Nutty for Peanut Butter: A Look at the Genius American Creation
Peanut butter is now a product that the UK has come to love whether it is slathered on toast or used in mouth-watering wholesale confectionery goods.
In my opinion, you simply cannot beat the heavenly taste of peanut butter. Although once considered a rather bizarre creation from our stateside friends, it has quickly found a home in the UK and is now a household staple that many people cannot live without. In addition to being found in jars, this sweet, nutty spread has also been combined with chocolate to create some dangerously delicious wholesale confectionery goods!
In honour of peanut butter and the wonderful snacks that perfectly combine this flavour with chocolate and caramel, here is a closer look at how it came to be.
South American Origins
We have the ancient South Americans to thank for a lot of our favourite confections. Not only did they create chocolate in its earliest form, but they also created peanut butter! Evidence shows that Peruvian Incas would roast peanuts and mash them into a paste to create a butter-like substance that would be fairly similar to what we all enjoy eating today. In addition to this, it has been discovered that there were tribes from central Brazil that would ground the nuts with maize and add liquid to the mixture to create a nut-based drink – genius!
Fast forward to the late 1800s when a much more familiar product was created. American producers Dr Ambrose Straub and Dr John Havery Kellogg (yes, the cereal pioneer!) began to perfect the manufacturing process. Interestingly, this was not developed to be a substance that we could slather on toast or combine with chocolate, but actually as a protein substitute for those who had poor teeth and struggled to eat meat. The product was first sold to the public in 1904 at the St. Louis World’s Fair; it would soon become an important ration for the US in World War I and II.
The invention of smooth peanut butter came about in 1922, when a chemist named Joseph Rosefield created a product that would forever divide fans of the humble peanut! The production and popularity of the product exploded and now the USA is the third largest producer of peanuts in the entire world. Over 50% of their crop goes into making the protein-rich treat – this accounts for a staggering $850 million in annual retail sales! The other 50% is divided between snack nuts (often flavoured) and wholesale confectionery.
The British Palette
We may not be quite as “nutty” about peanut butter as our friends across the pond, but the product has grown rapidly in popularity in the UK. It is mainly used as a nutritious and affordable spread, but there is also a lot of mouth-watering wholesale confectionery that combines peanuts and/or peanut butter with chocolate and other delicious treats. Whether it is a chocolate bar, a biscuit or other baked goods, there is little doubt that peanut butter and chocolate are a match made in heaven!
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Angelina Moufftard works for hf Chocolates, established wholesale confectionery suppliers with decades of experience supplying sweets and high-end chocolates to retailers across the UK. Working with the most dedicated suppliers from France, Spain, Germany, Holland, Belgium, the USA and the UK, hf Chocolates' great tasting and beautifully packaged products add panache to any sweet display.