History of Popcorn
Popcorn is one of the most beloved snacks around the world. People enjoy eating buttered popcorn in movie theaters, caramel popcorn during the holidays, and a variety of popcorn flavors at amusement parks. However, few people stop to wonder how the tasty treat was invented.It is difficult to pinpoint exactly when and where popcorn was first consumed. Archaeologists have even found traces of popcorn in Peruvian tombs that are roughly 6,000 years old. This discovery means that the technique of making popcorn was probably already common knowledge in the region at that time.What is known for sure is that corn was domesticated from wild grass in Mexico around 9,000 years ago. It then spread throughout Central and South America. Popcorn eventually grew in popularity, likely because of its versatility as a food source. Additionally, popcorn was incredibly easy to prepare. The only technology required was fire, which made popcorn simple to make and consume.In America, a man from Chicago named Charles Cretors is often credited as the modern-day inventor of popcorn. Although the snack had already existed for thousands of years, Cretors was the first to invent the mobile popcorn cart in 1885. His creation helped skyrocket popcorn’s popularity and turn it into the delicious treat we all enjoy today.Today, corn is grown specifically for popping. It is cured on the stalk, picked, and then dried until each kernel contains around 14 percent moisture. When you add heat, the moisture expands and causes the kernels to burst.Now, making popcorn takes only three minutes in a microwave. Because it is so tasty and easy to make, popcorn is enjoyed all over the world.
1. What is the historical evidence of popcorn consumption, and where was it found by archaeologists?
2. How did the domestication of corn contribute to the popularity of popcorn?
3. Who is credited with the modern invention of popcorn, and what did he create in 1885?
4. What specific conditions are needed for corn to become popcorn, and how does the process work?
5. Why do you think popcorn became so popular, considering its long history and ease of preparation? Do you have any traditional snacks or treats that are enjoyed in a similar way to popcorn?