Skip the chick feed

AND POP THE KIDS SOME CORN

Posted: Wednesday, October 31, 2007

 

  Halloween treats made with popcorn and other corn snacks offer a nice change from mini candy bars, gummy bears and "chick feed" candy corn. Photo by Sue Ade/Morris News Ser

Halloween treats made with popcorn and other corn snacks offer a nice change from mini candy bars, gummy bears and "chick feed" candy corn.

Photo by Sue Ade/Morris News Ser

Whether you enjoy popping corn yourself or opt for the convenience of microwave popcorn, popcorn can provide an inexpensive and practical response to the demand for sweets and other goodies from Halloween-costumed trick-or-treaters.

For a safe and sound Halloween, many families are now favoring at-home or community-sponsored events for children, giving folks the opportunity to offer treats other than the assortment of mini candy bars, gummy bears and the most popular Halloween candy of all, candy corn.

While the National Confectioners Association boasts American consumption of "chick feed" candy corn at a frightening 20 million pounds a year, the appetites of Americans for another kind of corn popcorn is even more hair-raising at over 1 billion pounds of popcorn a year, or appximately 70 quarts of popcorn a year for each of us.

Popcorn is an old, old food and was already in America when Christopher Columbus got here. But it took about another 400 years for Charlie Cretors to invent the first steam-powered automatic popcorn popper cart in 1885. In 1925, the first popcorn popper for home use was created and 20 years later, Percy Spencer, an engineer and inventor with Raytheon Co., applied microwave energy to popcorn, discovered it popped and made the first batch of microwave oven popcorn.

Today, sales of microwave popcorn are in the neighborhood of $250 billion, and it's been deemed America's favorite snack food.

If popcorn is the best part of going to the movies for you, then you are sure to have a good time at any Halloween party where popcorn is in the food spotlight. And in case you didn't know it, October happens to be National Popcorn Poppin' Month.

Happy Halloween, ghost and goblins pop, pop, pop!



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