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Discover the Delicious Story of Peanut Butter: A Creamy, Nutty Treat With a Rich History

Updated: Dec 25, 2022

Peanut butter has been a beloved food for generations, with its creamy, nutty flavor enjoyed by both adults and children alike. But what is the history of this delicious snack? From its humble beginnings as a simple nut butter to its current status as a versatile ingredient in a variety of dishes, the story of peanut butter is as rich and fascinating as the flavor itself. Read on to learn more about the history of peanut butter and how it has evolved over the years.


An Ancient beginning?


The exact origin of peanut butter is not known, but the earliest evidence of its use dates back to the Ancient Incas in South America. They would mash boiled peanuts into a paste, which was then used as a flavour enhancer for dishes.


The Aztecs also used a similar paste as a topping for their cornbread. They would mash boiled peanuts into a paste and then spread it over the top of their cornbread. This gave it a nutty flavour and added some texture to the dish, while providing protein.





A Canadian invents the modern peanut butter?


The first patent for peanut butter was granted in the late 19th century in Canada. Marcellus Gilmore Edson of Montreal, Quebec, patented a process of milling roasted peanuts until they formed a “paste”.


Edson was born in 1849 in Bedford, Nova Scotia. He was a pharmacist and a successful businessman who owned several drug stores throughout Canada. In 1884, he began experimenting with grating peanuts into a paste-like consistency and then stirring in sugar, although it is unknown why he decided to do this.


He received the patent on June 24, 1884, for a product he called "Process of Preparing Nut Meal," which described a method of grinding roasted peanuts between two heated surfaces until they formed a fine paste. Edson marketed his product as a nutritious and easy to digest alternative to traditional meat-based protein sources.



Many people thought of this great idea...


Although Edson is widely credited for inventing peanut butter, there is evidence that suggests that others had already thought of a similar product. In 1890, John Harvey Kellogg, the founder of Kellogg's cereals, patented a process for creating peanut butter from raw peanuts.


In 1895, the St. Louis World's Fair featured peanut butter for the first time. A physician from Missouri named Dr. Ambrose Straub was credited for creating a peanut-butter-making machine, which allowed vendors to quickly and easily create peanut butter for the masses. Straub's machine paved the way for the mass production of peanut butter, and it helped make this product widely available in the United States.


George Bayle of St. Louis, Missouri was the first to sell peanut butter commercially. George Bayle was an American entrepreneur who is credited with popularizing peanut butter in the United States. He was born in New Jersey in 1854 and moved to Chicago when he was a young man. In 1890, he founded the Bayle Peanut Butter Company, which produced a smooth peanut butter spread that became very popular in the United States. Bayle's peanut butter spread was the first to be made with hydrogenated oil, which allowed it to stay fresh longer and not separate. Bayle's business was eventually sold to the J.M. Smucker Company in the 1920s, and his peanut butter spread is still available today.





Peanut butter and Jelly Sandwiches.


In the early 20th century, peanut butter became a staple of the American diet. Around this time in 1901, the first Peanut Butter and Jelly Sandwich recipe appeared, written by Julia David Chandler in the pages of The Boston Cooking School Magazine of Culinary Science & Domestic Economics. This helped fuel the growth of peanut butter. Its popularity skyrocketed. The sandwich quickly gained popularity among children, and is still enjoyed by people of all ages today.


Peanut butter in the military.


In the 1940s and 50s, peanut butter saw a surge in popularity as it was used as a source of protein in the U.S. military. Many soldiers and sailors enjoyed peanut butter sandwiches while they served overseas. Peanut butter has a long history of use in the military. Peanuts were a popular and nutritious snack for soldiers in the American Civil War, and peanut butter was widely used by soldiers in World War I and World War II. Peanut butter was a high-protein food that was easy to transport and lasted a long time without spoiling. It was also a popular morale booster, and many soldiers enjoyed it as a treat while in the trenches. Peanut butter was also used to feed prisoners of war, and it was a part of the rations given to soldiers during the Korean War. Today, peanut butter is still used in the military, and it is a popular snack for troops who are deployed overseas.





Peanut butter in pop culture


Peanut butter has been featured in many forms of popular culture, including movies, television, and music. In the 1961 film Breakfast at Tiffany's, Audrey Hepburn's character famously eats a peanut butter and jelly sandwich while in a cab. The 1966 sitcom "Gilligan's Island" featured a classic episode in which the castaways attempt to make peanut butter from coconuts. Peanut butter has also been featured in many songs, from the 1960s hit "Peanut Butter" by the Marathons to the 1990s classic "Peanut Butter and Jelly" by the Baha Men. Peanut butter is a beloved food that has been featured in popular culture for decades and for good reason! It is delicious, nutritious, and hits the spot.


Peanut butter today, and the future of peanut butter.


Today, peanut butter is a beloved food item that is enjoyed by people all over the world. It is used as a sandwich spread, an ingredient in baking, used in healthy protein bars, and even eaten plain. Peanut butter is also used in many different dishes, including cookies, candy bars, and ice cream. Peanut butter is also a popular addition to many international dishes, from Thailand's Pad Thai to Brazil's Coxinha, a deep-fried snack made with a peanut butter-based dough.


Looking to the future, peanut butter is likely to continue to be a popular food item. New varieties, flavours, and uses for peanut butter are likely to continue to be developed, and this product will continue to be enjoyed and appreciated around the world. It's use as a sweet or savoury ingredient is limitless!


In our Zentein protein bars and protein truffles, peanut butter is a source of protein, healthy facts, and deliciousness. The smoothness of the peanut butter helps bind the other ingredients together as well. Thank you peanut butter!

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