By Katie McBride
Remember how simple life was when you were a kid? After a long day at school you would come home. As soon as you got off the bus, you would skip into your house and sit down at the table. Your mother would greet you with a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, your favorite, cut into triangles. Life was perfect.It is time to celebrate those days when life was so simple that Nickelodeon and your favorite sandwich made your entire day.
November is National Peanut Butter Lovers’ Month.
Luke Morgan, a freshman history major, enjoys peanut butter with chocolate and would like to extend, “a word of thanks to the person who invented peanut butter.”
Peanut butter was first introduced in 1890 as ground peanut paste. An unknown St. Louis physician encouraged the owners of food-product companies to package it as a nutritious protein substitute, according to peanutbutter.com.
Skippy peanut butter first hit the shelves Feb. 1, 1933. Jif peanut butter was introduced in 1958, according to peanutbutter.com
The peanuts used to make peanut butter are harvested in September, October and November. They are then sold to peanut shellers, who use special machines that remove the peanut kernels from the shells. The shellers clean the kernels and sort them by size.
Peanut butter companies buy the peanuts from the shellers, who ship them to the peanut butter plants in railroad cars. Each car holds roughly 190,000 pounds of peanuts, according to peanutbutter.com.
It takes almost 850 of those peanuts to make an 18-ounce jar of peanut butter.
The average American child will have eaten 1,500 peanut butter sandwiches by the time he or she graduates from high school, according to peanutbutter.com.
Americans spend almost $800 million a year on peanut butter. Not to mention, the average American eats three pounds of peanut butter each year. This totals up to 500 million pounds of peanut butter, enough to cover the bottom of the Grand Canyon, according to peanutbutter.com.
When choosing between crunchy or creamy, there are some definite distinctions. Those residing on the east coast tend to prefer creamy peanut butter, while those on the west coast like the taste of crunchy peanut butter. Children and women are more likely to favor creamy style, while more men would rather have crunchy, according to peanutbutter.com.
Sean Phillips, a junior broadcasting major, disagrees that men prefer crunchy. He likes “creamy, of course.
“I abhor people that like crunchy peanut butter,” he said.
Phillips enjoys his creamy peanut butter in peanut butter and banana sandwiches.
“It was just put into my lunchbox as a child. It was one of those things you’re raised with,” he said.
Scott Baltz, a junior sports management major, said he couldn’t decide whether crunchy or creamy peanut butter is better.
“Every once in awhile, you just have to switch it up. Sometimes I’m feeling crunchy, sometimes I’m feeling creamy,” he said.
Baltz said he has some fond memories involving peanut butter, but his favorite was at a party last year.
“My favorite memory of peanut butter is when I was dancing with peanut butter and jelly in my hands on my coffee table.”
Peanut butter is one of those universally renowned foods that encouraged a variety of tasty combinations.
Jonathan Slone, a sophomore biology major, enjoys making homemade peanut butter milkshakes. He puts ice cream, peanut butter and milk in a blender and mixes it.
Slone likes peanut butter “because it is a distinct flavor,” he said.
Erik Arnold, an undeclared freshman, said he prefers the classic combination of peanut butter and grape jelly.
Arnold’s favorite memory involving peanut butter is, “putting it on my dog’s nose and watching him try to lick it off. It’s funny.”
While most people prefer the classic peanut butter and jelly combinations, some people have come up with stranger combinations for their peanut butter.
“I saw somebody eating peanut butter and spaghetti once,” Arnold said.
If you are looking for ways to celebrate National Peanut Butter Lovers’ Month, consider joining the “I Love Peanut Butter newsletter” on about.com, or trying your hand at the Web site’s peanut butter trivia.