Do you prefer it smooth or crunchy?

Published 5:04 pm Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Did you hear about the jailbreak in Parrish, Alabama? Twelve prisoners used peanut butter to aid them in their escape. One question I have is was it smooth or crunchy? Another question. Jif, Peter Pan, or Skippy? Skippy would seem to be the most logical of the brands since the inmates were “skipping out.”

I’ve always been a Jif person when it comes to peanut butter and I’ve eaten plenty of the “goo” in my life. I guess my mother was one of those choosy ones who chose Jif. Also, don’t waste my time with crunchy.

There may have been a few days in my life when a jar of peanut butter would not have been in the pantry, but not many. Over the years, I have tasted peanut butter pies, cookies, various candies with peanut butter, and even peanut butter ice cream.

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Believe it or not, though, I’m not a lover of most of those ways of eating peanut butter. My favorite way of eating peanut butter is simply spread on a saltine cracker. As a matter of fact, after most lunches, if I am at home, I finish off the lunch with a peanut butter saltine cracker.

One more thing about eating peanut butter. I have never been a lover of the iconic peanut butter and jelly sandwich. This may gross some people out, but one of my favorite sandwiches is peanut butter and mayonnaise.

My Granny used to make a little dish that she would put on the table. Bananas, cut in half, then split down the middle. On the bananas she would have put some peanut butter and mayonnaise. I still enjoy that.

One of America’s most inventive and creative scientist was George Washington Carver whose life bridged the 19th and the 20th centuries. He is credited with finding and promoting more than 100 ways to use peanuts and is, sometimes, credited with creating peanut butter. As amazing as Carver’s accomplishments were, peanut butter was not one of them.

There were at least three men who are credited with having something to do with the creation of the first peanut butter in the United States, but it is also a fact that the Aztec Indians were making a peanut “paste” as far back as the 1500’s.

You might have heard of the name Kellogg, as in Corn Flakes. His company was instrumental in making the first peanut butter, but instead of roasting his peanuts, he boiled them. I like that.

But the first man to actually learn the secret of keeping the peanut oil and substance from separating was a chemist named Joseph Rosefield. In 1922 Rosefield created the first smooth peanut butter and sold the license to a company that made Peter Pan peanut butter in 1928.

Rosefield was not to be outdone by Peter Pan and created his own brand, Skippy, in 1932. Jif was a latecomer to the peanut butter party and was not made until 1958. The difference between Jif and the others was that Jif added a little sugar and molasses to its recipe to make a sweeter kind of peanut butter. America must have had a sweet tooth because Jif is, by far, the largest of the producers.

If you have had the patience to read all of this, you probably know more about peanut butter than you care to, but of all the snacks in my life, peanut butter on saltine crackers has been at the top of the list.

And now I know that if I happen to land in the “pokey,” it’s good for a jailbreak!