Happy New Year!
And it’ll be even happier if you skip down to The Hopsack on Thursday (24 January) for World Peanut Butter Day 🙂
We’re not foisting a detox on you this January. Nooooo. Not while the cold is snapping at our heels. We’re viscerally drawn to luxury: creamy, toasty peanut butter, freshly ground in our little peanut-butter hub.
Air-roasted peanuts. No added fat. No added salt. No added nuthin.
All that nuthin, yet one teaspoon has enslaved many a strong soul.
Why so yum?
Regular customers know our venerable peanut butter machine, imported aeons ago from Oz so Jimmy and Erica could make ultra-fresh peanut butter for local PB-lovers.
Highest quality peanuts are fed into its hungry maw. Out pops creamy, crunchy peanut butter. That’s it. Nothing added, nothing taken away. And barely a glitch in over 25 years: our trusty Aussie matey is still churning out the best peanut butter in the world (note: yes, they pay me, but not for that remark … this is personal).
Our peanut butter’s a whiz in the kitch but I’m not gonna tell you what it does, as I don’t want to influence our Facebook competition (see below). We’ve refined one snack to perfection, though: PB&J … to keep you going while you’re reading this.
The average American kid scarfs down 2,500 Peanut Butter & Jelly sandwiches before graduating high school. Now imagine a posh version with sourdough bread, fresh-ground PB and fruity St Dalfour J. Heaven in a jar-o.
Before you sample your future addiction, though, let’s visit the past.
Origins of peanut butter
Peanuts were known in South America by 950 BC. Aztecs and Incas made versions of peanut paste. These nutty legumes eventually hit North America via Africa and Spain.
Several modern inventors contributed to the evolution of peanut butter. The most interesting (and seemingly the earliest) was George Washington Carver (ca 1864-1945). Born into slavery, Carver was adopted by his former master and acquired a good education, eventually becoming an agricultural chemist, botanist, educator and inventor.
Carver watched monoculture in the southern states expose subsistence farmers to crop failure and boll weevils. To help them, he promoted alternative crops like peanuts, soya beans, sweet potatoes and pecans to boost nutrition and enrich depleted soils through crop rotation.
He also created hundreds of products from these plants, including paper, ink, oils, cosmetics, dyes, paints, plastics, gasoline, nitroglycerin and peanut butter (careful what you spread where).
Carver freely published his ideas to show farmers profitable ways to use their new crops. Pamphlets included Help for the Hard Times and How to Grow the Peanut and 105 Ways of Preparing it for Human Consumption. His work led to peanuts becoming an important crop in the South.
Carver applied for only three patents (for cosmetics and stains, not foodstuffs). He did not patent, or profit from, his other inventions. Of his ideas he would say: ‘God gave them to me. How can I sell them to someone else?’
His epitaph reads: ‘He could have added fortune to fame, but caring for neither, he found happiness and honor in being helpful to the world.’
Nutrition and allergies
Peanuts are a good source of monounsaturated fat, protein, tryptophan, vitamin E, niacin, folate, copper, manganese and antioxidants. Nutritious for many people, peanuts can also trigger lethal allergies, so they are not for everyone. For more information on the nutritional and allergenic aspects of peanuts, go to The World’s Healthiest Foods’ peanut page.
Jammy (not jelly!) stuff
To celebrate World Peanut Butter Day, we’re offering jars of freshly ground peanut butter for 2 this Thursday. If you have one of our PB jars at home, we’ll refill it for just 1.
Facebook recipe competition…
We’re also giving away a month’s supply of lush, freshly milled peanut butter to one lucky duck. Just ‘Like’ The Hopsack on Facebook and post your peanut butter recipes on our wall for a chance to win. The happy victor will be announced via our next newsletter and Facebook page.
See y’all on Thursday. Last in the door’s a dry roasted peanut!