Food

What's Your Favorite Way to Eat Peanut Butter?

I'm finishing up a book about the history of peanut butter (Creamy and Crunchy: An Informal History of Peanut Butter, the All-American Food), and am wondering how people like to eat it.

I'm partial to my own creation, the Simon and Garfunkel. It's a sandwich with peanut butter and mozzarella on a whole-wheat bagel, with sliced mushrooms and spinach sauteed in olive oil. I add alfalfa sprouts, a slice of tomato, and a ground-up clove or two of fresh garlic, then season with parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme (that's the Simon and Garfunkel part), oregano, parsley and paprika. Finally squeeze some fresh lemon over the whole thing.

Some fun facts about peanut butter:

-- The first hydrogenated peanut butter was Heinz (yup, the ketchup people) in 1923.

-- Skippy took its name from a comic strip character popular in the 1920's through the '40's (Skippy was launched in 1933), leading to long-running litigation between cartoonist Percy Crosby and his daughter against Skippy for trademark infringement.

-- Peanut butter is made from all four kinds of peanuts grown in the U.S.: runners, Virginias, Spanish and Valencias. Most stabilized peanut butter is made with runners, which run to the bland side. Valencias, the sweetest peanut, are grown mainly in southeast New Mexico and adjoining counties of the Texas Panhandle. Valencias are only one percent of the U.S. peanut crop; peanut butter made from them is the most expensive.

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