National Peanut Butter and Jelly Day is celebrated annually on April 2nd. This food holiday is a classic favorite of many. The average American will have eaten over 2000 peanut butter and jelly sandwiches by the time they graduate from high school.
Peanut Butter was first invented by the Aztecs, who ground roasted peanuts into a rich nutritious paste. 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 was considered a delicacy in the early 1900s and was only served in New York City’s finest tea rooms. In a May 1896 article published in the Good Housekeeping magazine, a recipe “urged homemakers to use a meat grinder to make peanut butter and spread the result on bread.” That same year, in June, the culinary magazine Table Talk, published a “peanut butter sandwich recipe.”
It is thought to be that the first written reference of peanut butter paired with jelly on bread, to be issued in the United States, was by Julia Davis Chandler in 1901. In the late 1920s, the price of peanut butter declined, and the sandwich became very popular with children.
According to the Peanut Board, during World War II, both peanut butter and jelly were part of the United States soldiers military ration list.
In 1968, The J.M. Smucker Co. introduced Goober, a jarred product which combined alternating vertical stripes of peanut butter and jelly.
- Studies show that there is a 75% chance that if you drop a slice of peanut buttered bread, it will fall face down.
- An 18 ounce jar of peanut butter will contain about 850 peanuts.
- November 13, 2010, the World’s Largest PB&J Sandwich was made at the Great American Peanut Butter Festival in Grand Saline, TX. The new record stands at 1,342 pounds! 720 pounds of bread, 493 pounds of peanut butter and 129 pounds of jelly.
- It was President George W. Bush’s favorite sandwich. In 2000, he admitted to Oprah that he loved them and then jumped up and down on her couch.
- 26,710 – the number of PB&Js restaurant chain Which Wich made in one hour to break the world record in 2015.
- Peanut butter + whole wheat bread makes PB&Js a complete protein for vegetarians.