Happy National Peanut Butter Day, y’all. Americans are nuts for this, our favorite legume in spreadable form. Afterall, what is childhood without the PB&J?
Before there was peanut butter…
The peanut is thought to have originated in South America. It traveled the world before landing in North America in the 1700’s, and grew to become the cheap, protein-packed little package of joy we know today. The U.S. is the third-largest producer of peanuts (China and India come in first and second place, respectively). And after WWII, commercial peanut butter became a staple in the American pantry. (Though strangely nowhere else in the world, despite the wide proliferation of the peanut itself.) It is estimated that every American eats more than three pounds of peanut butter each year.
I eat three times this much.
I f*cking love peanut butter: on rice cakes, spread thinly on a square of dark chocolate, straight out of the jar. I eat the stuff every day, so you can imagine my horror when the reality of the foreign service set in. I’m not talking about the challenges of surviving in a foreign culture where I don’t speak the language—living overseas meant I would no longer be able to find my favorite nutty spread.
So life handed me lemons. Guess what? I made peanut butter: