National Popcorn Day!

popcorn on cob

These beautiful cobs can be popped as-is in a paper bag in your microwave!

You might love popcorn, and not even know, that this very Sunday, January 19, is National Popcorn Day! A wintery Sunday is perfect for celebrating  this amaizing food :). Nowadays it’s claim to fame is as an excellent accompaniment to movies, but popcorn has a long history, and we have compiled a few tasty bits to enjoy below.

 Harvested in the fall and dried naturally in our greenhouses, RFF popcorn is a real treat!

You can pick up a cob or two (or five or six, because who can say no to popcorn) at our winter farmers’ market booths this Saturday in Northampton, Somerville, and Wayland, and at Red Fire North, and every weekend at our farmers’ markets.

Read on for how to  cook up our popcorn, popcorn history, and fun things to do on National Popcorn Day!

How to Pop RFF Popcorn

POPCORN VIDEO: Watch and listen as Dan from the farm makes popcorn in his microwave!

Unlike the microwave popcorn or bagged kernels you might buy at the grocery store, RFF organic popcorn comes to you straight off the cob. But don’t get intimidated — getting it popped is simple and fun!

Microwave method: Remove any damaged kernels and place the cob into a paper bag (brown lunch bags or grocery bags work great), folding the top shut. Heat for approximately two and a half minutes, but be sure to stay close by and listen for the popping to slow. Once the popping is reduced to 1-2 seconds between kernels, your popcorn is done. Let the bag sit for a few minutes and slowly open the top to vent the steam. Pour the popped kernels into a bowl and season to taste with melted butter and/or salt. A few popped pieces might stay stuck on the cob, which, once cooled, can be eaten as well! You can try re-popping a cob with lots of remaining kernels.

popcorn popped in a bowl
You can see some of the popped corn on the cob in this photo by CSA member Isabella Montillo Carter.


Stove top method: Remove any damaged kernels and strip off the remaining into a bowl. This can be done with the fingers or by pushing kernels off with a small spoon. If you have two ears, try rubbing them together! Next, heat a tablespoon or so of high-temperature oil (like canola, coconut or corn oil) on high in the bottom of a thick-bottomed pot or saucepan. Pour in the kernels and spread evenly across the bottom of the pan before covering with a lid. When the popping begins, start shaking the pan back and forth a bit over the heat to keep already-popped kernels from burning on the bottom. When popping slows to 1-2 seconds, remove the pan from the heat and transfer the popcorn to a bowl for eating. Season as you like! has a crazy collection of popcorn recipes that you can check out and enjoy! Like Adobo and Roasted Peanut Popcorn, which you could simplify if using oil to stick the ingredients to the popcorn, and Caramel Corn Crunch.

A Brief History of Popcorn 


Popcorn harvested in Granby.

As you chow down, consider that popcorn was first cultivated centuries ago by ancient Native Americans, Aztecs, and Incas. The oldest known popcorn found so far was discovered in a cave in New Mexico in 1948 and dated back almost 5,600 years. Popped corn was cherished in ancient Aztec society, being used both as a source of food and as decoration for religious ceremonies. Eventually, after the colonization of the Americas by Europeans, popcorn spread across the rest of the world.


More recently, popcorn grew in popularity in the United States as farming boomed during the 1800s. Later, during the Great Depression, bags of popcorn selling for no more than a dime became a way for those with just a little money to splurge and treat themselves to a special meal.


Today, thanks to the advent of movie theaters and microwave ovens, popcorn remains a staple in snacking both in the United States and the world over. In America alone, it’s estimated that over 13 billion quarts of popcorn are eaten every year. Yum!


Get Corny with Popcorn Day Activities:

There’s more to National Popcorn Day than just eating, of course. Here are a few activities you can do with your family or friends at home to help celebrate. Be sure to check out for the complete list:

  • Popcorn football: Like paper football, but with popcorn kernels! How many field goals can you make? Bonus points for kicking popcorn into your playing partner’s mouth!
  • Popcorn stringing: Christmas has passed, but you can still string up popcorn. Try hanging up outside to draw in local birds for a snack!
  • Write a popcorn haiku: The traditional Japanese 5-7-5 syllable poem, but adapted for popcorn. Here’s ours…

Popcorn in the pan

Blowing up like Beyoncé

In the house tonight!

Have a happy National Popcorn Day!