ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – One of our favorite movie-time snacks actually has New Mexico roots. The earliest ears of popcorn ever found were discovered right here in the Land of Enchantment.
Popcorn is made from a different kind of corn than the regular corn you see in grocery stores. Excavation teams found the ears of popcorn near the Gila National Forest in New Mexico’s Bat Cave in the late 1940s and early 1950s. Ranging in size from smaller than a penny to around two inches, some of those ears were 4,000 years old.
“Harvard and the University of New Mexico were doing excavations there in Bat Cave,” said Michael Redmond, owner of Baked Popcorn. “They found the oldest ears of popcorn that is known in the world.”
Redmond recently launched his company Baked Popcorn, based in Texas. As he learns more about the snack’s history, he’s sharing this information online for others to learn.
“Just a little bit of history of popcorn, fun facts of popcorn, things like that, we’re just working through the list, so it’s pretty interesting,” said Redmond. “Popcorn’s been used through the ages in anything from soup to decorations to sweet and savory and it has a very long history.”
Redmond says early Spanish settlers said the Aztec Indians used popcorn in religious ceremonies. He says the Aztecs also used popcorn as decoration for headdresses, necklaces, and ornaments on statues of their gods.