Thursday, January 24, 2013

#Peanut Butter: An #Ancient Discovery

Peanut Butter by Denise Krebs

January 24

Peanut Butter 

Peanut butter has many uses in our modern American culture; Peanut butter sandwiches, peanut butter cookies, peanut butter fudge, peanut butter ice cream. I could go on. Contrary to popular belief, George Washington Carver did not invent peanut butter but promoted as one of his three hundred uses for peanuts. 

To find the origins of the peanut butter you must travel back to ancient Meso and South America. The peanut plant is native only to the South America.  It was first cultivated by the Inca sometime between 1200 - 1500 BC in Peru near Trujillo and Ancon. During Pre-Columbian times peanuts were considered to be a luxury food. The domestication of the peanut plant spread north to Mexico sometime around 100 BC as a minor crop of importance, although the plant played a role in Aztec folk medicine. Known as tlalcacauatl in their native Nahuatl, the Aztecs would roast the peanuts then create a peanut paste. The paste would then be used as toothache remedy. The peanut butter didn't have the sweet taste we have come to enjoy but was butter and hard to spread. Europeans were first introduced to peanut butter when the explorers, colonists, missionaries and historians came to the Americas. Peanuts were first mentioned in  publication by Gonzalo Fernández de Oviedo y Valdés (August 1478–1557) in his book La historia general y natural de las Indias. La historia general y natural de las Indias gives a first hand account of all the information he obtained when he participated in the Spanish colonization of the New World.

You can make your own peanut butter.

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