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Unlike other culinary fads of the nineteenth century, popcorn has never lost favor with the American public. Smith gauges the reasons for its unflagging popularity: the invention of "wire over the fire" poppers, commercial promotion by shrewd producers, the fascination of children with the kernel's magical "pop," and affordability. To explain popcorn's twentieth-century success, he examines its fortuitous association with new technology-radio, movies, television, microwaves-and recounts the brand-name triumphs of American manufacturers and packagers. His familiarity with the history of the snack allows him to form expectations about popcorn's future in the United States and abroad.
Smith concludes his account with more than 160 surprising historical recipes for popcorn cookery, including the intriguing use of the snack in custard, hash, ice cream, omelets, and soup.
|List of Illustrations|
|Ch. 1||The Pop Heard 'Round the Americas||3|
|Ch. 2||The Invention of Popcorn||24|
|Ch. 3||Popcorn Children||38|
|Ch. 4||Pop Cookery||52|
|Ch. 5||Early Pop Pros||68|
|Ch. 6||The Popcorn Boom||99|
|Ch. 7||Pop Convenience||124|
|Ch. 8||Pop Mania||138|
|Ch. 9||The End of Popcorn?||157|
|Pt. II||Historical Recipes||165|
|Select Bibliography and Resources||249|