Many food lovers have special place for peanut butter in their heart. It specially tastes great when paired with fruit jellies and slice of bread. The peanut butter just melts in mouth and has great pallet pleasing power.
Let us know more about the history of this awesome tasting butter. In order to know the history of peanut butter one needs to also know the history of peanuts.
History Of Peanuts
It is said that the origin of peanut was in Peru or Brazil.
This fact is not established by fossil records but the South African potteries and decorations in shape of peanut or with peanut suggests its origin in South America 3500 years ago.
Peanuts were discovered in Brazil by European explorers. During 1500 BC peanuts was used as sacrificial offerings by the Incans of Peru. The dead were buried with peanut and it was considered that peanut will help dead with their spirit life.Indeginous and tribal people of Brazil mix peanut with maize for making drink.
Peanuts were grown in North Mexico and in the process of exploration of new world Spanish explores took from Mexico in their journey and spread it across Africa and Asia.
In 1700 Africans introduced peanuts in North America. Official records show that peanuts were not grown in the US till early 1800. After that, there were initially grown in Virginia.
Peanuts were primarily used for making cooking oil, as a substitute for Cocoa and in food items. During this period growing peanuts was considered as difficult and was considered as food more suitable for livestock.
Production of peanut then displayed growth in early nineteenth century. During the Civil War soldier liked the taste of peanut and took them back home. This provided them with a much-needed source of protein.
PT Barnum’s circus further added to peanuts popularity where their wagons offered hot roasted peanuts to the audience. Eventually, street vendors stated to sell peanuts during basketball matches.
Although the peanut production was on rise however cultivation method used for growing peanuts were very old due to which the quality of peanuts were poor resulting into low demand.
In the middle of the nineteenth century due to the invention of labour saving equipment, the harvesting, shelling and cleaning process of peanut became easy. Due to the use of technology the demand of peanut grew rapidly especially for oil, candy, and usage as nuts.
Who Invented Peanut Butter and Jelly Sandwiches
In the U.S, Dr. John Harvey Kellogg (of cereal fame) invented peanut butter in 1895. St. Louis who was a physician by profession invented a kind of peanut butter for his old patients who do not have good teeth with chewing issues.
He introduced a version of peanut butter as a substitute for meat. Peanut butter, however, was first introduced in 1904 in St. Louis World’s Fair. Peanut butter served as a rich source of delicious protein in the world war.
In both the World Wars peanut butter was made an integral part of Armed force rations. Therefore the U.S. army also played a substantial role in the popularity of peanut butter in the form of jelly sandwiches.
Interesting facts about peanuts and peanut butter
- Peanut ranks 12th in the list of valuable cash crops grown in the U. S.
- Peanut butter is amongst the most popular consumption items of the U.S. Americans consume more than 6 pounds of products made of peanuts in a year. The retail value of this comes out to be $2 billion.
- Half of the peanut grown in the US is used for making peanut butter this accounts for about $850 million in retail sales each year.
- The reason behind the popularity of peanut butter is its economic value and nutrients offered.
- The rest of the peanuts produced is then used in making nuts for snacking and confectionery.
- Most of the top-selling confectionery products of the US makes use of peanut butter. Peanut butter is also used as an ingredient in the making of cooking and other baking products.
- 24th January is celebrated at National Peanut Butter Day.
All our love for peanut butter is good so keep munching on this nutritious ingredient and enjoy the yumminess with good health.