Hooray, it’s national Peanut Butter and Jelly Day. And today, we celebrate this classic and much-loved American comfort food affectionately known as the PB&J. This humble sandwich has a long history in this country, and it all started in Virginia back in the 1800s.
According to records, Virginia was the first state to grow peanuts as a commercial crop. At that time, they were used mainly for oil and considered a food for livestock. It is said that Dr. John Harvey Kellogg (of cereal fame) invented a version of peanut butter in 1895. Then it is believed that a St. Louis physician may have developed a version of peanut butter as a protein substitute for older patients who could no longer chew food properly. Peanut butter was finally introduced to the public at the St. Louis World’s Fair in 1904.
That was when the humble Virginia peanut turned gourmet. This “new” delicacy was embraced by the wealthy and served at some of the finest tea rooms in New York City in the early 1900s. But at that time, believe it or not, it was paired with pimento cheese. The first reference to peanut butter and jelly on white bread was published by Julia Davis Chandler in a 1901 edition of the Boston Cooking-School Magazine of Culinary Science and Domestic Economics. By the late 1920s, this double-sweet sandwich had taken off. It had become popular with most everyone—especially with children. During World War II, it is said that both peanut butter and jelly were found on the U.S. soldier’s military ration list.
We’ve come a long way since then, but the PB&J has stood the test of time to remain an American favorite. For nearly 100 years, the humble PB&J has been with us in brown lunch bags and Scooby Doo lunch boxes. And these days, according to the National Peanut Board, the average child will eat 1,500 of them before he/she graduates high school.
This quick and easy homemade sandwich packs a punch, and that’s why we love it. A peanut butter and jelly sandwich made with white bread, with two tablespoons each of peanut butter and grape jelly, is part of a healthy diet. Our take on homemade peanut butter provides a healthier spread that’s lower in fat and higher in protein and fiber. Use Byrd Mill Peanut Flour for a new kind of peanut butter. Spread it on apple slices or whole wheat bread for a healthier take on the PB&J.
Homemade Peanut Flour Butter
2 tablespoons of Byrd Mill Peanut Flour
2 tablespoons of fat free Greek yogurt
1 tsp sweetener of your choice (honey, maple syrup or sugar)
Mix until smooth.