Peanut Butter and Jelly Day celebrates the most popular sandwich in America! It doesn’t matter whether you like grape, strawberry, orange marmalade, blackberry, or any other form of jelly, the best compliment to them is the amazing and delectable peanut butter! Peanut Butter and Jelly has become such a popular taste sensation that it can be found in hundreds of different derivations.
Peanut Butter was first invented by the Aztecs, who ground roasted peanuts into a rich nutritious paste. Peanut paste has been used all over the world in many different derivations ever since, being an absolute foundation of many cuisines. One thing that made this protein and calorie dense food popular is it’s resistance to going off, and the ease with which it could be transported. Combine that with an amazing taste and texture, and it’s no wonder that peanut butter is a world favorite!
It comes in so many different varieties too! Chunky, smooth, natural, salted, unsalted, even premixed with jelly! Peanut Butter really is an amazing food, and has been used to feed those who haven’t been able to eat ‘solid food’ for one reason or another. It’s been used for a myriad of snacks, including ants on a log (Celery filled with peanut butter topped with raisins), peanut butter cookies, but it’s most popular derivation by far is the peanut butter and jelly sandwich!
Peanut Butter and Jelly sandwiches were thought to be invented during the American Civil war, when the men mixed their peanut ration and jelly ration to create a delicious new treat while out on the field. When the men finally returned from the war, bedraggled and tired, they also brought with them news of this wonderful treat that brought them comfort on the field. Peanut butter and jelly sales soared at the wars end, all thanks to this delightful combination of sweet jelly and smooth peanut butter!
Jelly in this case is the North American version of the word, referring to a special kind of clear fruit preserve that is created from sugar sweetened fruit juice into a gel-like state often utilizing nothing more than the naturally occurring pectin in the fruit. Sometimes it needs a little help, such as is the case with grapes, who are notoriously low in pectin. None the less, grape is a very popular flavor when mixed with peanut butter, second only to the luscious red strawberry!
There is a veritable rainbow of flavors of jelly available that can be used to help make this snack new every time! Grape, strawberry, blackberry, boysenberry, the possibilities are only limited by the types of fruit you can find! There are even more exotic flavors, such as hot chile pepper, habanero, even wasabi, and while these aren’t as popular in the United States, there are those who prefer these spicy kicks to the sweetness every jelly brings!
Peanut Butter and Jelly aren’t just found in sandwiches either! There’s Peanut Butter and Jelly Ice cream for those who prefer a cold mix of this treat, it can be found in a special brand of spread called “Goobers” where the Peanut Butter and Jelly come pre-mixed! There are Peanut Butter and Jelly cookies, cakes, even the famous breakfast tart company Pop-tarts has come up with a variety of peanut-butter and jelly sandwich Pop-Tarts. No matter what your particular taste, you’re bound to find a variety of this delicious mix to suit your palette.
- Studies show that there is a 75% chance that if you drop a slice of peanut buttered bread, it will fall face down.
- 50 percent of all the peanuts grown around the world are used to make peanut butter.
- It is estimated that the average American school child will have munched through 1500 Peanut Butter and Jelly sandwiches before graduation.
- An 18 ounce jar of peanut butter will contain about 850 peanuts.
- The largest recorded peanut butter and jelly sandwich in the world was lovingly crafted in Peanut, Pennsylvania in 1993. It was 40 ft long and contained 150lbs of peanut butter and 50lbs of jelly.
- By law, any product labeled “peanut butter” in the United States must be at least 90 percent peanuts.
- Peanut butter was first introduced to the World in 1904 at the Universal Exposition in St. Louis by C.H. Sumner, who sold $705.11 of the “new treat” at his concession stand.
- A 2002 survey showed the average American will have eaten 2,500 of these sandwiches before graduating from high school.
- Peanuts are not actually nuts at all! They are legumes – like beans, peas and lentils.
- Americans eat three pounds of peanut butter per person every year – enough PB to coat the floor of the Grand Canyon!
- One acre of peanuts will make 30,000 peanut butter sandwiches.
- Two former U.S. Presidents were peanut farmers: Thomas Jefferson and Jimmy Carter.
- March is National Peanut Month; November is National Peanut Butter Lovers Month.
- The peanut plant is unusual because it flowers above the ground, but fruits below the ground.
- Runner peanuts are preferred for peanut butter, and are grown primarily in Georgia, Alabama, Florida and Mississippi.
- Peanut shells are used to make kitty litter, wallboard, fireplace logs, paper and animal feed, and are sometimes used as fuel for power plants.
- Africans ground peanuts into stews as early as the 1400s; Chinese have crushed peanuts into creamy sauces for centuries; and Civil War soldiers dined on “peanut porridge”