Dietribes: It's Peanut Butter Time

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To start, a rhyme I remember from childhood: "A peanut sat on the railroad track, his heart was all a-flutter. The 5:15 came roaring by ... Choo choo! Peanut butter."

Unless you suffer from Arachibutyrophobia (the fear of getting peanut butter stuck to roof of your mouth), read on to learn more about the yummy, creamy (sometimes crunchy) goodness that is peanut butter, a relatively high-fat food that also contains significant amounts of protein and carbohydrates.

"¢ Fancy whipping up your own jar of the stuff? It takes 772 peanuts to make a 16.3 oz jar. Nearly half of the United States' peanut crop is devoted to peanut butter production, and another 20% is used specifically for manufacturing candy.

"¢ Ah, the ubiquitous childhood favorite (unless you suffer from a peanut allergy, of course), the peanut butter and jelly sandwich. Did you know 96% of people put the peanut butter on first?

"¢ C.H. Sumner was the first to introduce peanut butter to the world at the Universal Exposition of 1904 in St. Louis. He sold $705.11 of the treat at his concession stand, and Krema Products Company in Columbus, Ohio, began selling peanut butter in 1908. It remains the oldest peanut butter company still in operation today.

"¢ There are many other uses for peanut butter besides as a spread. It can also be the basis for a simple outdoor bird feeder (coat a pine cone once with peanut butter, then again with birdseed), effective bait for mouse traps, and can help take gum out of hair. Also, you might find peanut butter being used to make ... beer?

hershey_elvis_cup.jpg"¢ Peanut butter and banana is a favored pairing, such as Elvis' personal preference for the pair in a sandwich ... fried, of course. In 2007, Reese's came out with a special edition formulated peanut butter and banana crème cup for Elvis' 30th anniversary. And of course, another famous example of peanut butter and bananas here.

"¢ This all brings us to one of the most important influences on my formative years—The Peanut Butter Solution, a 1985 Canadian movie that is, trust me, amazing. Premise: boy gets so scared his hair falls out (obviously). Toupees won't do, so luckily he's visited by the ghost of his late grandmother who tells him to put peanut butter on his scalp. His hair grows quickly and to alarmingly lengths, and has a mind of its own. Basically a hairy monster attached to his head. See for yourself...

"¢ No article about peanuts or peanut butter would be complete without the mention of Jimmy Carter, former President who grew up on a peanut farm. I've been lucky enough to visit the boyhood farm and the quaint town of Plains, Georgia (where President Carter and his wife Rosalyn still live part-time), but for those of you who haven't had the pleasure, here is a sight to see. Also, the peanut butter ice cream is to die for.

You guys have been great at sharing yummy recipes, so how about some dealing with peanut butter? Or maybe we should just talk about The Peanut Butter Solution, and other strange movies we saw growing up.

Hungry for more? Venture into the Dietribes archive.

"˜Dietribes' appears every Wednesday. Food photos taken by Johanna Beyenbach. You might remember that name from our post about her colorful diet.

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May 21, 2008 - 5:58am
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