Popcorn is one of Americans’ favorite snack foods, so it’s no wonder those kernels have their own holiday. Tuesday marks National Popcorn Day, and what better way to celebrate it than to indulge in the irresistible treat. If you’re looking for freebies, many malls, movie theaters and university centers across the country will treat a popcorn lover to a free bag of it. Gourmet popcorn shops in your area may also be celebrating the holiday with giveaways.
There are also plenty of other things to do on National Popcorn Day, like throwing a popcorn potluck or writing a popcorn haiku. Keep scrolling for a list of popcorn activities, fun facts and recipes.
National Popcorn Day Activities
- Go to the movies.
- Make homemade popcorn (scroll down for recipes).
- Write a haiku about popcorn, like this one posted at Popcorn.org:
Oil, kernels, heat, time
Many loud explosions heard
Pop, crunch, snack time. Yum!
- Have a popcorn potluck. Advise guests to bring their favorite version of the snack food and watch some classic movies. Fill a container with kernels and let your guests guess how many are in there. Give a bag of free popcorn or a movie-theater gift card to the winner.
- Print out these coloring sheets and bring Poppy the Popcorn to life!
Corny Facts About Popcorn
- Americans consume 13 billion quarts of popped popcorn annually or 21 quarts per man, woman and child. About 70 percent is eaten at home and about 30 percent is eaten elsewhere at theaters, stadiums and schools, according to the Popcorn Institute.
- The top popcorn-producing states are Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Michigan, Missouri, Nebraska and Ohio.
- Most of the popcorn consumed worldwide is grown in the U.S.
- If stored correctly, popcorn kernels can last for millennia. Archeologists have unearthed kernels that are still popable in ancient Peruvian tombs.
- Popcorn is packed with healthy fats, antioxidants, vitamin E, vitamin B and protein. It also contains about 1 gram of fiber per cup, which has more iron than an egg.
- When eaten plain (without any butter, that is), popcorn accounts for just 30 calories per cup.
There’s nothing better than fresh, homemade popcorn. This recipe was adapted from Baked Bree.
- 1/4 cup of coconut or canola oil
- 2/3 cup of popcorn kernels
- 3 tablespoons of butter
- Add the oil and three popcorn kernels to a large pot.
- Cover and cook over medium-high heat on a stovetop until all three kernels pop.
- Take the three kernels out of the pot.
- Add the rest of the popcorn kernels.
- Cover and take the pot off the heat.
- Wait 30 seconds.
- Put the pot back on the heat and cook, shaking the pot occasionally until the popping slows down.
- After about 2 minutes, take the lid off the pot to let the steam out. This keeps the popcorn nice and crisp while it continues to pop.
- Toss in melted butter or spices of your choice and enjoy.
The best thing about making your own popcorn is you can add whatever flavors you like. Here are some ideas:
- Add melted butter, a drizzle of honey and a pinch of sea salt for a classic flavor.
- Drizzle popcorn with olive oil rather than butter for an even healthier treat.
- Add some garlic and parmesan cheese for a flavorful, salty bite.
- Kick regular popcorn up a notch by tossing in some cayenne and cumin.
- Either drizzle maple syrup or sprinkle cinnamon and brown sugar on fresh popcorn for a sweet treat.
- Use popcorn instead of cereal when making Rice Krispies treats as a tasty twist on a childhood classic.