Few snacks are more delicious than caramel popcorn. In fact, it’s so tasty that some people have trouble stopping eating it. As it turns out, part of the appeal of caramel is that it has scientific reasoning behind it. Here’s a closer look at why people love caramel popcorn so much.

The Rise of Salted Caramel

caramel popcornCaramel is made from a mix of boiled sugar, butter, cream, and vanilla and has long been a favorite confection. Salted caramel isn’t all that different, with sea salt being the only addition to most recipes. 

Caramel popcorn dates back to the 1890s, when the treat was served at the Chicago World’s Fair in 1893. Though earlier recipes had a stronger molasses flavor, caramel popcorn quickly rose in popularity. Interestingly, caramel popcorn predates the traditional “salted caramel” recipe by several decades. Salted caramel rose to prominence in France in the 1960s, but only recently gained popularity in the United States. Now, salted caramel can be found in ice cream, chocolates, and more.

Caramel & Science

So what makes caramel and salted caramel so popular? It comes down to their effect on the taste buds. Sugar, butter, and cream give the caramel a unique flavor that is simultaneously sweet and fatty. Add sea salt, and you also have a subtle salty taste. 

A University of Florida study found that eating something sweet, fatty, or salty releases chemicals known as endogenous opioids in the brain, which cause a pleasurable effect that makes you want to eat more. Salted caramel combines all three of these flavors, resulting in an even stronger sensation that makes people want to keep eating. 


Whether you prefer caramel popcorn, kettle corn, or another flavor, you’ll love the delicious treats available from Cracker Box Caramel Pop in Fremont County, WY. Their homemade popcorn recipe is over 60 years old, becoming a regional favorite that is now available online as well. To learn more about their delicious popcorn treats, visit them online, or call (307) 335-7020 to place an order.