Jiffy Pop

Jiffy Pop

As much fun to make as it is to eat!

Popcorn has been around since the first Thanksgivings celebrated by this country, a gift from the Native Americans that we embraced then and still. A staple of movie theaters since the early 1900s, the snack followed Americans to their living rooms when television was introduced – and Jiffy Pop led the way, providing an easy and mesmerizing way to prepare the treat in one’s own home.

A man named Fred Mennen thought there must be an easier way to make popcorn at home than having to pull out the ol’ frying pan, a task that could prove to be messy. After five years of experimentation with a special hybrid that grew near his home in Indiana, Fred developed a pretty foolproof method for popping corn. He began marketing Jiffy Pop in 1958, offering both natural and butter flavor. Within two years, his magical new product was being distributed through the entire country.

Kids were perfectly willing to make Jiffy Pop themselves, although most parents took over when it came to stove-related matters until the youngsters got older. In the meantime, most of us have memories of staring in amazement as the process unfolded. First, you heard of small chorus of faint and distant pops, which steadily grew faster and louder. At this point, the container would magically transform itself into a bulging foil bubble.

Careful though, you don’t want to get so mesmerized that you fail to shake the container. Keeping the “pan” in constant motion was the key to evenly cooking the kernels, and being lazy was sure to result in the smell of burned corn wafting through the kitchen. Brings back memories, doesn’t it?

For a number of years, Jiffy Pop offered a microwavable-version of their time-tested treat, but it lacked the magic of the original and never quite caught on, especially with the plethora of competition. Today, Jiffy Pop is only available in its original stove top form and in one flavor – butter, of course.

And that’s really all you need, especially if you are going on a camping trip without electricity. Yeah, the microwave might be easier at home, but you are sacrificing the delicious flavor that only a stove top can provide. It’s probably been a while since you’ve done it that way, but the difference is noticable. And that alone is worth keeping Jiffy Pop around.

Do you harbor fond memories of curling up on the couch to an old movie, with a freshly-made batch of Jiffy Pop at your side? Are you still able to find Jiffy Pop in a store near you, and more importantly, do you still purchase it, preferring that your popcorn be made in a more old-school fashion. Tell us all about your Jiffy Pop memories from yesteryear, as we celebrate this unique and unsung hero of the snack aisle, here at Retroland.

One Response to “Jiffy Pop”

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  1. Alec Joyner says:

    I am in the process of compiling some info for our 50th High School Reunion and would like to include pricing on items form 50 years ago……….can you tell me how much Jiffy Pop cost in 1966?
    Thanks in advance.

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