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The History of Peanut Butter & Jelly

Peanut butter and jelly…it’s perhaps the most iconic sandwich in America. But do you know where it comes from? The origin of the PB&J is actually somewhat contested, but one of the more popularly held versions of the story goes like this: In the early 1900s, peanut butter was a new food that was considered quite elegant. Tearooms in Manhattan served it on crackers with various parings that included pimento cheese, celery, and watercress. During the 1920s and 1930s, popular peanut butter brands Skippy and Peter Pan were introduced along with sliced bread. Peanut butter sandwiches then became a popular food during the Great Depression because they were hearty and affordable. During World War II, peanut butter, jelly, and bread were all on the US military’s ration list, and soldiers reportedly combined the three. When they returned home, they continued to do so, giving rise to the peanut butter and jelly sandwich that we know and love today.

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