"Popped Culture: A Social History of Popcorn in...

Editor's Choice

March 25, 2001|By Michael Pakenham | Michael Pakenham,SUN STAFF

"Popped Culture: A Social History of Popcorn in America," by Andrew F. Smith (Smithsonian Institution Press, 264 pages, $16.95)

Popcorn is, well, light stuff. But few entertainment food forms are as deep in America's character as it is. This volume is a comprehensive, scholarly but utterly enchanting exploration of the explosive fluffy kernels from their earleist beginnings (back in Western Hemisphere prehistory) to the present. Popcorn became a major American thing in the early 1800s - and no, there is not a shred of evidece that it was present at the first Thanksgiving. A worthy history, an Amercian folk romp - and about a zillion historic recipes.

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