Who Discovered Popcorn?
Popcorn was discovered by American Indians. For over a thousand years, Indians have been popping and eating popcorn. Some Indians popped corn by tossing kernels into the fire and waiting for them to pop out.
Others popped corn in pots that had been filled with hot sand. Some Indians wore headdresses and necklaces made of puffed corn. The Aztecs used popcorn in their religious ceremonies. Early American settlers learned about popcorn from the Indians.
Although it has an ancient history on the North American continent, popcorn only gained widespread popularity in modern U.S. culture in the late 1800s. Popcorn was very popular from the 1890s until the Great Depression.
Street vendors used to follow crowds around, pushing steam or gas-powered poppers through fairs, parks and expositions. Today, people in the U.S. consume 16 billion quarts of popped popcorn each year. The average American eats about 51 quarts.