In one week, the nation can join together to celebrate popcorn: Jan. 19 is National Popcorn Day. The day is set aside to celebrate one of nature’s most extraordinary foods. Popcorn has the unique ability to literally turn itself inside out, providing whole-grain goodness in a tasty snack.
￼If you’re looking for ways to celebrate, why not try some of the recipes on popcorn.org? The website is dedicated to all things popcorn and hosted by The Popcorn Board. It features hundreds of recipes to choose from — savory, sweet, and just about every flavor in between. You’re sure to satisfy your craving for something delicious (and you might even discover new taste sensations).
Following is one of the many recipes offered on the site.
Cherry-Almond Popcorn Clusters
Sweet red cherries pair with whole almonds in this delicious treat!
Yield: 6 quarts
5 quarts popped popcorn, unsalted
2 cups sugar
1 1/2 cups water
1/2 cup light corn syrup
1 teaspoon vinegar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon almond extract
1 cup red glacé cherries, cut in quarters
1/2 cup toasted blanched whole almonds
1. Keep popcorn warm in a 300-degree Fahrenheit oven.
2. In a heavy medium-sized saucepan, combine sugar, water, corn syrup, vinegar and salt.
3. Bring to a boil; clip candy thermometer to pan.
4. Cook syrup to 250 degrees Fahrenheit (hard ball stage).
5. Stir in almond extract. Scatter cherries and almonds over the popcorn.
6. Slowly pour syrup over all; toss lightly to coat evenly.
7. Spread popcorn on buttered cookie sheet.
8. Cool. Separate into clusters with a fork.
10 National Popcorn Day activities
Leslie F., a teacher from Concord, Illinois, submitted the following suggestions for Popcorn Day Activities to The Popcorn Board.
• Stringing Popcorn: This can be hung outside for birds to eat. Need: sewing needles, string, popcorn.
• Guess the Amount: Fill container with kernels and have students guess. Need: popcorn kernels, container.
• Popcorn Air Hockey: Can you “volley” the kernel back and forth 20 times without letting it fall? Need: flat surface (table), straw (to blow), coffee stirrers (as paddles) or hands (as paddles).
• Popcorn Relay Race. Need: popcorn, spoons.
• Popcorn Basketball: Can you flick a piece of popcorn into the basket? Need: popcorn, baskets (i.e. muffin tins, small cups), backboards (wall, cardboard).
• Popcorn word search (puzzle maker). Use these words: popcorn, pop, kernel, explode, heat, moisture, grain, snack, crunchy, butter, oil, salt, fiber, bag, hull.
• Write a Popcorn Haiku (5, 7, 5 syllable pattern poem): Like this! Oil, kernels, heat, time Many loud explosions heard Pop, crunch, snack time. Yum!
• How many words can you make from this phrase? "Fresh hot popcorn”, “Popcorn tastes good”, “I like popcorn”, “Hot buttered popcorn.”
Find popcorn coloring pages, popcorn facts and learn about the history of popcorn on popcorn.org.