Who Invented peanut butter? What is its history?

Peanut butter is one of the all-time favorite spreads, which many people use in a sandwich. Coupled with jelly, you can make the perfect combination that many people love. The popularity of peanut butter not only reigned over the United States but also reached many countries around the globe.

We can see several variations of peanut butter throughout the years, and the numerous ways to use them is incredible. Apart from all of the exciting features of peanut butter, another thing that might catch our interest is the history of how this much-beloved sandwich spread started to exist. 

Similar to some things in history, the origins of peanut butter are not precisely as it should be. We can hear many claims about how they came to existence and would get us confused on which of these are valid. 

In this article, we are going to look further into peanut butter, and mainly, who invented it?

The Origin of Peanut Butter

The concept of peanut butter is quite older than it seems. We can trace the earliest form of peanut butter thousands of years ago. Experts believe that the origin of peanut butter started all the way back to the time of Aztecs and Incas in Latin America, around 1000 BC. 

However, these ancient people do not have the same peanut butter like we have today, although it has a similarity to our modern peanut butter. The Aztecs and Incas used ground roasted peanuts and turned them into a paste. Without the same technology that we have today, the ancient peanut butter has a rougher texture compared to what we buy from our local grocery stores. Since then, many people created their version of the peanut butter.

One notable person in the history of peanut butter is Marcellus Gilmore Edson. Edson is a Canadian chemist from Montreal, Canada, which is the first person to patent peanut butter in 1884. His version of the peanut butter consists of milling roasted peanuts until it turns into a fluid form. He then mixed sugar into the paste to improve its texture and to add flavor.

Another version of the peanut butter is attributed to the doctor and businessman, George A. Bayle. Bayle began producing and selling peanut butter with the help of his food manufacturing company. He was a doctor on St. Louise, and one of his goals in selling peanut butter is to provide food options for people with chewing problems. He sold his peanut butter for six cents per pound. Historians regarded Bayle as the first person to have successfully manufacture and sell peanut butter to the market.  

John Kellogg, commonly known for the popular Kellogg cereal, is a doctor who issued a patent for his process of making peanut butter in 1895. His version of the peanut butter is far from the ones we know of today. Instead of roasting the peanuts, Kellogg boils them until cooked, making it less tasty. This process of creating peanut butter made it much different from the way Bayle used to make them. Kellogg was the medical director in the Battle Creek Sanitarium in Michigan, where they treat the sick and promote health to the public. That is why, in the 1980s, he came up with the idea of grinding peanuts into a paste to help patients eat.  

One of the most known claims about the invention of the peanut butter is that it came from George Washington Carver. Carver was an agricultural scientist and inventor who invented several things during his lifetime, which many people claim that peanut butter is one of them. However, in contrast to most belief, Carver is not responsible for the creation of peanut butter, although he did introduce hundreds of ways to cook and prepare peanut. Despite him being a brilliant inventor, some historians stated that he is far from being the inventor of the peanut butter. 

These are some of the claims about the inventor of peanut butter. Until today, the real inventor of the modern peanut butter is unknown. Because of these factors, we can say that peanut butter came a long way to become the delicious treat it is today. And this continuous improvement on the peanut butter is not possible without the help of several people who contributed to the creation of their versions, which helped improve its overall quality.

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