It’s National Peanut Butter and Jelly day! This combo is just about the best thing since sliced bread, even though technically it’s been around a few years longer. Peanut butter debuted at the 1883 Chicago World’s Fair. It was mainly sold in fancy tea rooms until the early 1900s, when the peanut industry commercialized and peanut butter became more affordable for everyone.
A home economist named Julia Davis Chandler conjured up the first known recipe for PB&J in a Boston cooking magazine back in 1901 (she recommended currant jelly). The 1928 pre-sliced bread revolution led a lot of people to eat peanut butter sandwiches during the Great Depression since it was an affordable and nutritious treat that kids could make for themselves. During WWII the U.S. Army’s food ration list included peanut butter, jelly, and bread — so give soldiers the credit for combining these tasty ingredients into the classic combination we know and love today. They brought their recipe back home, and American children have benefited ever since.
Let’s give thanks to all the PB&J pioneers! Peanut butter and jelly’s an affordable, tasty, and easy lunch we can all appreciate on April 2.