Fun Popcorn Trivia

Lisa HW started a thread talking about popcorn and wondering how to achieve that yummy theater-style popcorn taste at home.

This really got me to thinking. I've tried lots of different brands as I'm sure you have. None of them seem to match that sinful buttery taste found at the movie theater.

I thought it would be fun to do a little research about popcorn. So, I found the 1972 moog synthesizer hit pop song "Popcorn" by "Hot Butter" for you to listen to while you sit back and read. Bet you'll want to make a batch of hot buttered popcorn before you're through.

I'm really sorry about that. *wink*

Popcorn (Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons)
Popcorn (Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons)

Listen While You Read-Popcorn by Hot Butter

Two versions of popcorn flakes, the mushroom on the left and the butterfly on the right
Two versions of popcorn flakes, the mushroom on the left and the butterfly on the right

Ready to Make Movie Theater Popcorn at Home?

Quick Fun Facts About Popcorn

  • Native Americans first discovered popcorn thousands of years ago. Quadequina, of the Wampanoag tribe, brought popcorn to the first Thanksgiving for colonists in Plymouth, Massachusetts.
  • First became a big snack food in theaters during the U.S. Great Depression. In the early days vendors sold popcorn on the streets in front of the movie theater. Eventually, the theater owners invited the vendors inside and split the profits. That was the beginning of theater snack bars.
  • The big commercial popcorn machines were invented by Charles Cretors in 1885 in Chicago, Illinois. He introduced his invention at the Columbian Exposition in 1893. As this same exhibition another gentleman by the name of F.W. Rueckheim introduced the first carmel corn. An altered version of this recipe would be introduced in 1896 by Louis Rueckheim, his brother, as Cracker Jack.
  • With sugar rations during WWII, Americans tripled their consumption of popcorn.
  • A study was done in the mid-1990s and found that movie popcorn in the United States is popped in coconut oil, then topped with butter or margarine. This results in a small theater popcorn being the fatty equivalent to eating 3 McDonald’s Big Macs. No wonder it tastes so good!

  • Threading popcorn onto a string is a very common Christmas tree decoration during tough times.

  • The world’s largest popcorn ball weighed 3,415 pounds and was 8 foot in diameter and 24.6 feet around. It was unveiled in October 2006 in Lake Forest, Illinois.

  • The “Popcorn Capital of the World” is claimed by at least six mid-western states in the United States, but the majority of popcorn is grown in Nebraska and Indiana. Texas production is on the rise.
  • The Chinese have another method for popping popcorn. The corn is placed into a large cast iron container and sealed. It is turned over a fire on a rotisserie. When the pressure gauge indicates its ready, they remove it from the fire, put a canvas sack over the lid and release the seal. It makes a huge boom as all of the popcorn explodes at once. (see video below)
  • Kernels that do not pop at the correct temperature where they should are known in the popcorn industry as “old maids”. A popped kernel is known a “flake”. The flakes come in two shapes. They are either ball-shaped cauliflower looking balls with few wings called mushrooms, or they are butterfly flakes where they have protruding wings or offshoots. The butterfly flakes have a better mouth feel, but because the mushroom flakes are sturdier, they are the ones manufacturers tend to use in packaged popcorn. One cob can produce both kinds of kernels, but they have also developed corn varieties that produce 100% of one variety.
  • In the same way that Girl Scouts are known for selling cookies, the Boy Scouts are known for selling popcorn as their big fundraiser.

Popcorn Gift Baskets

Popcorn gift baskets are very popular Christmas gifts. Almost everyone enjoys sitting at home with a good movie and big tub of freshly popped popcorn.

Making Popcorn Like the Chinese

More by this Author


21 comments

resspenser profile image

resspenser 6 years ago from South Carolina

Good hub! Liked the Chinese video and I would like to try that!!


KCC Big Country profile image

KCC Big Country 6 years ago from Central Texas Author

Thanks resspenser! You just want to make popcorn that sets car alarms off...LOL


lynnechandler 6 years ago

Great hub here! Setting off car alarms, oh my!


KCC Big Country profile image

KCC Big Country 6 years ago from Central Texas Author

Thanks Lynne! I like my popcorn popping each at their own pace rather than the Chinese big bang!


elisabethkcmo profile image

elisabethkcmo 6 years ago from Just East of Oz

Great hub, brings back memories. When I was growing up, we made popcorn the old-fashioned way, with oil and popcorn kernels in a pan only used for popcorn, the microwave kind just isn't the same.

I'd like to try the Chinese popcorn some day!


KCC Big Country profile image

KCC Big Country 6 years ago from Central Texas Author

Thanks Elisabeth. My mom always made it on the stove with a pot, using a pie pan as a lid. LOL The Chinese way just scares me.


Tori Maltby profile image

Tori Maltby 6 years ago

There is just nothing like pop corn on a rainy day!


KCC Big Country profile image

KCC Big Country 6 years ago from Central Texas Author

I've never really thought about popcorn on a rainy day, but it does sound good now that I think about it! Thanks, Tori!


Salsa Dancing 6 years ago

I like my popcorn thickly sprayed with toffee, and served with a nice hot tea. I know it's difficult to get tea in cinemas... but maybe one day they'll start offering it.


KCC Big Country profile image

KCC Big Country 6 years ago from Central Texas Author

You must be from the UK, Salsa....my husband always tells me how their popcorn was toffee covered. I'm in Texas, we don't do hot tea. It's iced tea all the way here. Of course, he has to make his own hot tea.


Feline Prophet profile image

Feline Prophet 6 years ago from India

'Popcorn' always brings to mind novice piano players...that was the only tune many of us could could bang out in the early days! :P


KCC Big Country profile image

KCC Big Country 6 years ago from Central Texas Author

I had never heard it on a piano until I was trying locate it on YouTube for this hub and then I found lots of people showing how to play it on the guitar and on the piano. Thanks for stopping by Feline!


emievil profile image

emievil 6 years ago from Philippines

Exploding pop corn eh? Maybe I could use that to replace the firecrackers this New Year! Same amount of noise (if I get a large enough container) but less danger / risk for us :). Thanks for the interesting hub KCC.


KCC Big Country profile image

KCC Big Country 6 years ago from Central Texas Author

Thanks for stopping by Emievil!


habee profile image

habee 6 years ago from Georgia

Who knew? I luvs me popcorn. Great job!


KCC Big Country profile image

KCC Big Country 6 years ago from Central Texas Author

Thanks, I love it too, Habee! Thanks for stopping by!


Sandi 3m 6 years ago

Fun reading, lots of pop corn facts I had no idea about.


KCC Big Country profile image

KCC Big Country 6 years ago from Central Texas Author

Thanks Sandi 3m! Glad you enjoyed it.


Beth100 profile image

Beth100 6 years ago from Canada

Mmmm, Friday night ritual here in our home...on the stove and drizzled with butter! mmm I don't know about the Chinese way...hate to be the one standing behind that exploding pot. Ouch! Thanks for all the great tid bits too, so much I've learned!


KCC Big Country profile image

KCC Big Country 6 years ago from Central Texas Author

Friday night sounds like fun! Glad you enjoyed it. I'm a bit leary of the Chinese way as well.


Austinstar profile image

Austinstar 6 years ago from Somewhere in the universe

I lived in Mexico for a while and got used to going to Mexican movies. The best part of the experience was the Palomitas (little doves) which is what they call popcorn down there. Your butterfly description caused that memory to POP!

I also still remember making Halloween popcorn balls with my sister when I was growing up. They were so great.

Thanks for the hub on popcorn. It's like music in that it brings back good memories!

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