Caramel Popcorn, or Caramel Corn as it is most popularly known, is a delicious treat enjoyed by millions every year. Caramel corn is popcorn that has been coated in a sweet, caramel coating. It’s what gives this delicious snack its signature crunch. Americans are widely known to have a love affair with sweet and crunchy caramel corn and the treat can be found in gourmet popcorn stores, on grocery market shelves, and can be easily made at home! So how did we as a country get so hooked on caramel corn? Let’s revisit Caramel Popcorn History.
Caramel corn surfaced in the late 1800s but sweetened popcorn had been around for years prior. Kettle corn was often made for holidays and other special occasions. While the sweet and salty kettle corn was a popular snack for a majority of the 19th century, it wasn’t until the 1870s when caramel corn was introduced.
Fredrick and Louis Reukheim, two German brothers who immigrated to the United States and settled in Chicago opened up a popcorn store in the 1870s and began experimenting with different toppings and flavors. Thus, a new concoction of the mix between popcorn, peanuts, and molasses was born. Not long after, Caramel Corn became a hit!
After somebody who sampled the caramel corn exclaimed: “That’s a crackerjack!” (meaning “of great quality” back in that time) the name stuck. In 1986, the German brothers registered Cracker Jack ® and began the mass production of this tasty snack. The success and popularity of the molasses coated Cracker Jack led to others experimenting with many different kinds of coatings and syrups to put on popcorn, propelling the caramel popcorn craze into the mainstream.
Today, caramel corn is traditionally made by mixing a sugar solution (sometimes molasses) and heating until the sugar caramelizes, turning it into a golden-brown or brown color which is then drizzled over the popcorn or mixed all together. This is often sold as a standalone product or with other varieties of mixed nuts including peanuts, almonds, pecans, and cashews.
Caramel corn is one of the biggest sellers as a popcorn tin flavor to this day. Popcorn tins feature a wide range of flavored popcorn sold in a large, collectible tin is often given as gifts for the holidays. The “traditional” popcorn tin contains caramel corn, butter popcorn, and cheddar cheese flavored popcorn.
Now that you know the Caramel Popcorn History, it’s only right indulging in some delicious kernel. We have traditional tins just in time for the upcoming holidays or enjoy a solo bag just for yourself! We cater for Weddings or any other kind of event you are looking to throw. But one thing is for sure, no matter what kind of kernel you want to eat, we have it! Take a look at our wide variety of flavors as well or our store and contact us today for more information!