The nutty history of peanut butter

The story of the lifelong companion to jelly

by Logan Griffin, Staff Writer

For a long time, peanut butter has been a staple of world cultures and food. We use peanut butter for hundreds of things in our daily lives (unless you’re allergic), from vegan ice-cream recipes to getting gum out of your hair, peanut butter has had its fair share of fame over the years. This November is National Peanut Butter Lovers Month, which is accepted by the National Peanut Board (yes that’s a thing). But with all the use it has in our lives we never seem to ask, what’s the history behind peanut butter?

If you want to be technical The Aztecs had the first recorded example of a paste made from peanuts, possibly used as a remedy for tooth pains. But many of us in the states cite the creation of peanut butter to George Washington Carver, while this isn’t quite the case. Carver, however, did incentivize over 300 ways to use peanuts and paste made from peanuts. From gasoline to wax Carver found a way to use the peanut for virtually everything.

If we go back in time to the early 1900s in the boom of the industrial revolution, there were several people patenting and discovering different ways to manufacture, produce, and sell passes that resemble the peanut butter we have in our homes today. The most iconic example is Joseph Rosefield’s contribution in 1922. He had perfected the chemical makeup for the oil in peanut butter to not separate and about six years later he would go on to license this discovery to the company that would produce Peter Pan peanut butter. He would then in 1932 started making his own peanut butter under the name Skippy.

In the latter half of the century, various other companies would join the peanut butter industry and make it what it is today, making the peanut butter we all know and love.