Serious and disturbing events, of late, domestic and international, have responsibly, called for somber comments, as contained in many of our recent writings. Distressing essays on Donald Trump, Vladimir Putin, Ukraine, Global Warming, the pernicious Right-Wing voter suppression of votes of communities of color, and the miscreant deeds of anti-democratic, White Christian Nationalists, to name some representative subjects, make one, virtually, apprehensive of the development of some kind of “Blogger PTSD” pathology. Accordingly, on this occasion, we have, therapeutically, elected to write on a more salubrious, but, nevertheless, societally significant, subject, viz., peanut butter. In terms of full ethical disclosure, we will confess to being just shy of addicted, to this singular item, and have for decades, been its secular evangelists.
Peanut butter is universally, known as a nourishing food spread made from dry roasted peanuts (and some other ingredients, included for taste). It contains omega 6, a fatty acid that lowers bad cholesterol (LDL) and increases protective cholesterol (HSL), and, additionally, is loaded with healthy ingredients, including Vitamin E and Iron. While, by tradition, a predictable ingredient in school box lunches, recent, medical recognition of serious peanut allergies, such as anaphylaxis, has significantly curtailed such use.
It is commonly believed that the brilliant and creative, American agronomist, George Washington Carver, was the inventor of peanut butter. However, archeological records indicate that a peanut paste of sorts was developed by the ancient Aztecs and Incas. Moreover, official federal patents, for its development, reportedly, recite title ownership in Marcellus Elson, John Henry Kellogg and Joseph Lamont, but not to Carver. Carver, however, did develop many peanut products but not peanut butter.
The definition, contents, provenance and properties of peanut butter having been briefly, but, (it is submitted), adequately, discussed, we might now, permissibly, turn to its salient feature, its taste and recommended application. Initially, we would, energetically, resist the narrow view, that it is, merely, a fun, (albeit, nutritious), treat for children. Those who maintain that limited view are not seasoned peanut butter enthusiasts. We see peanut butter as a gastronomic treat for the initiated palate.
First, a caution and a reservation. The observations and comments, included in this writing are not applicable nor relevant to the “ersatz” “peanut butter flavor,” advertised and sold, relating to yogurt, stuffed pretzels, ice cream, birthday cakes and chocolate filled candies, such as “peanut butter cups.” We identify these advertised “peanut butter” flavors, as “ersatz,” because, by explanatory analogy, their purported, peanut butter taste is as aesthetically identifiable, as peanut butter, as “lime” flavor lollypops are, to the actual taste of lime. To the authentic peanut butter aficionado, the latter designations approach the deceitful offense of false advertising.
Authentic peanut butter comes in jars, “crunchy” (our choice) or “smooth.” It is satisfying to eat alone, yet most people prefer to eat it in sandwiches, with jam or jelly (viz., a common choice of the younger set.) After much scientific experiment, we have developed an advanced and more aesthetically pleasing version of this popular choice. We took objective note of the existence of another common sandwich, cream cheese and jelly (also, a favorite of the younger set) and explored the possibility of adding cream cheese to the peanut butter and jelly, or jam. The last time we conducted a serious culinary survey, we learned that this updated version, viz., peanut butter and jelly, or jam, and cream cheese, constituted, no less than, a major culinary triumph (not limited to the younger set).
Regarding the choice of sandwich bread, the older, experienced, gourmands, generally, prefer whole wheat, raisin or dark bread, while the younger set seems, conservatively, to remain loyal to white bread. Nevertheless, we remain ever hopeful that, with the passage of years and further development of maturity, the younger set will evolve to a better choice for the sandwich.
The avid peanut butter fan, by empirical experience, has learned that its plenteous gifts are not limited to its ingestion in sandwiches. He is also delightfully, rewar ed by the application of peanut butter, to hot oatmeal, to many fresh fruits, especially bananas, pears and apples; some hard-core fans have lauded the application of peanut butter to pretzels and potato chips, eaten while drinking beer.
In addition to its unique taste, peanut butter (which does contain some fat) is a healthy food. The American Actuarial Association, in Washington D.C., has reported, that those Americans, who choose to eat peanut butter for 100 years, tend to live long lives.