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A healthy, gluten-free and GMO-free snack that contains some protein, popcorn has been a favorite of Americans for more than 100 years and its popularity has grown throughout the world in recent years. Now, Popcorn Lover’s Day is here to encourage people to remember what an incredibly tasty and convenient snack popcorn really is!

History of Popcorn Lover’s Day

Popcorn has a delightful and slightly mysterious history that may date back as far as thousands of years! Native to the Americas, popcorn may have been enjoyed as far back as 6000 years ago or more, when the native people would have cooked their popcorn on the cob over an open fire. Others may have stripped the cob of the kernels, throwing it directly onto the fire and catching it when it popped back out!

Popcorn has been a part of US culinary history for many years, and the invention of the commercial popcorn machine in 1895 changed the way that popcorn was consumed! This snack is classically known for being consumed in movie theaters as far back as the early 1900s, although at one point it was temporarily banned because it made too much noise when eating it.

The United States continues to be the largest consumer of popcorn in the world. In fact, popcorn is such a popular and affordable treat in North America that, at Christmastime, it is a tradition to string it on a thread and hang it as a garland on the Christmas tree. And during World War II, when there was a sugar shortage in the United States, the consumption of popcorn there tripled.

Getting its start in 2012, Popcorn Lover’s Day was likely established by Bob Matthews, who was most certainly a popcorn lover from Rochester, New York. The story goes that Bob was an avid gardener and even grew his own popcorn and dried it for popping.

Because Bob and his wife would often eat popcorn on a Thursday evening each week, Popcorn Lover’s Day is scheduled to always fall on the second Thursday during the month of March.

Popcorn Lover’s Day was founded to remind people about how great this snack is and how much they should celebrate it! The idea for the day was established to recognize popcorn as a healthy snack and to encourage people not only to eat popcorn, but to learn how easy it is to grow their own popcorn as well.

Plus, the day is just meant to spread the joy of eating popcorn!

Popcorn Lover’s Day Timeline

4700 BC

Ears of popcorn are stored in Peru

Unearthed thousands of years later in 2012, popcorn cobs are found with puffed kernels. [1]


Cortes gets his first sight of popcorn

The explorer invades Mexico and learns about popcorn from the Aztecs. [2]


First Thanksgiving feast may include popcorn

Some researchers believe that the first Plymouth Thanksgiving dinner included popcorn.[3]


Orville Redenbacher popcorn is founded

One of the most popular brands of popcorn, Orville Redenbacher starts his company. [4]


Microwave popcorn is invented

The first microwave popcorn had perishable butter and needed to be refrigerated, while another version was frozen.

How to Celebrate Popcorn Lover’s Day

Fall in love with popcorn again and again in celebration of Popcorn Lover’s Day! Have fun enjoying this simple and incredible little snack with some of these ideas for the day:

Enjoy a Healthy Popcorn Snack

One of the easiest and most important things that can be done on Popcorn Lover’s Day is to simply pop up some delicious popcorn and enjoy eating it! Whether it is made on top of the stove, in an air popper or in the microwave, this is the day to add a little butter, sprinkle a little salt, and celebrate the simplicity of this ancient food.

Learn Fun Facts About Popcorn

Popcorn Lover’s Day is the ideal time to brush up on bits of trivia about popcorn, then share it with others to raise awareness for the day. Whether this means dropping fun facts while at lunch with coworkers or impressing the kids with information over breakfast before school, this is a great day for popcorn lovers to share what they know!

Get started with some of these fun facts about popcorn:

  • Nebraska is the US state that produces the most popcorn each year. In fact, their total amount of popcorn produced annually comes in at around 250 million pounds. 

  • The reason popcorn kernels pop when heated is because they are made up of around 4% water, which creates a small explosion.

  • The kernels that are left at the bottom of the bag or pan after the rest of the popcorn is popped are called “old maids”.

  • If popped over an open flame, popcorn can jump a distance of up to three feet!

Try Growing Popcorn

Depending on the region you live in, popcorn can be a very simple and viable crop to grow. And getting started with growing your own popcorn in honor of Popcorn Lover’s Day is a fun way to celebrate. Popcorn generally takes between 90 and 120 days to mature, so it does take a bit of patience. Plus, it’s a super exciting plant to grow because some varieties of popcorn can get up to between eight and nine feet tall and have ears that are up to seven inches long.

Try Some Creative Popcorn Recipes

Have tons of fun celebrating Popcorn Lover’s Day by making some unique popcorn creations in the kitchen. Sweet or savory, simple or complicated, popcorn can be a blank canvas for almost any type of culinary art! Make a start and get inspired with some of these ideas for popcorn recipes:

  • Mexican Inspired Taco Flavored Popcorn
  • Buffalo Ranch Popcorn
  • Salted Caramel Popcorn
  • Caramel Marshmallow Popcorn

Visit the Valparaiso Popcorn Festival

One great way to enjoy this day is to make plans to celebrate with tons of other lovers of this treat. Indiana is well known as a place that is favorable for growing popcorn, and the people there seem to love consuming it too. Although this popcorn festival typically happens in Valparaiso, Indiana in the autumn, Popcorn Lover’s Day would be a good time to put it on the calendar.

Visitors to the Valparaiso Popcorn Festival can expect to enjoy festivities such as a Popcorn Panic 5K or 5 mile walk/run, a Popcorn Parade, a beer garden, dance party, craft booths, fine arts displays, food tables and (obviously) plenty of popcorn!

Popcorn Lover’s Day FAQs

Is popcorn healthy?

When lightly seasoned and air-popped, popcorn is a whole grain, high fiber snack. [1]

Does popcorn have carbs?

Popcorn has around 30 carbs per serving. [2]

Is popcorn gluten free?

Yes, popcorn is gluten free. [3]

Is popcorn keto?

It is possible to eat popcorn on a keto diet as it is high in fiber. [4]

Can popcorn expire?

Technically, popcorn kernels do not expire, as long as they are stored in an airtight container in a cool, dry place. [5]

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