#1

Vintage Shaver
Seattle, WA
This afternoon I had a delicious snack of peanut butter on a toasted English muffin, and it got me thinking about the history of peanut butter, which I thought I would share with you briefly.

The peanut plant probably originated in Peru or Brazil. No fossil records prove this, but people in South America made pottery in the shape of peanuts or decorated jars with peanuts as far back as 3,500 years ago. As early as 1500 B.C., the Incans of Peru used peanuts as sacrificial offerings and entombed them with their mummies to aid in the spirit life. Tribes in central Brazil also ground peanuts with maize to make a drink. There is some evidence that South American Aztec and Inca Indians were the first to grind peanuts to make a paste like peanut butter.

Peanuts were grown as far north as Mexico when the Spanish began their exploration of the new world. The explorers took peanuts back to Spain, and from there traders and explorers spread them to Asia and Africa. Africans ground peanuts into stews as early as the 15th century, and the Chinese have crushed peanuts into creamy sauces for centuries. African slaves were the first people to introduce peanuts to North America beginning in the 1700s.

It wasn’t until the early 1800s that peanuts were grown as a commercial crop in the United States. They were first grown in Virginia and North Carolina and used mainly for oil and as a cocoa substitute. At this time, peanuts were considered difficult to grow and harvest and were regarded as a food for livestock and the poor. Peanut production steadily grew during the first half of the nineteenth century. During the Civil War, both armies subsisted on "peanut porridge," and after the war Union soldiers took peanuts home to the north. Their popularity grew in the late 1800s when P.T. Barnum’s circus wagons traveled across the country and vendors called “hot roasted peanuts!” to the crowds. Soon street vendors began selling roasted peanuts from carts, and peanuts also became popular at baseball games. While peanut production rose during this time, peanuts were still harvested by hand, leaving stems and trash in the peanuts. Thus, poor quality and lack of uniformity limited the demand. Around 1900, labor-saving equipment was invented for planting, cultivating, harvesting, and picking peanuts from the plants, as well as for shelling and cleaning the kernels. With these significant mechanical aids, the market for peanuts grew rapidly.

Marcellus Gilmore Edson (February 7, 1849 – March 6, 1940) of Montreal, Quebec was the first to patent peanut butter, in 1884. The patent describes a process of milling roasted peanuts until the peanuts reached "a fluid or semi-fluid state." Peanut flour already existed. His product had "a consistency like that of butter, lard, or ointment," according to his patent application. He included the mixing of sugar into the paste so as to harden its consistency. Edson, a chemist (pharmacist), developed the idea of peanut paste as a nutritious staple for people who could not chew on solid food, a not uncommon state back in those days. Peanut paste was initially sold for six cents per pound.

Dr. John Harvey Kellogg was issued a patent for a "Process of Producing Alimentary Products (or Nut Meal)" that used peanuts in 1898, although he boiled the peanuts rather than roasting them. Kellogg first ground the peanuts in his hand-cranked meat grinder, and he served peanut butter to the patients at his Battle Creek Sanitarium. Other makers of modern peanut butter include George Bayle, a snack-food maker in St. Louis, Missouri, who was making peanut butter with roasted peanuts as early as 1894, and George Washington Carver, who is often mistakenly credited as the inventor due to his extensive work in cultivating peanut crops and disseminating recipes.

Early peanut-butter-making machines were developed by Joseph Lambert, who had worked at John Harvey Kellogg's Battle Creek Sanitarium, and he began selling his own hand-operated peanut butter grinders in 1896. C.H. Sumner introduced peanut butter to the world at the Universal Exposition in St. Louis in 1904. He sold $705.11 of the treat at his concession stand. Krema Products Company in Columbus, Ohio, began selling peanut butter in 1908 and is the oldest peanut butter company still in operation today. Krema's founder, Benton Black, used the slogan, "I refuse to sell outside of Ohio," because peanut butter packed in barrels spoiled quickly, and an interstate road system had not yet been built. Joseph L. Rosefield sold peanut butter in California, churning it to make it smoother. In 1922 he received the first patent for peanut butter that could stay fresh for up to a year. Rosefield began producing peanut butter under the Skippy label in 1932, and he created the first crunchy-style peanut butter two years later.

Peanuts and peanut butter became integral parts of the Armed Forces rations in World Wars I and II. It is believed that the U.S. army popularized the peanut butter and jelly sandwich, using it for troop sustenance during maneuvers in World War II.

In 1955, Procter & Gamble entered the peanut butter business by acquiring W.T. Young Foods in Lexington, Kentucky, makers of Big Top Peanut Butter, and they introduced the Jif brand in 1958. They now operate the world's largest peanut butter plant, producing over 250,000 jars every day.

In the US, peanut butter must contain at least 90% peanuts; otherwise it is called "peanut spread." One-half of all edible peanuts produced in the United States are used to make peanut butter and peanut spreads. Americans eat around 700 million pounds of peanut butter per year (about 3 pounds per person). I certainly do my part...
John
[+] 1 user likes this post
#2

Member
Minnesota



Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
#3

Citizen
Ohio
Thank you Church Hill for the history of Peanut Butter.

The Procter and Gamble part is the section that I liked the most.
The plumber: Don't let any hair go down your sink drain.
#4

Merchant
Central Maine
(This post was last modified: 08-22-2016, 06:07 AM by ShadowsDad.)
I'm surprised that Krema couldn't ship it outside of Ohio. I make my own peanut butter and I don't find any special problems with spoilage or longevity. To my knowledge I'm not doing anything special.

John, if you haven't tried to make your own, you should. It's so much better than the brands mentioned. And one can make types that are hard to find. Cinnamon/raisin PB is pretty awesome. Don't fully blend in the raisins. Keep at least a few whole or in large chunks. I just buy preroasted nuts from the market, salted is OK as I'd add salt anyway and I blend them up. But I find that a bit too runny, so I add the same quantity of shredded peanuts to it to soak up some of the oil and dry and thicken the final product. I do it all by machine, I can't imagine shredding peanuts by hand.

Then there's almond butter, cashew butter, hazelnut butter....
Brian. Lover of SE razors. Maker of Krampert's Finest Products.
#5

Vintage Shaver
Seattle, WA
(08-22-2016, 06:06 AM)ShadowsDad Wrote: John, if you haven't tried to make your own, you should. It's so much better than the brands mentioned. And one can make types that are hard to find. Cinnamon/raisin PB is pretty awesome. Don't fully blend in the raisins. Keep at least a few whole or in large chunks. I just buy preroasted nuts from the market, salted is OK as I'd add salt anyway and I blend them up. But I find that a bit too runny, so I add the same quantity of shredded peanuts to it to soak up some of the oil and dry and thicken the final product. I do it all by machine, I can't imagine shredding peanuts by hand.

My wife says she would rather just keep buying peanut butter at Trader Joe's than have me make a mess in the kitchen. And she's the boss there.
John
[+] 1 user likes this post
#6

Administrator
Philadelphia, PA
love peanut butter! I could sit there with a spoon and the jar and just literally eat the entire thing.
Tu ne cede malis, sed contra audentior ito.
[+] 1 user likes this post
#7

Merchant
Central Maine
Dogs love it too!

We make approx' 50% of our dogs food*, and every once in awhile they'll get peanut butter/egg based chow. But in that quantity of PB I just buy whatever I can find that's inexpensive and doesn't have too much crap in it.

* We make approx' 5 gallons at a time; enough for almost a month. Then it stays in the shop refrigerator, in individual serving trays, at close to 32°F.
Brian. Lover of SE razors. Maker of Krampert's Finest Products.
[+] 1 user likes this post


Users browsing this thread: 1 Guest(s)