Food History 1: PB&J!

I’m back!!! I’m sorry I was gone so long! It feels like forever since my last blog, I just got so busy with summer but school is back in and so am I!
Now lets get right to the subject, shall we? This year in culinary class we are studying American cuisine. Our first project of the year was to pick 3 American foods and investigate them. We had to find out the history of where they came from, how they were made, and anything else we could find. At first it sounded pretty boring but once I started researching, I felt like a food detective! Super supper secret agent chef Mackenzie! Investigating the mysterious lives of American foods.
The foods I chose were peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, apple pie, and waffles. It was pretty interesting so I thought I would share my findings with you. Most of my information came from this lovely website called The Food Timeline. If you’re wondering about the history of any of your favorite foods, just look them up on there and they have tons of info!
So now, without further adieu, The History of The Peanut Butter and Jelly Sandwich:

pbjThe first known reference to the peanut butter and Jelly sandwich was published in 1901. It became popular immediately especially with young people in America. Back then, peanut butter was considered a health food or a delicacy but as the price of peanut butter went down due to commercialization and manufacturers started adding sugar to the peanut butter, it started to appeal more to children. When bread started being sold pre-sliced, peanut butter sandwiches became very popular for kids because they could make them by themselves without using any heat or sharp knives. Peanut butter sandwiches were one of the top meals for children during the depression due to its low cost, high nutrition, and easy assembling.
In the 1920s people started getting really creative with peanut butter sandwiches. They paired peanut butter with everything and ended up with things peanut butter and cabbage and peanut butter pimento sandwiches. Jelly was another staple food around that time so it was only a matter of time before the perfect pair was born, the peanut butter and jelly sandwich!

“GI’s in WW 2 were given rations of both peanut butter and jelly. When they returned to the states after the war peanut butter sales and jelly sales both soared. It would seem most likely this would be the birth of the peanut butter and jelly sandwich.” –

People in other countries think its weird but peanut butter and jelly is really one of America’s favorite flavor combos. I grew up eating peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and my little brothers love them too. Its one of those flavors that bring back lots of lovely memories and I think its the same for a lot of Americans today!

Stay tuned for Food History 2: Apple Pie!


One thought on “Food History 1: PB&J!

  1. Pingback: Food History 2: Apple Pie! | Culinary Chrysalis

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