Want to test your popcorn IQ? We’ve collected some Q&A on popcorn history and fun facts that might surprise you. Take the test and see how much you know about the history of this amazing snack food. Answers are at the bottom of this post. Resist the urge to peak!
Popcorn used in ancient times
Popcorn was used by the Aztec Indians as decoration for ceremonial headdresses, necklaces and ornaments on statues of their gods, including Tlaloc, the god of rain and fertility:
- a) True
- b) False
Popcorn popularity pre-depression
Popcorn was a very popular snack in the 1890’s until the Great Depression. People bought their popcorn from street vendors pushing steam or gas-powered poppers through:
- a) Fairs
- b) Parks
- c) Expositions
- d) All of the above
Rationing in WWII and how it affected popcorn consumption
During World War II, sugar was sent overseas for U.S. troops. There wasn’t much sugar left in the States to make candy. Americans ate three times as much:
- a) Pretzels
- b) Popcorn
- c) Potato chips
- d) French Fries
The earliest flavored popcorn
In 1896, a wax sealed package of sweet corn was born, named by an enthusiastic sampler who remarked, “That’s a __________!” meaning “of excellent quality.”:
- a) Fiddle Faddle
- b) Crunch ‘n Munch
- c) Cracker Jack
- d) Wackadoodle
The earliest occurence of a sweet popcorn treat
This sweet and salty variety of popcorn was introduced to the United States in the 18th century cooked in a large cast iron pot:
- a) Kettle corn
- b) Caramel corn
- c) Candied corn
- d) Corn nuts
When did microwave popcorn become popular
In what year was microwavable popcorn invented:
- a) 1986
- b) 1974
- c) 1968
- d) 1981
What are the varieties of corn
Which of these varieties of corn is not actually a type of corn?
- a) Flint Corn
- b) Barn Corn
- c) Dent Corn
- d) Popcorn
- e) Sweet Corn
What’s the difference in popcorn seed
Popping corn comes in two varieties, Butterfly and Mushroom. As the names suggest, Butterfly popcorn seeds pop up with wings. Mushroom seeds pop into round balls. But there is a way to make mushroom seeds pop into a butterfly shape:
- a) True
- b) False
What are the official days to celebrate popcorn
There is a “national day” for almost any occasion, from cat lovers day, to grandparents day, to pharmacists day, to read a book day. How many days are associated with popcorn?
- a) 1
- b) 2
- c) 3
- d) 4
What town produces the most popcorn
How many towns in the Unites States claim to be “the popcorn capital of the world”:
- a) 3
- b) 7
- c) 1
- d) 6
Question 1: True The name given by the Aztecs to describe the sound of the pop-pop-popping of popcorn is totopoca.
Question 2: All of the above These popcorn machines were ubiquitous and popular
Question 3: Popcorn Sugar, meat, flour, butter, margarine and milk were all rationed in World War II
Question 4: Cracker Jack Cracker Jack’s mascots Sailor Jack and his dog Bingo became the public faces of this snack as early as 1916 and registered as a trademark in 1919.
Question 5: Kettle corn We pop our Kettle and Cinnamon Toast Kettle in our 60 oz. popper, not the gas-fired kettle used at state fairs, etc.
Question 6: 1981 General Mills filed for and received the first patent for a microwaveable popcorn bag in 1981
Question 7: Barn Corn All the others are types of corn used for human consumption, ethanol, animal feed and much more. Popcorn is used exclusively for popcorn.
Question 8: True The trick is in the amount of seed used during popping. More seed creates the Butterfly shape. Less seed creates the Mushroom shape.
Question 9: 3 January 19 is National Popcorn Day; March 14 is Popcorn Lover’s Day; April 6 is Caramel Popcorn Day. And there is an entire month devoted to popcorn! October is National Popcorn popping month!
Question 10: 6 The towns vying for the honors are Ridgway, IL; North Loup, NE; Valparaiso, IN; Schaller, IA; Van Buren, IN; Marion, OH. All claim to be the popcorn capital of the world.
So how did you fare on the popcorn History IQ Quiz? There are so many interesting facts about popcorn history and its evolution. Where would we be without all the popcorn pioneers that came before us? Did this make you a bit hungry for some of our gourmet popcorn? It’s time to get your popcorn fix! Shop now!