Whenever you find yourself in a sticky jam, relax and have a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. This childhood favorite is tasty, nutritious, and evokes fond memories for many of us. We are happy to celebrate National PB&J Day today!
Once upon a time, all you could get was a J sandwich: jelly has been around since the 15th century, while peanut butter didn’t make an appearance until late in the 19th century. In 1884, Marcellus Edson of Toronto filed a patent for a peanut paste “with a consistency like that of butter, lard, or ointment.” Dr. Ambrose Stroud of St. Louis decided that this peanut paste would be a great way of providing protein to elderly patients without teeth, and developed a machine that produced a more palatable version of peanut butter, which he patented in 1903. In the early 1900s, peanut butter was considered a delicacy, and could only be found in upscale tearooms in New York City, a favorite of the upper class (and those lucky toothless bastards in Missouri). Peanut butter was paired with many different ingredients early on, including cheese, pimento, celery, and watercress; in 1901, Julia Davis Chandler published a recipe for a PB&J sandwich, and a classic combination was born. By the 1920s, the price of peanut butter had dropped enough that it was no longer relegated to the filthy stinkin’ rich – even average citizens with teeth could enjoy the sticky treat. It became a favorite of children everywhere, and during World War II, both peanut butter and jelly were on the official military rations list.
I remember the first time I tried a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. We were living in Hawaii, and I was 4 or 5 years old. The lady who owned the house where we lived took a liking to me and my brother, and made us PB&J sandwiches one day. This was a novelty to me: for some reason, my mom was more into bologna or tuna. I thought this sandwich was creamy, sweet, and delicious, and it became the first of many for me. Then again, everybody loves peanut butter and jelly sandwiches! Right?
Ahh, Tara. One of the few people I know who is not enamored with peanut butter and jelly. To “celebrate,” she had peanut butter on a celery stick and toast with jelly.
As for me? I was always partial to chunky peanut butter and grape jelly, spread between two slices of white bread. So that was my lunch!
- 29 Ways To Honor The Glory Of Peanut Butter And Jelly (buzzfeed.com)
- It’s Peanut Butter Jelly Time!! (lovedbaker.wordpress.com)
- 20 Ways to Dress up Your PB&Js (redtri.com)