Creamy and Crunchy: An Informal History of Peanut Butter, the All-American Food

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Columbia University Press, Nov 20, 2012 - Cooking - 320 pages
2 Reviews
More than Mom’s apple pie, peanut butter is the all-American food. With its rich, roasted-peanut aroma and flavor; caramel hue; and gooey, consoling texture, peanut butter is an enduring favorite, found in the pantries of at least 75 percent of American kitchens. Americans eat more than a billion pounds a year. According to the Southern Peanut Growers, a trade group, that’s enough to coat the floor of the Grand Canyon (although the association doesn’t say to what height). Americans spoon it out of the jar, eat it in sandwiches by itself or with its bread-fellow jelly, and devour it with foods ranging from celery and raisins (“ants on a log”) to a grilled sandwich with bacon and bananas (the classic “Elvis”). Peanut butter is used to flavor candy, ice cream, cookies, cereal, and other foods. It is a deeply ingrained staple of American childhood. Along with cheeseburgers, fried chicken, chocolate chip cookies (and apple pie), peanut butter is a consummate comfort food. In Creamy and Crunchy are the stories of Jif, Skippy, Peter Pan; the plight of black peanut farmers; the resurgence of natural or old-fashioned peanut butter; the reasons why Americans like peanut butter better than (almost) anyone else; the five ways that today’s product is different from the original; the role of peanut butter in fighting Third World hunger; and the Salmonella outbreaks of 2007 and 2009, which threatened peanut butter’s sacred place in the American cupboard. To a surprising extent, the story of peanut butter is the story of twentieth-century America, and Jon Krampner writes its first popular history, rich with anecdotes and facts culled from interviews, research, travels in the peanut-growing regions of the South, personal stories, and recipes.
 

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Creamy and Crunchy: An Informal History of Peanut Butter, the All-American Food

User Review  - Jerry P. Miller - Book Verdict

Krampner (Female Brando) provides a comprehensive and entertaining account of peanut butter and how this popular food assumed its place in American food culture. Jammed with facts and folklore ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - datrappert - LibraryThing

If you love peanut butter, you are bound to find this book pretty fascinating. It traces the history of peanut butter from its earliest beginnings in the United States to the present day, with ... Read full review

Contents

PEANUTS 101
1
THE SOCIAL RISE OF THE PEANUT
14
PETER PAN IMPROVED BY HYDROGENATION
46
HOW PETER PAN LOST ITS GROOVE
59
SKIPPY HE MADE HIS FIRST JAR OF PEANUT BUTTER IN HIS GARAGE
72
SKIPPY ON TOP
84
JIF BUT IS IT STILL PEANUT BUTTER?
96
CHOOSY MOTHERS CHOOSE
112
THE PEANUT BUTTER CRISIS OF 1980
166
YOU MEAN ITS NOT GOOD FOR ME?
175
THE SHORT HAPPY LIFE OF SORRELLS PICKARD
189
PEANUT CORPORATION OF AMERICATHERE WAS NO RED FLAG
199
PEANUT BUTTER SAVES THE WORLD
210
WHERE ARE THE PEANUT BUTTERS OF YESTERYEAR?
220
AUTHORS RECOMMENDATIONS
235
PEANUT BUTTER TIME LINE
237

PEANUT BUTTER GOES INTERNATIONAL
125
THE MUSIC OF PEANUT BUTTER
138
DEAF SMITH WHATS OLD FASHIONED IS NEW AGAIN
145
THE RISE AND FALL OF THE FLORUNNER
158
NOTES
245
INDEX
283
Copyright

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About the author (2012)

Jon Krampner is the author of The Man in the Shadows: Fred Coe and the Golden Age of Television and Female Brando: The Legend of Kim Stanley. He received an A.B. in English literature from Occidental College and an M.A. in journalism from the University of Wisconsin--Madison. He lives in Los Angeles.

Web site: www.creamyandcrunchy.comE-mail: pbj@creamyandcrunchy.comTwitter: @pbj06

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