Peanut ButterGeorge Washington Carver was an agricultural chemist who discovered over 300 uses for peanuts. He made the first peanut butter in 1880, but believing that food was a gift from God, he never applied for a patent.

Before Carver, the Incas of South America made peanuts into an edible paste. Then, Africans began growing peanuts, which was introduced to the country by explorers. Spain became familiar with peanuts through trade and from there the crops were introduced to the American colonies where the first commercial crop was grown in Virginia in the mid 1840s.

A “Process of Preparing Nut Meal,” that used peanuts was patented in 1895, by Dr. John Kellogg, who ran the Battle Creek Sanitarium. He served the patients at the hospital peanut butter.

One of Dr. Kellogg’s employees, Joseph Lambert, invented a peanut butter grinder that was operated by hand. His first sale was in 1896. His wife, Ameeta, wrote and published “The Complete Guide to Nut Cookery,” in 1899.

A churning process that made peanut butter smooth was invented by Joseph Rosenfield. He sold a license for his process to the Pond Company in 1928. Pond was the maker of Peter Pan peanut butter.

Rosenfield continued to experiment with his churning process and in 1932 he began to make his own brand of peanut butter. It was known as Skippy and is still sold today.

What is peanut butter? Basically it is roasted peanuts that are crushed into a paste. Chunky peanut butter has chunks of nuts left in it to please the taste buds of those who like a crunchy texture. The smooth variety is put through a churning process after the nuts are crushed to make it a more pleasant texture for those who don’t like coarse textures in food.

Today you can buy pure peanut butter that doesn’t contain any additives or preservatives. It is coarser and has less flavor than processed peanut butter because it doesn’t go through the smoothing process and because no salt is added. Though it may not be as tasty, pure peanut butter is much better for us. Processed peanut butter has great quantities of salt added.