On Tuesday, January 19, from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m., you are invited to purchase bags of popcorn at the bargain basement price of 25¢ each at the Bookmark Café of the library.
The smells of a buttery, crunchy treat will fill the air in the Blount County Public Library as you observe National Popcorn Day – at the library!
Popcorn is one of the country’s favorite snacks; as a nation, Americans consume 13 billion quarts each year, according to the Popcorn Board, a nonprofit industry organization. That number breaks down to about 41 quarts annually for every single American.
The biggest year of popcorn sales in the U.S. was 1993, but 2014 was third. Fall and winter are the most popular seasons for the snack. Most popcorn sold to consumers is destined to be popped in microwaves, the Popcorn Board reports, but the library will have an old-time popper turning out delicious movie-style popcorn.
Popcorn was first enjoyed by Native Americans as a food, and it was also used in rituals. Young Aztec women, for instance, participated in a “Popcorn Dance” to pray for fertile fields.
The oldest samples of popcorn were found in a New Mexico cave. These miniature ears of corn are approximately 4,000 years old.
More recently, popcorn was the only snack food to increase in sales during the Great Depression, according to the Popcorn Board. This upturn may be due to the fact that movie theaters starting selling popcorn at that time.
When sugar was rationed in the U.S. during World War II, popcorn surged in popularity as an alternative to sweet treats. Sales later dipped as families began watching more television, until microwaves became popular in the 1980s, making popcorn more convenient to make at home.
Learn more about popcorn, or just enjoy a bag or two, at the library on January 19.
Open to the public, this program is hosted by the Blount County Public Library, located at 508 N. Cusick Street, Maryville. For further information about library programs or services, call the library at 982-0981 or visit the Web site at www.blounttn.org/197.