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How long has peanut butter existed?

Updated: Aug 6

I just finished my sixth chocolate peanut butter oatmeal no-bake cookie... They are soooooo tasty. There's not much better than chocolate and peanut butter. So how long has peanut butter been around to mix with chocolate?!


There is evidence that ancient South American Inca Indians were the first to grind peanuts to make peanut butter. They thrived in ancient Peru between 1400 and 1533 B.C.


In the modern world, Dr. John Harvey Kellogg (of cereal fame) invented a version of peanut butter in 1895 in the United States. Then it is believed that a St. Louis physician may have developed a version of peanut butter as a protein substitute for his older patients who had poor teeth and couldn’t chew meat. Peanut butter was first introduced at the St. Louis World’s Fair in 1904.


Peanuts and peanut butter became an integral part of the Armed Forces rations in World Wars I and II. It is believed that the U.S. army popularized the peanut butter and jelly sandwich for sustenance during maneuvers in World War II.


Peanuts are the 12th most valuable cash crop grown in the United States with a farm value of over one billion U.S. dollars, according to The American Peanut Council. Unlike other countries, the prime market for U.S. peanuts is in edible consumption and the marketing and production focus is in that direction. Peanuts, peanut butter and peanut candy are some of the most popular products in the United States.  Americans eat more than six pounds of peanut products each year, worth more than $2 billion at the retail level.


Peanut butter accounts for about half of the U.S. edible use of peanuts—accounting for $850 million in retail sales each year. It is a popular sandwich spread, for children and adults, because it is both nutritious and economical.


The other half of U.S. consumption is divided equally between snack nuts and confectionery. Peanuts are eaten as snack nuts in many ways: roasted in shell, roasted kernels or in mixed nuts. Snack nuts are often salted, spiced or flavored with a variety of coatings.


Many of the top-selling confectionery products in the U.S. contain peanut and peanut butter. They are most popular in combination with chocolate. Peanuts and peanut butter also are used in a variety of cookies and baked goods. Peanut oil is considered a premium, high quality cooking oil in the U.S., is able to withstand higher cooking temperature than many other oils and does not retain the flavor of foods cooked in it.



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