Fun Facts to Celebrate National Cheese Lover’s Day!

Cheddar Cheese Popcorn

Calling all cheese heads! January 20 is National Cheese Lover’s Day, so mark your calendars! In honor of everyone’s favorite dairy delight, take a look at these fun facts about cheese while you’re chowing down on The Popcorn Factory’s cheddar and white cheddar treats. (After all, no snack captures the deliciously creamy flavor of cheese better than popcorn!)

  • No one really knows when cheese was first made. Some say that cheese-making first started in 8,000 B.C., when the tribes in Central Asia stored milk in animal skins during their travels. Popular belief has it that the bacteria in the animal skins caused the milk to form the first cheese curds.
  • Scientists have found what they believe to be the remains of cheese buried in 4,000-year-old Egyptian tombs. Archaeologists have also discovered ancient Egyptian murals depicting the cheese-making process, which date back to 2,000 B.C.
  • Many ancient Roman homes featured a separate kitchen that was solely used to make cheese.
  • In the 17th century, people thought that eating cheese would make you, er, less intelligent.
  • The nickname “big cheese” was first used to refer to people who could afford to buy a wheel of cheese.
  • More than 900 types of cheese exist in the world today.
  • Americans eat about 31 pounds of cheese a year each, but they’re not even close to holding the world record. The Greeks consume the most cheese on a yearly basis: almost 60 pounds per person!
  • The U.S. does produce the most cheese in the world, though, and most of it comes from Wisconsin and California.
  • Wisconsinproduces about 2 billion pounds of cheese per year, and it’s the home of 126 cheese plants.
  • Ten pounds of milk are needed to make 1 pound of cheese.
  • The world’s largest piece of cheese was made in Quebec, Canada, in 1995. It weighed in at more than 57,000 pounds, and more than 540,000 pounds of milk were used to make it.
  • Eating certain types of cheese—such as cheddar, Swiss, bleu and others—right after a meal is said to help prevent tooth decay and help you sleep.

What kind of velvety cheese will you be munching on to celebrate National Cheese Lover’s Day?

National Popcorn Day Recipe: Tuxedo Chocolate Chip Cookie Popcorn (Plus Fun Family Activities!)

Tuxedo Chocolate Chip Cookie PopcornHear ye, hear ye: We’re overjoyed to announce that January 19 is National Popcorn Day! To help you celebrate the world’s yummiest and most fun snack, we’ve gathered a list of exciting National Popcorn Day activities for you to enjoy with your kids. Plus, we’ve even put together a spankin’ new recipe just for you: Our Tuxedo Chocolate Chip Cookie Popcorn is perfectly dressed for the occasion. So get ready; this is going to be one pop-tastic holiday for the whole family!

National Popcorn Day Activities for the Family

  • Help your kids carefully string together some popcorn to create garland. Hang up your delish décor anywhere in your house, or turn it into an outdoor bird feeder by covering it with birdseed.
  • Test your kids’ knowledge with a pop quiz! Search the Web for some little-known popcorn facts, and then use them to create a flash card game. At the end of the game, each contestant gets a special popcorn treat as a prize.
  • Go to the library and take out some popcorn-themed books that your kids can read while they munch on their favorite snack.
  • Print out a bunch of popcorn coloring sheets and let your kids show off their inner pop-casso. Help them proudly display their artwork on the fridge or in a handmade Popsicle stick frame. (Tip: Decorate the frame with glitter and popcorn!)
  • Or, make a different kind of pop art: Grab some construction paper and glue, plus a few fun popcorn flavors and colors. Help your kids glue the popcorn to the construction paper to create a masterpiece.
  • To end your holiday on a very sweet note, try our special National Popcorn Day recipe below!

Recipe: Tuxedo Chocolate Chip Cookie Popcorn

What You’ll Need

8 chocolate chip cookies with white and milk chocolate chunks
8 cups Peanut Brittle Popcorn*
2 cups semisweet or milk chocolate chips
½ cup white chocolate chips

*Peanut Brittle Popcorn adds a hint of saltiness that perfectly complements the chocolately flavor of the cookies. But if anyone in your family is allergic to peanuts, use another sweet Popcorn Factory flavor instead, like caramel or kettle corn.

Directions

  1. Pour the Peanut Brittle Popcorn into a large mixing bowl.
  2. Crumble the cookies into tiny bite-sized pieces and add them to the bowl of popcorn. Then, add the white chocolate chips and lightly stir the mixture until the popcorn, cookies and chocolate are well-blended.
  3. Place the semisweet or milk chocolate chips in a microwave-safe bowl and heat it in the microwave until it is melted, making sure to stir the chocolate every 30 seconds.
  4. Once the chocolate has melted, pour it over your popcorn mixture and gently stir it to get an even coating.
  5. Pour the popcorn mixture onto a cookie sheet lined with wax paper and spread it out into a thin layer. Cool it in the refrigerator for 5 minutes or until the melted chocolate has completely hardened.
  6. When it’s ready, break apart your Tuxedo Chocolate Chip Cookie Popcorn into big chunks and enjoy! Store any leftovers in an airtight container.

How will you and your family celebrate National Popcorn Day?

How to Make a Christmas Wreath With Holiday Popcorn

Christmas Wreath Made With Holiday PopcornDeck the halls with kernels of popcorn! All you need is a couple of crafty tools and some festive holiday treats to create a Christmas wreath that even Santa Claus himself would envy! Just follow this easy three-step tutorial:

Close-Up of Christmas Wreath Made With Holiday PopcornWhat You’ll Need

One green Styrofoam wreath
One 3-canister set of The Popcorn Factory’s Holiday Assortment
One hot glue gun
Christmas ribbon

Directions

  1. Using a hot glue gun, carefully glue the popcorn onto the Styrofoam wreath, piece by piece. Keep the kernels close together, and use the small pieces of broken popcorn to fill in the gaps. You can mix up the red and green kernels like we did here, or you can separate the colors to create a striped pattern on the wreath. Whatever you do, don’t burn yourself!
  2. Allow the wreath to dry completely. When it’s ready, loop a Christmas ribbon through the top of the wreath and tie it into a bow.
  3. Give your wreath a touch of winter wonder by spraying it with glitter. Then, hang it on your door, above your fireplace or on your window. For even more ideas on how to decorate your house with a wreath, check out this fun blog from 1-800-Flowers.com!

Ho, ho, ho! Now good old Saint Nick can be greeted with a beautiful Christmas wreath when he slides down your chimney!

What other kinds of nifty crafts will you be making with your holiday popcorn this Christmas?

A Toast to the Holidays: Creative Ways to Serve Your 3-Canister Popcorn Sets!

The Popcorn Factory 3-Canister Popcorn SetsGive a toast to the holiday spirit: Fill a few glasses with our delicious popcorn and spread the cheer to all of your guests! The new 3-canister popcorn sets are here just in time for the celebration, and their many colors and flavors will be a hit with friends and family! But making an even bigger statement with your snacks at the dessert table is easy and virtually effortless: Just pick an assortment (or more!) and pour the popcorn into your favorite stemware to create a stylish and elegant display.

3-Canister Holiday Assortment

The Popcorn Factory 3-Canister Holiday AssortmentThe cranberry, peppermint candy cane, and holiday kettle corn in this set makes for a fun, festive and downright delectable treat for the season. Add some extra pizzazz to your holiday spread by serving the popcorn in cute martini glasses and topping it off with candy stripe straws.

3-Canister Savory Assortment

The Popcorn Factory 3-Canister Savory AssortmentFor those with more serious tastes, the mouthwatering combination of cheese, buffalo ranch, and cracked pepper and sea salt popcorn will be at the top of their list of favorite things. Give this assortment a touch of sophistication by presenting it in beautiful wine glasses or champagne flutes.

3-Canister Chocolate Lovers Assortment

The Popcorn Factory 3-Canister Chocolate Lovers AssortmentNothing is more comforting than sitting by the fireside and enjoying drizzled caramel, s’mores, and dark chocolate sea salt popcorn with the family. For a cozy, laid back affair, hand out this treat in rustic mason jars and tie a festive ribbon around the mouth of the glass.

3-Canister Nut Lovers Assortment

The Popcorn Factory 3-Canister Nut Lovers AssortmentThis small sweet-and-savory treat is big on personality: The smooth, sugary taste of the almond pecan, peanut brittle, and butter toffee pretzel popcorn is complemented by a salty crunch. Show off the popcorn’s character and serve it up in mixed-and-matched glassware, like shot glasses and margarita glasses.

Which assortment of flavors is your favorite, and how do you plan on dishing it out to your guests this holiday season?

One State, Two Teams: How NFL Hometown Rivals Match Up

Giants and Jets Football-Themed Popcorn Tins

You’ve been a Giants fan since the first time you slept in a cradle. Your best friend, a Jets fan, bleeds green and white. Both of you grew up in New York, but you each have very different opinions when it comes to football! When two ironclad NFL teams dwell in the same state, diehard hometown fans are bound to be split straight down the middle. So the next time you and your friend are chowing down on your sports-themed popcorn and playfully bantering over which team is best, swap these fun stats about how these popular in-state rivals match up to one another!

New York Giants vs. New York Jets

First Game: The very first time the Giants and the Jets battled against each other, in true New York fashion, was November 1, 1970. The Giants came out on top with a score of 22-10, setting a trend for future bouts.

Most Recent Game: The latest game that brought the Giants and Jets face-to-face was on December 22, 2011. Like their name implies, the Giants claimed a colossal victory once again with a score of 29-14.

Overall Head-to-Head Matchups: Out of the 12 games the Giants and Jets have played together throughout NFL history, the Giants have won eight, proving they’re the toughest team on the block.

Super Bowl Wins: The Giants have been crowned Super Bowl champs a total of four times; the Jets only earned the title once. Think you can pull one over on the big guys that easily? Fuhgettaboutit.

Pittsburgh Steelers vs. Philadelphia Eagles

Steelers and Eagles Football-Themed Popcorn Tins

First Game: On November 19, 1933, the Steelers and the Eagles had their first clash. The Eagles soared above their challengers with a score of 25-6.

Most Recent Game: These two opponents last went up against each other on October 7, 2012. This time, the Steelers won by a split hair: 16-14.

Overall Head-to-Head Matchups: The Steelers and the Eagles have been matched up a whopping 77 times, with the Eagles boldly taking the spotlight for 48 of those games.

Super Bowl Wins: When it comes to the big game, the Steelers are the conquering heroes with six Super Bowl victories. The Eagles have yet to swoop in and nab the top prize, even though they’ve competed for it twice.

Dallas Cowboys vs. Houston Texans

Cowboys and Texans Football-Themed Popcorn Tins

First Game: The Cowboys only recently butted heads with the Texans: Their first game was on September 8, 2002. This was the first and only time the Texans beat the Cowboys, with a score of 19-10.

Most Recent Game: On September 26, 2010, the Cowboys came charging in and triumphed over the Texans, 27-13.

Overall Head-to-Head Matchups: The Cowboys take the cake: They’ve won two out of the mere three games they’ve played against the Texans.

Super Bowl Wins: The Cowboys have lassoed in five championship victories over the years, but the Texans haven’t yet made their Super Bowl debut. Time to saddle up and win some titles, boys!

Are you a fan of another team that has a hometown rival? Tell us why you think your team is the finest in the state!

Win Free Popcorn Weekly: Enter the Popcorn Perks Sweepstakes Today!

Popcorn Perks Sweepstakes

What makes The Popcorn Factory’s heavenly popcorn taste even better? Getting it for free, of course! Because we love our customers so much, we’d like to thank you by giving you a chance to win our popcorn and other snack products each week until December 28. So pop out those smart phones, tablets and laptops and submit your entry today!

Entering the sweepstakes is easy, and you don’t have to buy anything in order to enter or win. All you have to do is take a couple of minutes to send us your info, and you’re all set! Here’s how to do it:

  • If you’re not already a fan of The Popcorn Factory on Facebook, visit our Facebook page and hit the “Like” button. Then, fill out the entry form and you’ll be entered within seconds.
  • If you already like us on Facebook, just visit our Facebook page and fill out the entry form.

A new winner will be randomly selected each week, and you could be one of the lucky ones! To get a full list of details, visit the Popcorn Perks Official Rules page.

So go ahead and get poppin’, and good luck!

Think You Know Everything About Popcorn? Check Out Our Infographic for Some Fun Snack Facts!

The Popcorn Factory Caramel Popcorn

Just because National Popcorn Poppin’ Month wrapped up on October 31 doesn’t mean the party’s over! We here at The Popcorn Factory live, breathe and celebrate popcorn 365 days a year, so no one knows this pop-able snack better than we do.

To keep the festivities going, we’ve created a super-fun infographic with tons of little-known facts about popcorn. We’ll bet you had no idea that Americans eat 16 billion quarts of popcorn each year (it’s true!), or that The Popcorn Factory is in the Guinness Book of World Records for creating the world’s biggest popcorn ball. And that’s just a bite-sized sampling of all the tidbits we have to share with you!

So sit back, grab a bucket of your favorite kernels and enjoy learning everything you need to know about popcorn. When you’re done, come back and tell us which fun fact was the most surprising to you!

Kernels vs. Colonels Infographic

How to Make a Witch Hat With Halloween Popcorn

Popcorn Witch Hat

You don’t have to toil and trouble over your Halloween décor! With a few easy-to-find art supplies and some Halloween-themed snacks, you can brew up a wickedly cute witch hat that will spellbind your party guests (no potions necessary).

Popcorn Witch HatWhat You’ll Need

One pencil
One Styrofoam cone
Two 15-ounce canisters of Zombie Kettle Corn
One hot glue gun
One Halloween-themed wreath (handmade or store-bought)

Directions

  1. Using the pencil, draw the outline of any pattern of your choice on the surface of the Styrofoam cone. Here, we used a simple linear pattern to create bands across the base and the top of the cone.
  2. Separate the Zombie Kettle Corn by its four colors (orange, purple, green and black).
  3. With the hot glue gun, follow the pattern you drew and glue the popcorn onto the cone, piece by piece. (Watch out: Don’t burn yourself!)
  4. As you work your way up and around the cone, glue the kernels close together—like a mosaic—so the white cone doesn’t show through. Use small broken pieces of popcorn to fill any gaps between kernels.
  5. Top off the cone with the pointiest popcorn kernel you can find. When the popcorn is completely dry, spray it with glitter.
  6. To make the brim of the hat, lay the wreath face-up on a flat surface and place the cone in the center of the wreath.

Abracadabra, your witch hat is complete! Add a little extra charm by wrapping it with ribbon and embellishing it with feathers, spiders or owls. Show off your creation by resting it on your fireplace mantel, atop your kitchen counter or next to a cauldron-shaped punch bowl.

Now that our Halloween popcorn series is officially over, it’s time to put our readers to a vote! Which creepy craft was your favorite: the popcorn centerpiece, the popcorn pumpkin or the popcorn witch hat?

How to Decorate a Pumpkin With Halloween Popcorn

Popcorn Pumpkin
Two things usually come to mind when we think of October 31: Decorating pumpkins and eating Halloween treats! Why not combine the two and dress up a pumpkin with Halloween popcorn? If you’re on the hunt for some ghoulish Halloween party ideas, this craft is a hair-raising alternative to the ho-hum Jack-o-lantern.

Popcorn PumpkinWhat You’ll Need

One small or medium-sized pumpkin
One washable black marker
Two 15-ounce canisters of Zombie Kettle Corn
One hot glue gun

Directions

  1. Using the washable marker, draw the outline of a monster face (or any pattern of your choice) onto the surface of the pumpkin.
  1. Separate the Zombie Kettle Corn by its four colors (orange, purple, green and black).
  1. Following the pattern you drew, use the hot glue gun to glue the popcorn onto the surface of the pumpkin. (Be careful not to burn your fingers!) It’s easiest to start at the top of the pumpkin and work your way down.
  1. Make sure the kernels are glued close together in a mosaic-like pattern so the orange color of the pumpkin doesn’t show through. Use small broken pieces of popcorn to fill in any gaps between kernels.

Welcome your Halloween guests by propping up your little monster on a windowsill, a staircase or your doorstep.

Now it’s your turn to tell us: What kinds of unusual materials have you used to decorate a pumpkin?

How to Make a Halloween Centerpiece With Popcorn

Halloween CenterpieceLooking for some simple Halloween party ideas that will send shivers down your guests’ spines? Here’s a tip: Halloween treats aren’t just for eating; you can decorate with them too! Spook-ify your dinner table with this centerpiece made from Halloween popcorn and autumn leaves. It’s a fun, super-easy craft, plus you can reuse it for your Thanksgiving spread!

Halloween CenterpieceWhat You’ll Need

One 15-ounce canister of Zombie Kettle Corn
One tall, clear vase
One branch of faux fall leaves
Halloween ribbon

Directions

  1. Separate the Zombie Kettle Corn by its four colors (orange, purple, green and black).
  2. Start layering the popcorn in the vase, one color at a time, in any order you like.
  3. After you’ve finished the second layer, place the leaves into the vase.
  4. Hold the branch straight up in the vase and continue with the third and fourth layers of popcorn, placing the popcorn around the branch. Pack the popcorn tightly all the way to the top of the vase so that it holds the branch up.
  5. Tie a cute Halloween ribbon of your choice around the top of the vase.

You’re done! Display your popcorn arrangement at the center of the dinner table, or place it on a coffee table to accent your Halloween décor.

How do you like to decorate with healthy Halloween snacks? Tell us your ideas!