By Simon Greenwood-Haigh

The Origins & Evolution of Peanut Butter

Peanut butter is a popular food spread that is enjoyed by people all over the world. The creamy or crunchy spread has a long history that dates back to the early 19th century. The food was originally made by milling roasted peanuts and then blending them into a paste.


The history of peanut butter dates back to ancient South American cultures. The Incas and the Aztecs used to grind roasted peanuts to make a paste that they consumed as a nutritious and energy-rich food. However, it wasn't until the 1800s that the concept of peanut butter spread to the United States, where the first patented peanut butter machine was invented by a Canadian by the name of Marcellus Gilmore Edson.


In 1895, Dr. John Harvey Kellogg created a version of peanut butter that was marketed as a nutritious food for patients who had difficulty chewing or swallowing solid foods. Kellogg's peanut butter was similar to the modern version of peanut butter but less creamy.


In the early 1900s, two American inventors named Joseph Rosefield and George A. Bayle Jr. improved upon the original peanut butter recipe. Rosefield added hydrogenated oil to keep the peanut oil from separating from the peanut paste while Bayle added sugar to make the spread smoother and creamier.


During World War I and World War II, peanut butter was used as a cheap and nutritious source of protein for the American soldiers. It was also popular among civilians because it didn't require refrigeration and could be used as a substitute for meat.


In the 1960s, peanut butter became a staple food in American households. The iconic brand of peanut butter, Skippy, was launched in 1933 and is still popular today.


Today, peanut butter is produced and enjoyed all over the world. There are many different types of peanut butter available in the market, such as low-fat or sugar-free versions, and flavored peanut butter. Peanut butter is also used in baking, smoothies, and as a dip for fruits and vegetables.


In conclusion, peanut butter has come a long way from being a food for the ancient South American cultures to becoming a staple food in the American households. The history of peanut butter is a story of innovation and development that has led to the creation of the creamy and delicious food spread that we all know and love today.