Food History is a resource for anybody interested in food history. Articles exploring various issues of food history will be featured regularly. Learning food history means that cultural study which involves multidisciplinary approaches from economics, sociology and demography, and even literature.

Thursday, October 30, 2014

History of peanut butter in United States

Due to its popularity, half the United States peanut crop ends up as peanut butter. Although the Aztecs invented peanut butter in the first century AD, they received no credits for this achievement. Originally, peanut butter was made from a combination of Spanish and Virginia peanuts.

On of the first places peanut butter was made was the Western Health Reform Institute in Battle Creek, Michigan, run by the Kellogg brothers of cereal fame. In the early 1890s Kellogg crushed various nuts between two rollers and claimed the results to be ‘nut butters’.

To commercialize his discovery, Kellogg created the Sanitas Nut Food Company and placed his brother, Will Kellogg in charge.

It has been a favorite kitchen staple in American homes ever since the 1904 St. Louis World’s Fair, where it was first introduced. During the World Fair, concession stands sold it for one penny per serving.

At first, peanut butter was dispensed from large open vats in grocery store: then, until World War II it was sold in tins.

During the 20th century it was reserved mainly for sandwiches, confections and the occasional roving finger or spoon.

Peanut butter sandwiches moved down the class structure as the price of peanut butter declined, owing to the commercialization of the industry. However, during the Depression, low cost sandwich spread became one of the top luncheon times.

In 2002 alone, Americans ate hundreds of millions of pounds of peanut butter, more than several pounds per person. Jiff was the leading peanut butter at that time and Skippy ranked second.
History of peanut butter in United States