How important is Peanut Butter?

This June 22, 2015 photo shows homemade nut butters from (from bottom clockwise) peanut butter, cashew butter and almond butter in Concord, N.H. This dish is from a recipe by Sara Moulton. (AP Photo/Matthew Mead)

April 2nd is National Peanut Butter and Jelly Day! The classic combo of sweet jelly and salty peanut butter has been a staple of school lunches for over fifty years. In fact, the average American consumes about 1,500 peanut butter and jelly sandwiches by the age of 18.

According to one story, American soldiers invented this sweet and salty sandwich during World War II. They decided to combine their bread, jelly, and peanut butter rations into a fabulous new treat. When solders returned home after the war, the sales of peanut butter and jelly skyrocketed. One might say peanut butter and jelly sandwiches were the true spoils of war.

  • According to National Peanut Board, Americans spend almost $800-million a year on peanut butter.
  • Peanut Butter and Jelly is served in many variations: PB&J cupcakes, French toast, pie, sushi, cookies, donuts, pancakes, fudge, and crackers.
  • Back in the 1900’s, peanut butter was only served in New York City’s finest tea rooms. Today it is only served at New York City’s finest stuffed animal tea parties.
  • Julia Davis Chandler was the first author to publish the PB&J sandwich recipe in the United States in 1901.
  • The Dancing Banana emoticon who sings “It’s peanut butter jelly time” was made into a flash animation in 2002 became a long-lasting viral sensation.
  • According to USA Today, jelly is considered by 49.3% of people to be peanut butter’s better half.
  • Once sliced bread was invented and packaged in the 1920’s, PB&J sandwiches skyrocketed to popularity because kids could safely make their own sandwiches.
  • Reinventing something is always fun so Smuckers created the no crusts PB&J.
  • Livestrong says a basic PB&J sandwich offers 27% of your daily fat and 22% of your daily calories.
  • In 2000, President George W. Bush told Oprah his favorite sandwich is the PB&J.
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