INDIANAPOLIS — Light and fluffy, sometimes sweet or salty, popcorn is one of America's favorite snack foods.
In Indiana, that means big business. The Hoosier state is the nation's second largest popcorn producer, which is why popcorn will be the featured product at the 2013 Indiana State Fair.
"People have long known Indiana for being a tremendous corn-producing state, but very few folks know about our popcorn production," said Cindy Hoye, Indiana State Fair executive director. "This is the year we make sure all Hoosiers realize that their main movie-watching snack was likely grown and manufactured right here in Indiana."
Almost all of the popcorn in the world is grown in the United States, and the first popcorn ears are said to be about 4,000 years old. Indiana has several popcorn companies, some dating back to the early 1900s. Ironically, the tasty treat didn't become popular until the Great Depression when it was one of the only "luxuries" people could afford. The advent of the microwave oven changed everything and eventually rocketed popcorn's popularity to where it is today.
The 2013 Indiana State Fair will have "fun at every turn" as the new theme declares, and much of it will be popcorn related.
This is the seventh straight year the fair has highlighted one of Indiana's agricultural commodities. Previously, the fair has featured corn, trees, tomatoes, pigs, soybeans, and dairy cows.
Next year's fair will run Aug. 2 through 18.