Thanks, Mesoamerica! Before selective breeding around six thousand years ago, corn was originally a grass with cobs smaller than your pinky, and around ten tasteless kernels.  The average cob today is ten times larger, with eight hundred sugary-sweet kernels.



More Popcorn Facts, You Say?

You would not believe how much research is available for the study of popcorn.  Not only professional research, but simply curious biologists, botanists and agriculturalists wanting to discover more about America’s favorite snack.  Research focuses on everything from using popcorn to aid in demolition to experimenting with high-speed photography. Whatever your opinions on the snack food, it’s pretty damn impressive.  For those still wanting to scratch that popcorn itch, here’s some recommended reading:

The University of Utah’s Genetic Science Learning Center article “The Evolution of Corn” at http://learn.genetics.utah.edu/content/selection/corn/

William Grimes’s iconic 1994 New York Times article “How About Some Popcorn with Your Fat?” at http://www.nytimes.com/1994/05/01/weekinreview/april-24-30-how-about-some-popcorn-with-your-fat.html

Smithsonian Magazine’s thought-provoking “Why Do We Eat Popcorn at the Movies?” at https://www.smithsonianmag.com/arts-culture/why-do-we-eat-popcorn-at-the-movies-475063/

Here’s Martha Stewart’s thoughts on popcorn decorations in the aptly-named “Popcorn Christmas Decorations” article at https://www.marthastewart.com/271926/popcorn-christmas-decorations