Peanut butter is a popular type of food commonly used as a spread, though it may also be used as an ingredient in various recipes. As many already know, peanut butter is made from ground dry roasted peanuts. Perhaps less well-known is the origin of this spread – who invented peanut butter?
It’s modern form may be traced to just less than a century and a half ago, but peanuts have been consumed, sometimes as spreads or drinks, for much longer.
The Spread of Peanuts
According to researchers, the peanut plant probably originated in South America, either in Peru or Brazil. There are examples of South American pottery from around 1500 BC in the shape of peanuts, as well as vessels which have been decorated using this legume. Europeans first came across the peanut when they were exploring Brazil.
By that time, peanuts were being grown as far north as Mexico. As the explorers returned to their countries, they took the peanut with them and from Europe this legume travelled to Asia and Africa. During the 1700s, African slaves introduced the peanut to North America.