- Americans today consume 17.3 billion quarts of popped popcorn each year! The average American eats about 68 quarts!
- While the first breakfast cereal was made by adding sugar and milk to popped popcorn, a shortage of baking flours after World War II forced bread makers to substitute up to 25% of wheat flour with ground popped popcorn. Over the years, popcorn also has been used as an ingredient in pudding, candy, soup, salad and entrees.
- Popcorn’s nutritional value comes from the fact that, like other cereal grains, its primary function is to provide the body with heat and energy.
- Microwave popcorn is the same as other popcorn except the kernels are usually larger and the packaging is designed for maximum popability.
Popcorn is one of those foods that seems to always have been around; that probably is due to the fact that it has been consumed for centuries and has been found in fossil remains in Peru. But there is some specific reason that it explodes into popped corn as opposed to a mushy mess. First, corn for popping and sweet corn are not the same plant. Although both plants form kernels, the composition is different. Popping corn has more of a moist starchy center than sweet corn that will cause steam to form when heated and cause a mini-explosion. However, both plants have kernels that have a hard outer husk, but pop corn is more densely packed. It is interesting to observe that the pressure inside of a heated pop corn kernel is about 135 PSI, (Pounds per Square Inch), (930 kPa) Kilo Pascals. This is generally reached at a temperature of 180 C, or 356 F. Sounds more like a weapon that a tasty treat. Here are some interesting facts from the Agricultural Council of America:
I think that I am behind the national average so I better get popin! Images are from my friends at WPClipart. Bon Appetite!