be popped in a stovetop kettle in a home kitchen, commercial sale of freshly popped popcorn is done with the help of specially designed popcorn machines, which were originally invented in Chicago, Illinois by Charles Cretors in 1885. Cretors successfully introduced his invention at the Columbian Exposition in 1893. At this same world's fair, F.W. Rueckheim introduced the first caramel corn; his brother, Louis, slightly altered the recipe and introduced it as Cracker Jack popcorn in 1896.

Popcorn Balls at Halloween have long been a tradition that is served at most all Halloween parties. In the early years of Trick-or-treating, homemade popcorn balls were given to the trick-or-treaters who knocked on the door. Homemade treats are now only accepted from family members and only packaged treats are the norm.
Popcorn Balls are traditional at all fall holidays, even Thanksgiving.

see Traditional Halloween Foods
see Traditional Thanksgiving Foods
see Native American Food

How can I Celebrate this holiday?


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