While eating my “Peanut Butter and Jelly” breakfast this morning (aka oatmeal topped with fresh cherries and roasted peanuts), it got me wondering: When was the Peanut Butter and Jelly sandwich created? Who created it?
It turns out that there really isn’t one person or one year that created the staple we know today, but a series of events that causes it to become famous.
In 1880 A St. Louis physician, Dr. Ambrose W. Straub, crushed peanuts into a paste for his geriatric patients with bad teeth. At the 1893 Chicago World’s Fair, known as the World’s Columbian Exposition, it gained exposure and popularity.
In 1904 Bayle food Products took its new peanut butter to the St. Louis World Fair. It was a big success and gained exposure and popularity after it sold out in three days at a penny a sample, earning a profit of $705.11. Soon grocers across America were selling bulk peanut butter in large wooden tubs to satisfy their customers’ demands.
In the 1920s and 30s The commercial brad peanut butters we know today like Skippy and Peter Pan were introduced.
1941-1945 – Both peanut butter and jelly were on the U.S. Military ration menus in World War II (1941-1945). It is said that the American soldiers added jelly to their peanut butter to make it more palatable. Peanut butter provided an inexpensive and high protein alternative to meat for soldiers. It was an instant hit and returning servicemen made peanut butter and jelly sales soar in the United States. Food historians haven’t found any ads or other mentions of peanut butter and jelly sandwiches before the 1940s.
1943 – Nationwide food rationing was instituted in the United States during World War II. Each member of the family was issued ration books, and it was the challenge of the homemaker to pool the stamps and plan the family’s meals within the set limits. Margarine, butter, sugar, lard, shortening, oils and assorted fresh meats were rationed and expensive. Peanut butter was a good cheap (peanut butter sold for 24 cents a jar) alternative and a readily available source of protein. Peanut butter was not rationed.
Of course, who really knows when peanut butter and jelly was “invented,” and who “invented” it. I’m sure thousands of mothers started making Peanut butter and jelly sandwiches for their children’s school lunches, and it just grew and grew from there.
Peanut Butter and Jelly Bread from Cara’s Cravings
Peanut Butter and Jam Overnight Oats from Nouveau Raw
Or Peanut Butter and Jelly Style Crazy Healthy Granola Bars.
Health Benefits of Peanuts: These legumes are full of protein with 7g per ounce. They also have a great monounsaturated fat content that helps your heart and brain. Peanut is a good source of Coenzyme Q10 which protects the heart during the period of lack of oxygen example high altitudes and clogged arteries. It also has a high antioxidant and high niacin content that helps in the recovery of cell damage and provides protection against Alzheimer’s disease and age-related cognitive problem.
Thought-provoking, mind-prodding question of the day:
What are your favorite ways to enjoy the classic Pb&J? Have any good recipes for the combo? Feel free to add a link!