The peanut butter and jelly sandwich is a staple of American cuisine. By the time an average american graduates high school, they will have eaten almost 2,000 of these delicious sandwiches. The first reference to this sandwich was in 1896 when the magazine Good Housekeeping published an article about how to make peanut butter at home. The article urged readers to then spread this creation on bread. That same year the magazine Table Talk published a recipe for a peanut butter sandwich. Jelly wasn’t introduced to the equation until 1901. The recipe for the first ever peanut butter and jelly is credited to Julia Davis Chandler. Her recipe was featured in a Boston cooking magazine and used currant jelly. Despite this recipe, many people stuck to the simple peanut butter sandwich. With the invention of pre-sliced bread in 1928, the popularity of the peanut butter sandwich soared. This sandwich was also very popular during the American Great Depression due to the affordability of ingredients and the fact it was so simple that children could make it for themselves. During World War II, soldiers helped make the peanut butter and jelly sandwich more popular. Their rations often included peanut butter, jelly, and bread. The soldiers would often combine these three ingredients to make a heartier sandwich and to give them more energy to fight. When they returned home from fighting they continued to make this recipe and the peanut butter and jelly sandwich has remained one of the most popular sandwiches ever since. This sandwich is so popular that it has its own holiday, celebrated every year on April 2.
History of Peanut Butter
Peanut Butter has a long and fascinating history. The first record of production of peanut butter was in 1884 when Marcellus Gilmore Edson obtained a patent for his peanut butter production method. A businessman from St. Louis named George Bayle took his production methods and then produced peanut butter on a larger scale in 1894. John Harvey Kellogg, more commonly known for his breakfast cereals, had a hand in the peanut butter business as well. Kellogg’s Western Health Reform Institute would serve peanut butter to patients due to the fact that it contained a lot of needed protein but could be eaten without chewing. Most peanut butter before 1932 was smooth peanut butter. The creator of chunky peanut butter was Joseph Rosefield who also launched the Skippy peanut butter brand. In 1955 Procter and Gamble created the peanut butter brand Jif. This peanut butter is sweeter than its competitors due to the fact that they use sugar and molasses in the recipe.
Whether you like chunky or smooth, strawberry or grape, today is a day to combine your favorite peanut butter and jelly to make America’s favorite sandwich.