How Peanut Butter Met Jelly: Valentine’s Day Edition

A PB&J sandwich exploding with filling.Sep 1, 2023

The history of how peanut butter met jelly is a little fuzzy, but one thing is for certain – they were meant to be together.

In the early 1900’s peanut butter was a delicacy, bought and consumed only by the wealthy. At the time, peanut butter was frequently paired with pimento cheese, celery, cucumbers and crackers. Today’s beloved pairing of peanut butter and jelly sandwiches were first mentioned in a cookbook in 1901 but were not commonly eaten together until the Great Depression and World War II.

In 1928, peanut butter and jelly’s silent partner, sliced bread, was invented and quickly became a huge success. The price of peanut butter dropped with the creation of commercial brands, such as Skippy and Peter Pan. Lower prices made peanut butter sandwiches an affordable, easy-to-make meal and good source of protein for families suffering from the Great Depression.

Grapelade (a popular jelly), peanut butter and sliced bread were three staple items in soldiers’ rations during WWII. It is unknown what made the soldiers decide to pair these three, but it was the perfect pairing. Peanut butter and jelly hit it off, and soldiers just couldn’t get enough. When U.S. soldiers returned home, they continued eating the sandwich and sales increased.

The great taste, nutritional value, and affordability have made peanut butter and jelly a “match made in heaven.” They’ve stuck together and continued to be one of America’s most loved – and consumed – sandwiches to this day.

Here are some peanut butter and jelly themed recipes to make with/for your better half!

Kick off the day with Peanut Butter and Jelly Pancakes.

Draw a heart on your Peanut Butter and Jelly Overnight Oats to share with your partner.

Try this twist on the classic sandwich and enjoy PB&J Sushi Rolls.


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