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A Very Brief History of Caramel Corn

Posted by Rural Route1 on 8/25/2014
Caramel corn just might be the perfect snack. After all, don't we all love tasting a little of the salty and sweet on our tongue? When we think about some of our favorite snacks, we all have to concede that the very best and most flavorful snacks that make music on our taste buds are those that have just the right combination of salty and sweet, right?

Caramel corn certainly as to be right at the top of the list when you think about it. The natural yet subtle saltiness of the popcorn combined with the sweet molasses consistency and the salt in caramel make for just the right balance where neither the salty or sweet dominate the other. 

Now, we know this is a bit out of place, since National Caramel Corn Day is actually in early April, but today we had a hankering for some caramel corn - you don't have to wait for a national day to enjoy some, right? - and we thought this would as good a time as any to talk a little about caramel corn.

Did you know that caramel corn has been around in some form or another for more than 120 years, and that it is made in America? I know, that latter fact doesn't really surprise you because when there is a snack this good, it just has to be American-made, right?

The story goes that the caramel and corn mixture was first put to the public back in the 1890s, when a predecessor mixture of popcorn with molasses was introduced at a World's Fair by two brothers, Fred and Louis Rueckheim. The concoction was well-received in general, but it was very sticky on fingers and hands. So the pair went back and tweaked the recipe and came up with a lighter coating of caramel instead of molasses that was not nearly as sticky and still had much of the sweetness that the previous mixture had. 

A short time later, Cracker Jacks came to be. There have been several caramel corn mixtures and recipes that have evolved over the years since, including our own. If you looked around on the Internet, you could easily see at least 20 variations of caramel corn recipes - some include nuts, others chocolate, others both or even rolling in marshmallows. 

Considering how many different variations of the caramel corn recipe there are, it gives you an indication of how popular caramel corn is in America and across the world. Maybe it confirms that it is the perfect snack! At least, we might think so ... we may be a little biased, but so what?