Predating nachos, Junior Mints, and even lemonade, popcorn was one of the Americas’ first snack foods. As early as 3,000 years ago, as epic stories were staged around the campfire, popcorn was there. A hundred years ago, back when theater owners still made their livings through ticket sales, popcorn vendors hawked their wares on street corners and in front of movie-house doors. Inviting the popcorn vendors inside was an immediate success, drawing in people for a snack and show. Originally, the popcorn machine in the lobby was a separate business. “Concession stand” referred to the arrangement between the vendor and theater owner. Today, snacks are the meal ticket for theater owners, though popcorn continues to dominate the lobby. Unlike most common corn-the kind used to make cornbread, corn on the cob, or ethanol-popping corn on the market today isn’t genetically modified. Popcorn is a whole grain and theoretically low in fat, depending on how much butter and salt is added. Try a bite of popcorn with some Raisinettes, and you’ll be getting some antioxidants, too.


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