History of popcorn

The popcorn is a special type of corn known under the scientific name "Zeamayseverta". The discovery that a strong heat pops the corn balls is attributed to the indigenous populations of America several thousand years ago, both in Mexico and Peru. The first traces of the presence of this food have been found in New Mexico on 3600 B.C.
Until the discovery of America, corn was unknown in Europe. Early explorers had observed that the indigenous populations used popcorn as food, to spread it during religious ceremonies in honor of the gods and as a decorative element in their hair.
The most important moment for popcorn was definitely the seventeenth century. During this period, in fact, a Spanish missionary, Bernabé Cobo, wrote about how the indigenous people toasted a certain type of corn up to make it explode: "they call it pisancalla and they use it as a sort of pastry". Starting from this period, the culture of corn was immediately and exponentially spread, substituting some other "poor" cereals such as the millet. In some areas of Italy, corn became practically the only food consumed.
A curious fact is that, in the 1920s, with the origin of the cinema, the idea of consuming any food with high levels of noise pollution, such as popcorn, was completely inconceivable in luxurious cinemas, since in these environments the "crunch" was not appreciated.
Despite this, since 1885, the cracked corn was very well known. In fact, the first popcorn machine was produced on that date. From the first moments it was considered as an excellent "street food", to be prepared in a short time and easily sold thanks to its typical scent that attracted many people. However, as often happens at certain historical moments, there are changes even on small things.
In fact, during the great depression, the American economy was severely tested and the cinema was transformed into a mass cultural phenomenon becoming accessible to everyone. It is in this period that the fashion explodes for the cheapest snack of all: popcorn. In the nineteenth century, popcorn gradually became a great trend, with the increase of street vendors ready to offer bags. Over the course of time, even popcorns have, in a certain way, "evolved". Today we can find classic corn grains or even fanciful recipes which use ingredients such as caramel chocolate or sauces.