How Was Popcorn Discovered?

There is no record of who discovered popcorn, but the earliest accounts of humans popping corn show an ancient technique of heating sand in fire until completely hot and then stirring in the kernels. It is even believed that the first use of wild corn was for popping.

In 1948 the oldest ears of popcorn were discovered in New Mexico's Bat Cave, dating back up to 4,000 years ago. They were only a bit larger than a penny.

It is thought that popcorn was an integral part of Aztec Indian cultures in which it was referred to as "momochitl." Women would decorate themselves in popcorn necklaces, bracelets, and headdresses for ceremonies and dance a "popcorn dance." They also used popcorn to decorate statues of their gods, such as Tlaloc, god of rain and fertility. The Peruvian Indians also frequently toasted popcorn and called it "pisancalla."

The first mobile popcorn machine was developed by Charles Cretors in 1893, with the goal of following events and high traffic areas as they arose in order to get the most business possible. Popcorn played an important role in the development of the microwave, as Percy Spencer used popcorn in many of his experiments while developing it.