Years back my son had a yellow lab and a French Mastiff. He and his girl would babysit for two Bull Mastiffs. When there was a bowl of popcorn made, the dogs would sit in a line, like dutiful students, and wait their turn for one piece of popcorn as it was thrown to them. The dogs were as big as his girlfriend, so it was comical to see them be so well-behaved and patient. We all wanted a turn at being the thrower.
A string of popcorn used to be an adornment for our Christmas tree when I was little. When we took all the other decorations off, the popcorn stayed. We would then stand the tree up in the back yard and the birds would eat the popcorn. They never seemed to mind if it was stale.
Popcorn started becoming popular in the United States in the middle 1800s. It wasn’t until Charles Cretors, a candy-store owner, developed a machine for popping corn with steam that the tasty treat became more abundantly poppable. By 1900 he had horse-drawn popcorn wagons going through the streets of Chicago.
About the same time, Louise Ruckheim added peanuts and molasses to popcorn to bring Cracker Jack to the world. The national anthem of baseball was born in 1908 when Jack Norworth and Albert Von Tilzer wrote Take Me out to the Ballgame. From that point onward, popcorn, specifically Cracker Jack, became forever married to the game.
I included the above from the National Day of Calendar because I didn’t know popcorn had such a history or how long Cracker Jacks have been popular. I can’t imagine popcorn being sold out of horse-drawn wagons. I mean I can see it, but it seems the popcorn would be stale. Perhaps I am wrong.