National Popcorn Day is the annual celebration of the tasty treat that has been an American favorite for centuries. The next National Popcorn Day happens on January 19th giving the country an excuse (as if they need one) to enjoy popcorn.
Popcorn is versatile in that it can be caramelized, buttered or eaten plain. It also can be mixed in with nuts and chocolate or molded into a candied ball. It’s also been making watching a movie more enjoyable since the mid-20th century. Popcorn is so common that no one really thinks about it anymore – you just sort of expect it to always be there.
How Popcorn Became Popular in the U.S.
You don’t get a national day without being popular. National Popcorn Day exists because popcorn has been a snack staple for many years. For those interested in knowing when was popcorn discovered, the answer goes all the way back to the early explorers of North America.
Both Christopher Columbus in the West Indies and Hernán Cortés in Mexico came across native tribes who ate popped corn kernels. They also wore them as necklaces and in ceremonial headdresses. These treats were brought back to Europe, where people started munching on them, too.
Historians also report popcorn has been around for centuries and was part of 16th Aztec ceremonies.
In the U.S., popcorn took off as Europeans began settling in the New World. By the early 20th century, it was for sale in parks around the country. As movie theaters became popular, popcorn became the go-to snack for movie watching.
Today, the average American eats 70 quarts of popcorn annually – most of it from corn grown in Nebraska and Indiana.
How to Celebrate National Popcorn Day
The first thing to do is make plans to enjoy popcorn however you like it best – buttered, sweetened, with cheese or as Kettle corn. You can also celebrate with these 10 unique Popcorn Day activities.
If you want to get together and celebrate with friends or surprise coworkers, you can rent a popcorn machine. Not only does it look cool, but it makes popcorn in the traditional “movie theater” way that gives you great tasting popcorn every time. And yes, you get to hear it pop & fill the room with that delicious aroma.
National Popcorn Day might not rank among the most popular holidays in the country, but it certainly celebrates one of the most popular snack foods in the country. Take the time this year to treat yourself and enjoy some popcorn!