By Local Guides


“Popcorn Day” in the USA began on January 31 1988, presumably to make it match to the Super Bowl festivities. However, since 2003 the date has been moved to January 19, which remains to the present day and celebrated with all kind of buttered, salted, kettled, drizzled with caramel; a perfect snack anytime, anywhere.

Something important about popcorn is that the corn we eat and the corn we pop are two different varieties of maize. In fact, the corn you’d find on your dinner table is most likely unable to pop at all!

The one named “maíz palomero” in Mexico or Zea mays everta, is one of over 50 corn seeds cultivated from over 9000 years ago in the Americas. Thanks to the ancient Mexicans domesticating corn, it was possible to select the best seeds from every harvest to eventually grow a better quality; and the popcorn seeds used to be popped and coated with maguey honey to eat as dessert.

A Spanish historian refers to popcorn as “Momochtli” when, to honor the Aztec God Tezcatlipoca …”the women danced, and they wore on their heads some hoods composed of toasted corn that they called momochtli, that each grain is a very white flower”…

During the Great Depression (1923-1933), the “momochtli” became popular in movie theaters because it was a cheap snack, helping people forget about the war and economy by watching moving images and eating popcorn!

According to specialized publications, the amount of popcorn consumed by Americans annually is close to 15 billion quarts and the percentage of popcorn eaten at home and theaters its 70%. Compared to most snack foods, popcorn is extremely low in calories. Air-popped popcorn only has 31 calories per cup, while oil-popped popcorn has only 55 calories per cup. Enjoy Popcorn!

“MOMOCHTLI” by Alfredo de la Cruz.

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