A Brief History Of Peanut Butter

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NOTE:  Read all the way through for info on a giveaway I’m doing today

Hi, Winnie Griggs here.  I was recently working on a picnic scene and wondered if I could use peanut butter as one of the food items.  So of course I dropped everything and started in on researching.

Most people know that the peanut is not really a nut, that it’s really a legume.  But did you know that it’s not native to North America at all?  Current thinking is that the plant originated in either Brazil or Peru.  European explorers discovered the plant and exported it back to their home countries and colonies.  Eventually the plant found it’s way to the United States but at first it was considered only fit for livestock feed.

Eventually people discovered how tasty they were and their popularity grew.  In the late 1800s , PT Barnum’s circus sped this up as they traveled across the country and sold their ‘hot roasted peanuts’ to the attending crowds.

As for peanut butter, believe it or not, it actually can trace its roots back to Aztec times.  The Aztecs took roasted peanuts and mashed them into a paste.  However, the invention of the peanut butter we know today is a much more recent occurrence.  Below is a timeline:

  • 1884 Canadian citizen Marcellus Edson patented a peanut paste – a product that resulted from milling roasted peanuts between two heated surfaces
  • 1885  Dr. John Kellogg (the same man who created Kellogg’s cereal) patented a process for creating peanut butter from raw peanuts.  His idea was to promote it as a healthy protein substitute for patients who no longer had their teeth.
  • 1903 Dr. Ambrose Straub patented a machine designed to make peanut butter
  • 1904  C.H. Summer introduced peanut butter to the world at the St. Louis World Exposition.
  • 1908 Columbus, Ohio company Krema Products began selling peanut butter.  It is the oldest peanut butter company that is still in operation today
  • 1922  Joseph Rosefield, a chemist, invented a process to make peanut butter smoother by churning it.
  • 1928  Joseph Rosefield licensed his invention to Swift & Company which was later renamed of Peter Pan
  • 1932 Joseph Rosefield  decided to produce his own peanut butter, which he marketed under the name Skippy.
  • 1934  Rosefield became the first peanut butter manufacturer to add a crunchy-style peanut butter to his line.

And to answer the question I originally undertook this research for, peanut butter would NOT have been something my characters would have on hand.

So, are you a fan of peanut butter?  And if so, what is your favorite way to eat it?



And now for the giveaway.

In honor of my new release, I’ll be giving away a copy of my new release, Lone Star Heiress to one of today’s commenters.


16 LSH medium2

LONE STAR HEIRESS  (Book 4 of the Texas Grooms Series)

4 ½ star  RT Reviewer rating

Rescuer Turned Husband? 

Plucky Ivy Feagan is headed to Turnabout, Texas, to claim an inheritance, not a widower’s heart. That all changes when strapping schoolteacher Mitch Parker rescues her in the wilderness. Straightlaced Mitch has never met a woman like Ivy—beautiful, adventurous and good-hearted—but he already lost love once and doesn’t dare try again. 

When Turnabout’s gossips target Mitch and Ivy’s friendship, he proposes to save her reputation. But Ivy doesn’t want to marry for honor, and she doesn’t need to marry for money. Ivy will only agree to a proposal made for love’s sake—but will Mitch make his heart part of the marriage offer? 

Texas Grooms: In search of their brides…

Website | + posts

Winnie Griggs is the author of Historical (and occasionally Contemporary) romances that focus on Small Towns, Big Hearts, Amazing Grace. She is also a list maker, a lover of dragonflies and holds an advanced degree in the art of procrastination.
Three of Winnie’s books have been nominated for the Romantic Times Reviewers Choice Award, and one of those nominations resulted in a win.
Winnie loves to hear from readers. You can connect with her on facebook at www.facebook.com/WinnieGriggs.Author or email her at winnie@winniegriggs.com.

49 thoughts on “A Brief History Of Peanut Butter”

  1. I like crunchy peanut butter on celery. My husband loves it on toast for breakfast.
    BTW, hubby’s childhood home is only a few doors away from the Krema Company. 🙂

  2. I haven’t had peanut butter in a really long time. Now, I want some. I’m kinda boring. I just like a good old peanut butter and jelly sandwich.

  3. Winnie, I thoroughly enjoyed your post this morning. I am a peanut butter lover. Peanut butter cookies, peanut butter sandwiches, peanut butter by itself from a spoon. But, my favorite way to eat is, like Sherri, on toast except have have syrup on top. Great way to start the day!

  4. Wow, so it’s that recent? I didn’t not figure that. I LOVE peanut butter. The best way to eat it is between chocolate, you know, as in a Reece’s PB cup. LOL

  5. I’m not a huge fan of peanut butter. I always bought Skippy brand for my children. My husband loves the natural peanut butter and eats it daily. The only way I eat peanut butter now is in peanut butter cookies. My children loved to eat peanut butter sandwiches and peanut butter cracker sandwiches.

    Thanks for sharing the background for peanut butter.

    Your book LONE STAR HEIRESS featuring heiress Ivy and schoolteacher Mitch sounds like a story I would enjoy.

    Thanks for sharing!

  6. Winnie, how very interesting. Frankly, I can’t imagine the world without peanut butter. It’s so delicious and versatile. I can eat it on anything or just by the spoonful. Yummy! I’ll bet if we’d figured out how to grow peanuts here, we’d have had a whole lot sooner.

    Congrats on the new release! It looks and sounds wonderful. Very pretty cover.

  7. Winnie, what a great post. And congrats on the new books from the blurb and cover, I know I’m gonna love it. I don’t eat peanut butter all that often, but when I do, it’s gotta be extra crunchy. Xo

  8. I run hot and cold on peanut butter. Sometimes I eat it steadily, even eat a spoonful as a quick snack.

    Then I over do it and I can’t stand it, sometimes for years. I’m on a ‘off’ period right now and haven’t had it for a long time.

    My brother in law loves grilled peanut butter sandwiches. Made like grilled cheese. I love (at times) peanut butter on toast.

    Great post, Winnie. I love hearing about the history of most anything!!! 😀

  9. Hi Faith. Now the chocolate ice cream method sounds really yummy. I’m going to have to try that out!

    Hi Janie. I’m not a big fan of celery I’m afraid, but I do know several folks who like to eat it that way.

  10. Hi Janine. My hubby and kids have PB&J sandwiches a few times a week. They like grape jelly but I’m more partial to strawberry.

    Sherri – sounds like you’re a fan!

  11. Peanut butter and bananas, peanut butter and apples, peanut butter with toast I had even peanut butter by itself when Harry was hospitalized for two months and I could not visit him, that peanut butter was my comfort! When I didn’t feel like getting out of bed and I missed Harry so very much that jar sat right next to me, it didn’t need to be put away like juice or milk…it gave me enough when I didn’t feel like eating.

  12. I love peanut butter some times I have a sandwich for breckfast. There is nothing like a nice peanut butter sandwich with a bowl of chili in the winter.

  13. Oh I have loved PB for as long as I can remember… my mom has an old photo of me about 3 with a spoon in a jar of PB, LOL! I have gone through periods of loving smooth and crunchy… not a fan of jelly, so my sandwiches as a kid was butter and PB… now it is plain PB on bread… 🙂 My mom eats it with Fluff… never actually tried that… I love PB cookies… it in ice cream (love getting PB sauce on my sundaes)… oh and chocolate & PB candies… yum!

  14. I eat peanut butter almost every single day. I eat it on waffles with dried cranberries and just a little bit of syrup. I also love to mix natural peanut butter (around 2-3 Tbs.) with natural vanilla ice cream (1/2-3/4 c.) in a food processor. Best peanut butter milk shake ever!

  15. Laurie, thanks for stopping by, even if you’re not a big fina of PB 🙂 Your name is in the hat for the drawing.

    Hi Linda! Glad you enjoyed the post, and yes PB has became a household staple in this country.

  16. I do really enjoy peanut butter. I have gotten tired of it on sandwiches, but love it straight or combined with chocolate. Baskin Robbins has a chocolate peanut butter ice cream that I love!
    Brittany McEuen

  17. KateS – okay, bacon with peanut butter is a new one for me. Though come to think of it, there’s not much that doesn’t go well with bacon 🙂

    Hi Tanya – Thanks for the nice words on my new release. And LOL on the extra crunchy PB. Me, I’d just as soon eat the peanuts themselves 🙂

  18. Hi Mary! I get the same way with certain snacks, overdo and then lay of for a while. I’ve never had a grilled PB sandwich but it sound like it might be something I’d like.

    anon1001 – I have a friend who likes it on apples too. But it has never been the thing for me.

  19. Maria – You’re not alone. Chocolate seems to be a fairly common theme running through these replies 🙂

    Margaret – Thanks for the kudos and kind words about the book!

  20. I love peanut butter. I love to eat on regular old saltine crackers. Or better yet in good ol preacher cookies.

  21. Juanita – peanut butter is definitely a great, nutritious comfort food. And you can’t hardly beat it for shelf life.

    Quilt Lady – Peanut butter with chili – another new one for me. It seems peanut butter is much more versatile than I’d imagined.

  22. Colleen – LOL sounds like you are a REAL dyed-in-the-wool peanut butter lover.

    Laynah – Hi! Oh wow! That milkshake sounds fabulous! I must try it soon.

  23. Brittany -I’ve tried that ice cream of which you speak it’s a tasty as it sounds!

    AmyC – thanks for stopping by. And I’ve never heard of preacher cookies – what are they?

  24. I love peanut butter. I love to just eat a spoonful alone and I also love it with sliced apples!

  25. I am a BIG fan of peanut butter. My favorite way to eat it is mixed with honey and spread on biscuits or toast.

  26. I love peanut butter and my favorite way to eat it is in a peanut butter and banana sandwich.

  27. Hi Molly. My critique partner likes peanut butter and bananas too. I’ve never been able to acquire a taste for it myself, no matter how many times she says ‘YUM!” when she eats it. 🙂

    Beth – Thanks for stopping by!

    Y’all are both entered in the drawing

  28. Well Winnie. This is my 3rd try at this comment. It keeps disappearing right in the middle of my comment. Was saying it is a great item for a picnic. Peanut Butter and jelly sandwiches are great, also peanut butter mixed with bananas. Good for you too. My oldest sister lived to 86 and I declare I think she lived on peanut butter. I’ve read it is a healthy food for kids. Lots of children have peanut butter and jelly sandwiches in their school lunches. And, Peanut Butter cookies are good for any occasion. I enjoyed your post and would love to win your book. Thanks, Maxie

  29. Hi Maxie. Sorry you had so much trouble with yur post but I’m glad you persevered 🙂 Yes, I’ve always heard that PB was a very healthy snack food, especially the all natural version. And PB cookies, or better yet chocolate PB cookies, are the best!

    I’ve got your name in the hat for the drawing!

  30. My favorite way to eat peanut butter is on a peanut butter and banana sandwich! I’m glad that we have access to peanut butter because my kids ask for peanut butter sandwiches every day for lunch! kosterbind (at) gmail (dot) com

  31. LONE STAR HEIRESS sounds like another winner for you.

    Thanks for the information on peanut butter. I shared it with my husband who is the peanut butter lover in the family. His favorite way to eat it: with a spoon straight from the jar. Our favorite brand is JIF. He likes the crunchy best and likes Reece’s Peanut Butter Cups. My favorite is the creamy style on toast for breakfast. When I have the time, I like to make Peanut Butter Blossoms (the peanut butter cookies with a Hershey Kiss on top).

    The other peanut butter lovers in the family have 4 legs. We have used it for many, many years to give our dogs their medicine. It works better than cheese or anything else we have ever tried. They will come over and beg for it if we are fixing some for ourselves.

  32. If you’re in need a major sugar fix, mix peanut butter and brown sugar together and sprinkle in some chocolate chips. Top it off with a side of ice cold milk and you’ve got it made! YUMMO!

  33. Kelly O – another peanut butter and banana fan I see. There seem to be several of you here 🙂

    Patricia B – Oh, thank you for those kind words about my book! And what fun that you shared this with your husband. LOL about your 4 legged friends. My husband actually uses it to bait mouse traps when we spot any of the little varmints in our house.

  34. Connie J – grilled peanut butter and CHEESE? You folks are sure teaching me a bunch of new ways to eat PB 🙂

    Lindsey – Oh Yum! I’m going to have to try that one out soon!

  35. I can’t eat peanut butter anymore.If I want to not breathe I’ll eat some or better yet mix it with chocolate and I’m a dead door nail. I used to be able to eat peanut butter and when I did I liked crunchy. As I got older(in my 20’s) I got to where I couldn’t eat it and breathe so I quit eating it. Same thing happened with shellfish ,fish and strawberries to name a few. If I could though it would be crunchyu.

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