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The exact birthplace of kettle corn is unknown, but it is generally agreed German immigrants brought the tasty treat to America. They made their version of kettle corn in large black iron kettles used to render lard and added molasses, or honey to sweeten the popcorn. Although the ingredients used today to make kettle corn have changed from lard and molasses, to vegetable oil and sugar the flavor and texture have remained the same.


In the 1700s, kettle corn was introduced to colonial palates in the United States. It is referenced in the diaries of Dutch Settlers in Pennsylvania circa 1776. It was a special treat often consumed at fairs or other festive occasions. The corn is cooked for maximum taste in iron kettles and then sweetened with sugar or honey before adding salt. The combination was widely popular in the early 1800s but fell from wide usage during the 1900s.

In the early 2000s, kettle corn has made something of a comeback in America, especially at 19th century living history events. As of the 21st century, it is cooked and sold at fairs and flea markets throughout the United States, especially art and craft shows. The microwave version is sold at grocery stores by Orville Redenbacher’s, Act II, and other brands.

[ courtesy of Wikipedia]

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