The cult of peanut butter: why Americans can't do without this product

The cult of peanut butter: why Americans can't do without this product

Categories: Food and Drinks | North America

Peanut butter, or butter if you like (it's the same thing), is a favorite dish of millions of Americans.  Moreover, this product has become an integral part of the culture of this country — more than 300 thousand tons of it are eaten in the United States every year. Peanut butter is eaten at any time of the day or night, as a dessert and as a main course, spread on bread and toast, combined with fruit or jam, and even with bacon! It is used to make hummus and bake cookies and, in general, use it in a way that we would never have guessed. But what is the reason for such popularity?

The cult of peanut butter: why Americans can't do without this product

The origin of peanuts is South America, but these nuts came to the United States in a strange roundabout way, along with slaves brought from Africa. At first, the new product did not cause a stir, but soon the Civil War broke out and the groundnuts drew close attention. They baked pies with peanuts, made surrogate coffee from it, and even made some kind of chocolate.

The cult of peanut butter: why Americans can't do without this product

Inexpensive and nutritious products made from peanuts appealed to the soldiers and when the war ended, the demand for it only increased. Peanuts appeared in all the states and were sold literally on every corner. The most popular peanuts were fried, and the first pasta appeared only at the end of the 19th century.

The inventor of peanut paste, that is, the person who first patented this product, was a Canadian resident Marcellus Edson. Also, one of her "parents" can be considered a physiotherapist and propagandist of vegetarianism, John Kellogg, who proposed in 1898 his original method of cooking.

Kellogg, who also invented cornflakes, did not sell peanut butter right and left, but introduced it to the menu of his sanatorium. It was believed that this is a prestigious food for the rich and pampered, but, in fact, the demand for pasta among the patients of the institution was more related to its properties. The old folks who lived in the Kellogg sanitarium would have been happy with a piece of good bacon, but due to the lack of teeth, they were forced to eat "bohemian" peanut paste.

The cult of peanut butter: why Americans can't do without this product

Rich in protein, it was nutritious and delicious. A little later, it occurred to Kellogg that the invention could make good money, and he began to make it for sale. The demand was so great that the doctor and entrepreneur decided to sell pasta production plants as well. Cars were sold like hot cakes — they were eagerly bought by cafes, restaurants and shops.

At the beginning of the 20th century, the first machine for the production of pasta on an industrial scale appeared and it turned from the food of the elite into a public dish. In 1904, the product was presented at the international exhibition in St. Louis, where guests appreciated its taste and nutritional value.

The demand for pasta grew and peanuts began to gradually displace cotton from the fields of the southern states. This was not difficult, since the first decade of the 20th century was marked by the invasion of the weevil fields, because of which the cotton planters suffered enormous losses. Peanuts were not afraid of the pest, required less maintenance, and the demand for them was constantly growing.

The cult of peanut butter: why Americans can't do without this product

A rare jar of peanut butter made in 1906

By the beginning of the First World War, peanut butter had become such a common food that it was included in the diet of soldiers. But the real star hour of butter struck in the 20s, when they guessed to add sugar to it. Just at this point, the Great Depression arrived and sandwiches with a sweet and very high-calorie substance, cheap and not always high-quality, became the food of millions of Americans.

Since then, almost a century has passed, but peanut paste not only does not give up its position in the States, but, on the contrary, is consumed in increasing volumes every year.

American culture is heavily dependent on advertising, and many iconic characters appear in it for a reason. In 1916, Americans met Mr. Peanuts, who became a symbol of one of the largest pasta producers. A little later, this hero became the personification of the production of peanuts and any products from it on a global scale.

The cult of peanut butter: why Americans can't do without this product

The peanut man in the top hat and monocle encouraged both civilians and soldiers in the trenches of the two World Wars to eat nut butter. First, it was seen on the packaging of products, then on advertising posters, and with the advent of television began to flash in commercials. Mr. Peanuts so filled everyone's teeth that he had to be "killed" in the 21st century — it was solemnly announced that the old man had tragically died and another commercial was even dedicated to this event.

The world has lost a great nut, and I’ve lost a great friend. I can never repay you, @MrPeanut , for saving my life. Thanks for the tribute @mrmattwalsh #RIPeanut #ad pic.twitter.com/R8EYG50Nrz

— WS (@wesleysnipes) January 24, 2020

But instead of the old-fashioned dandy, a product of modern marketers appeared-Baby Peanuts (#BabyNut), which took into account the trends of the time and was relevant for millennials.

It would be strange if Hollywood stayed away and did not connect to the advertising of peanut butter. She has appeared in movies countless times and sometimes it seems that the characters in American films feed exclusively on her.

The cult of peanut butter: why Americans can't do without this product

This is how the updated symbol of the 21st century peanut paste looks like

Of the recent examples of advertising in the cinema, which is "almost invisible", it is worth mentioning the film "Peanut Falcon". The main character takes this name because he loves peanut butter. Sometimes the product acts as a killer — using a win-win option with an allergy to peanut butter, you can remove the most healthy hero from the plot without any questions from the audience.

Everyone knows that peanut products, including pasta — are a hearty and very high-calorie dish. It perfectly satisfies hunger and supports strength, for which it is loved by athletes engaged in power sports. Bodybuilders, gaining muscle mass, eat peanut paste several times a day, but, unfortunately, with people far from "iron sports", this food can play a cruel joke.

The cult of peanut butter: why Americans can't do without this product

Peanut butter contains 24 grams of protein per 100 grams of product, and this protein is absorbed incredibly quickly. In this regard, leaning on the delicacy, you can in record time and at the same time quite imperceptibly gain extra pounds. Therefore, you need to eat it carefully, without getting carried away and better as a dessert.

As for the benefits, the oil from groundnuts has a beneficial effect on the skin and hair, as well as on the heart muscle. This effect is caused by fatty acids, which are rich in this wonderful product. These acids dissolve cholesterol, which is dangerous for blood vessels, and keep the nervous system in good shape. The paste contains vitamins B1, B2, A, Y, ZZ, folic acid, calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, iron and some other less "promoted" trace elements and active substances.

As a snack, peanut butter is great, but it is hardly worth introducing it into the daily diet as a full-fledged food product. Nutritionists recommend limiting yourself to one tablespoon of this delicacy a day — in this case, your waist will be safe.

The cult of peanut butter: why Americans can't do without this product

Finally, it is worth noting that pasta pasta is different and on sale you can find a lot of low-quality products. Unscrupulous manufacturers shamelessly add palm oil, flavorings, flavor enhancers, emulsifiers and many other unpleasant things to the paste. Therefore, when buying pasta, carefully read the composition on the label and give preference to well-known brands.

Keywords: Americans | Peanuts | Dish | Sandwich | Butter | Nut | Pasta | Usa

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