In Indiana, popcorn companies have been popping up since 1952, starting with Orville Redenbacher.
Today, Indiana ranks second in popcorn production with $3 billion in corn sales, according to the Indiana Department of Agriculture.
Although popcorn only takes a few minutes to make in the microwave, the snack endures a long process from the field to the table.
First, popcorn seeds must be planted in separate fields from other types of corn, especially sweet corn. It must be left in the field until the very end of growing season to ensure the kernels are as dry as possible. When farmers think it is almost time for harvest, they shell a few kernels and pop them to check for taste.
Then, the corn husks are shelled and stored in airtight containers where the popcorn can retain its “popping quality” for a few years. When the popcorn reaches its designated company, it is either bagged to be sold in the supermarket or it is popped and transformed.
CRAZY Popcorn flavors:
- Buffalo hot wing
- Cotton candy
- Dill pickle
There are multiple large production popcorn companies in Indiana, along with smaller gourmet shops.
FUN Popcorn shop names:
- Pop Around the Clock
- Fresh POP’D Popcorn Company
- Just Pop In!
- Poptique Popcorn
- Poppin’ Off Popcorn
While Indiana has all of these popcorn companies, what makes it stand out is Popcorn, Indiana. Yes, there is a real city called Popcorn.
Popcorn, Indiana, has a population of 42 people. The town got its name from the amount of popcorn the area grew, and in turn the brand name for its product is Popcorn, Indiana.
Along with stores and a whole town dedicated to popcorn, there are also two festivals dedicated to the consumption and creation of popcorn: the Van Buren Popcorn Festival and the Valpo Popcorn Festival.
The Van Buren Popcorn Festival began in 1973 and occurs every year in August, according to the event’s website. The festival includes a popcorn parade, “Kernel Klassic 5K” and a scarecrow contest. The Valpo Popcorn Festival began in 1978 and has grown to include 250 arts and crafts booths, 35 food booths and a five-mile popcorn panic, according to the event’s website.
For those who enjoy popcorn daily, plain not gourmet, one serving can amount to 70 percent of the recommended daily amount of whole grain, according to popcorn.org. Popcorn can also be good for diabetics because it can help delay hunger, help with weight control and help control blood sugar.
FUN FACTS about popcorn:
- Americans consume 114 billion quarts of popcorn each year
- 70 percent of popcorn is eaten in homes and 30 percent outside (in movie theaters, stadiums, schools)
- Many companies use dry gelatin to color and flavor popcorn
- Popcorn CAN be grown in a garden
- It would take 352,000,000 popped kernels of popcorn to make a trail from New York to Los Angeles
- Popcorn comes in two shapes: snowflake and mushroom. Movie Theaters use snowflake because it looks bigger, and mushroom is used for confections because it doesn’t crumble
- The world’s largest popcorn ball was created at the 2013 Indiana State Fair; it weighed 6,500 pounds and was 8 feet in diameter
Facts from popcorn.org