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National Popcorn Day - January 19 and National Popcorn Month - October: Sources and Recipes for Yummy Popcorn Snacks

Updated on October 17, 2014

Who doesn't like popcorn?

National Popcorn Day is on January 19. Why pick a day in the middle of winter to celebrate this great American snack? The origins of this celebration are lost in antiquity. Some popcorn experts say it has to do with the original date of the Super Bowl - top two national football teams play each other- originally this was in in mid-January. Now, annual championship is sometimes scheduled for February.

Popcorn during harvest season, if you can't for winter to celebrate popcorn. October is National Popcorn Poppin Month. Here is a link to some Frightfully Delightful Treats for October popcorn pleasure.

Sporting events are always the perfect opportunity for popcorn munching. So there is nothing to say viewers can't get their fill of popcorn while watching the Super Bowl whenever it is scheduled or for any other sporting event. Popcorn in it its many varieties and many guises makes the perfect snack. According to the national Popcorn Board this snack is one of the most wholesome and economical foods available. And to prove it, they say that Americans consume 16 billion quarts of popped popcorn annually or 52 quarts per man, woman and child. And as you'll find while reading this lens, there is a never-ending variety of ways to prepare this American native.

Popcorn tube with film reel:

Popcorn from Cob to Kernel to Popped Corn

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Popcorn cobs of several colorsPartially stripped cobLarge yellow popcorn kernelsKernels of a red, pearl-style corn marketed under the US trademark "Crimson Jewell" by the Black Jewell Popcorn co.Air popcorn-poppermicrowave popcornMushroom-type popcorn (left) is used in confectionery products; butterfly-type popcorn (right) is preferred for eating out-of-hand.Stove-top popcorn-making panFrom kernel to healthy snack
Popcorn cobs of several colors
Popcorn cobs of several colors
Partially stripped cob
Partially stripped cob
Large yellow popcorn kernels
Large yellow popcorn kernels
Kernels of a red, pearl-style corn marketed under the US trademark "Crimson Jewell" by the Black Jewell Popcorn co.
Kernels of a red, pearl-style corn marketed under the US trademark "Crimson Jewell" by the Black Jewell Popcorn co.
Air popcorn-popper
Air popcorn-popper
microwave popcorn
microwave popcorn
Mushroom-type popcorn (left) is used in confectionery products; butterfly-type popcorn (right) is preferred for eating out-of-hand.
Mushroom-type popcorn (left) is used in confectionery products; butterfly-type popcorn (right) is preferred for eating out-of-hand.
Stove-top popcorn-making pan
Stove-top popcorn-making pan
From kernel to healthy snack
From kernel to healthy snack

October is National Popcorn Poppin Month. Celebrate with Perfectly Popped Fluffy White Popcorn!


Friday, January 19, 2015, is National Popcorn Day


Perfect Stovetop Popcorn

Recipe and photo courtesy of The Popcorn Board

Cook Time

Prep Time: 15 minutes to gather equipment + 5 minutes popping time

Total Time: About 20 minutes for the first batch

Serves: Variable - Depends upon size of the pan


  • A 3 to 4 quart pan with a loose lid that allows steam to escape
  • At least enough fresh popcorn to cover the bottom of the pan
  • one kernel deep
  • 1/3 cup of oil for every cup of kernels (Don't use butter!)


  1. Cooking
  2. Heat the oil to 400 - 460 degrees Fahrenheit (if the oil smokes, it is too hot). Test the oil on a couple of kernels. When they pop, add the rest of the popcorn, cover the pan and shake to evenly spread the oil. When the popping begins to slow, remove the pan from the stove-top. The heated oil will still pop the remaining kernels.
  3. Salting
  4. Pre-salting kernels toughens popcorn. So, salt the popcorn after it has been popped -- or skip salt altogether and add salt-free spices.
  5. Measure Rule
  6. One (1) ounce (or 1/8 cup or 2 tablespoons) of unpopped popcorn equals about a quart popped
  7. * 4 ounces in cup
  8. * 4 cups in a quart
  9. If you’re using cup kernels, you’ll yield about 4 quarts of popped popcorn (or 16 cups of popcorn) which would make a sizeable snack for several people (or one very hungry person).
Cast your vote for Perfect Stove-top Popcorn

Ways to Prepare Popcorn

How do you prepare popcorn?

See results

Popcorn Poppers from Amazon - Equipment as individual as the person popping the corn

Basic Yummy White Corn Popcorn Ball

By Evan-Amos (Own work) [CC0], via Wikimedia Commons
By Evan-Amos (Own work) [CC0], via Wikimedia Commons | Source

Internet Sources for Popcorn Treats - These are for those special moments when you don't feel like concocting a popcorn treat in your own kitchen.

I just plain love popcorn in whatever form available. I grew up within walking distance of the old Euclid Beach Park in Cleveland, OH that sold some of the best and freshest popcorn balls I've ever tasted. Several years after the Park closed in 1969, Dudley Humphrey (fourth generation) and his wife Betsy took to making and marketing Humphrey Popcorn Balls full time. The corn for this confection is still grown on the original Humphrey farm in metropolitan Cleveland. The popcorn balls may be purchased online or at local Cleveland supermarkets.

The Popcorn Factory is my sister's standard go-to place for popcorn treat gifts. A bonus are the colorful, seasonal tins in which the goodies arrive. Once empty, they are great for storage, wastepaper baskets or wherever you need a multi-gallon tin container.

Harry & David TM originally known for quality fruit packs, now produces gourmet goodies like Moose Munch popcorn gifts of caramel-coated popcorn. Varieties are blended with chocolate, almonds, cashews and more add-ins. There are even fat-free varieties. I became hooked on Moose Munch popcorn when one of my children moved to an area where there was a Harry & David TM outlet store. I could stock up on treats with a free conscience because the prices are so great.

Popcorn Treats - See for Yourself - Where and how they are made.

If you're like me and want to know how edible concoctions like popcorn balls are made, take a few minutes to watch these videos about making old-fashion-tasting popcorn balls for sale in the retail world.

How to Make Popcorn Balls

Homemade Popcorn Treats

White Chocolate Popcorn Crunch
White Chocolate Popcorn Crunch | Source

Aids to Making Perfect Popcorn

My mother-in-law always used her favorite deep saucepan for making stove top popcorn. Now-a-days, we can choose from many accessories to pop the perfect bowl of fluffy white or yellow corn. I play no favorites and use all the equipment the equipment I own depending upon how much corn I'm popping. The mini-popcorn-machine is perfect for popping corn for a family movie night.

What's Your Favorite Popcorn Treat?

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Cook Time

Prep Time: 20 minutes + Cooling Time

Total Time: 30 to 45 minutes

Serves: Amount Variable According to Size

Old-time Popcorn Balls and How to Make Them - Easy and quick to make; great any time

  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup white corn syrup
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 3 quarts unsalted popped corn - Remember to remove any un-popped popcorn kernels.
  • Food dye (your favorite color)
  • 5 to 6 drops (optional)


  1. Place popped corn in a large bowl or pan.
  2. In a saucepan over medium heat, add sugar, corn syrup, water, butter, and salt. Cook until reaches a temperature of 270 degrees F. on your candy thermometer font. If you don't have a candy thermometer, drop a small amount of sugar syrup into very cold water - it will solidify but separates into hard brittle threads when done. Remove from heat and add vanilla extract, stirring only enough to combine. If you choose to use some food dye, add it now.
  3. Pour hot syrup over popcorn a little at a time, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon, until all popcorn is coated. Let popcorn cool slightly, until you can handle it easily.
  4. Using well buttered hands and working quickly, shape about 1 cup popcorn into a ball (by squeezing between both hands). Place popcorn ball onto waxed paper to let cool. Repeat with remaining popcorn. NOTE: Mixture will be hot so be careful!
  5. Let popcorn balls cool completely. Wrap each individual ball in plastic wrap or colored food-grade cellophane. Store at room temperature.
  6. Recipe and photo courtesy of Linda Stradley and What's Cooking America

Cinnamon Popcorn Crunch

  • 3 quarts popped popcorn
  • unsalted
  • 1 can (6 1/2 ounce) salted mixed nuts
  • 1 pound light brown sugar
  • 1 cup light corn or maple syrup
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter or margarine
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon


  1. Mix popcorn and nuts in large buttered bowl.
  2. Combine sugar, syrup, butter or margarine, water, salt and cinnamon in saucepan.
  3. Heat slowly to the boiling point, stirring until sugar melts.
  4. Cook to hard crack stage (290-295 degrees Fahrenheit).
  5. Pour syrup in a fine stream over popcorn and nuts.
  6. Stir until popcorn and nuts are evenly coated with syrup.
  7. Spread out on large buttered surface or waxed paper.
  8. Separate into bite-size portions with forks. Cool.
  9. Photo and recipe courtesy of The Popcorn Board

Tomie de Paola is a favorite children's author. Here he is writing about popcorn!

Let's Read About Popcorn! - A Great Books from Amazon

Popcorn is the all-American treat. This selection of popcorn-related books tells about its history in the Americas, how to grow popcorn, the science behind the popping kernels, recipes for a wide selection of treats and the beauty of the humble kernel in poetry. There's a little something for everyone here...

Popcorn Pleasure

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Cheery Cherry Popcorn - The Perfect Valentine Treat

  • 2 1/2 quarts of air-popped popcorn
  • 1 small package cherry flavored gelatin
  • Butter flavored spray

Popcorn and Movies Go Together



  1. Put popcorn into a very large bowl and spray lightly with butter flavored oil.
  2. Sprinkle with gelatin.
  3. Put in 350 degree oven for five minutes.
  4. Gelatin will dissolve slightly and stick to the popcorn.
  5. Cool and divide into serving portions
  6. Pack in cheerful snack bags or boxes available at craft and kitchen stores.
  7. Photo and recipe courtesy of The Popcorn Board

The Science Behind Popcorn

What makes Popcorn Pop?

From the Popcorn Board comes some interesting information about the science of popcorn. Early Native Americans believed a spirit lived inside each kernel of popcorn. Scientists now know that there is a tiny amount of water within each kernel. As the kernel is heated, the water expands and becomes steam. This causes the starch inside of the kernel to explode. A single kernel can swell to 40-50 times its original size!

To learn more about the science of popping corn and to see the transformation from kernel to popped corn in super slow motion (captured between 13,000 and 15,000 frames per second), visit this Popcorn Board web site link.

Let's Hear It for Popcorn!

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    • GeorgeneMBramlage profile imageAUTHOR

      Georgene Moizuk Bramlage 

      6 years ago from southwestern Virginia

      @Phoenix2361: Hi! Thanks for visiting this popcorn lens, participating and squidliking it. Your idea is a great seems to me that the biggest thing to watch out for using olive oil is to watch the temperature.

    • Phoenix2361 profile image


      6 years ago

      My daughter made stove-top popcorn using olive oil; it's all we had at the time. I had some doubts but it was wonderful. The olive oil seem to give the popcorn a new depth of flavour. Now I only use olive oil.

    • GeorgeneMBramlage profile imageAUTHOR

      Georgene Moizuk Bramlage 

      6 years ago from southwestern Virginia

      @kburns421 lm: Popcorn is great at any time! Leave off the butter and salt and it makes the perfect nutritious treat!

    • kburns421 lm profile image

      kburns421 lm 

      6 years ago

      I've never had cinnamon or cherry popcorn, but they both sound good! You're making me want to go make popcorn now...

    • Rangoon House profile image


      6 years ago from Australia

      I did vote for plain popcorn, but some of your suggestions are very tempting!

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      You've made me hungry and now I need to go pop me some popcorn now. :)

    • perrybenard profile image


      6 years ago

      wow i didn't know there was a National Popcorn Day and i love popcorn once again, great lens

    • Countryluthier profile image

      E L Seaton 

      6 years ago from Virginia

      This lens just drove me over the edge. Now if you'll excuse me, I need to go get a bag of the fluffy white stuff post holiday but still in the spirit of the past day. Thanks for sharing.


    • profile image


      6 years ago

      Yeah for popcorn ... it has arrived in having its own national holiday!


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