One of our poppers.

According to one tale, around 150 years ago the concept was developed by a Missouri farmer who, along with German immigrants, used to pop corn in their large cast iron kettles after a long day of rendering lard from hogs. They would add a sweetener, such as honey, molasses or sugar to the popcorn to achieve a special flavor. This method had pretty much disappeared until the 1970s or so when a Midwestern farmer remembered how his grandparents used to pop this wonderful popcorn. About to lose his farm to the local bank, he revived the kettle corn tradition at local events.

Another tale has an Amish derivation. One of the favorite stories comes from someone who moved to California from rural Indiana. She told of how an Amish family would pull up each weekend in front of the local Walmart in their buggy, unload their kettle, and start popping. People stood in line to sample the sweet/salty taste of kettle korn and the business grew.

The real story? Who knows? It seems like kettle korn goes back a couple of hundred years. Beyond that, the history gets somewhat muddled. Maybe you have your own historical
version. If so, send it in. We will be happy to put it on our website.