The Complete History of the PB&J and How it Can Help You Scale the Seven Summits

The story of the peanut butter and jelly sandwich is an incredible journey spanning thousands and thousands of years, and its importance to hiking, adventuring and sports nutrition cannot be overstated. 
 
Whether wandering in the wilderness or conquering the Seven Summits, where would we be without the classic PB&J? We’d be hungry, we’d be tired and we’d be grumpy. That’s where we’d be! But thankfully for all of us sporty, outdoorsy, hungry types, the PB&J is here to save us. But, how did it get here?
 
It’s all about the coming together of three different foodstuffs - peanut butter, jelly, and… sandwich. On their own these three foods could easily be overlooked but, when combined, they create the most nutritious, earth-shattering taste sensation the world has ever known and gives active folk the energy to conquer the world! It also fits quite nicely in a backpack.
 

Peanut Butter

Many people don’t realize that a peanut is not actually a nut but a legume, which humans have probably been eating ever since we were monkeys. In fact, a lot of monkeys still enjoy them today.  
 
Proof of how much we loved peanuts can be seen on pottery from Peru and Brazil, dating back over three thousand five hundred years! The folks at this time used them to decorate their pots until somebody thought it might be an even better idea to eat the peanuts - and so our love affair with this fascinating legume began.
 
Actual peanut butter appeared not long after this, with some evidence suggesting the ancient Incas (when they weren’t busy sacrificing the meek) would grind them into a paste. The peanuts, not the meek.
 
Fast forward to 1884 when a Canadian chemist named Marcellus Gilmore Edson became the first to patent a way to make peanut butter in order to give to people with no teeth – a trend that was all the rage in the 1800s - a food that was easy to eat and high in protein. 
 
Peanuts have more protein than any other “nut”, contain over 30 essential vitamins and minerals, and are a great source of fiber and good fats- did someone say superfood?!
 
In fact, it’s the protein, vitamins, and minerals in peanuts that give active people (and monkeys) the energy to scale the world’s Seven Summits. Perhaps we can fuel your next adventure with our PB&J Endurance Bars. 

& Jelly

Jelly, often referred to as “jam” by the Brits and Canadians, is also very old. Especially the jar of Grandma’s pomegranate jelly that’s been sitting in our pantry for two years now because the rest of the family are too scared to try it.  Unlike a jar of wild blueberry jam which doesn’t seem to last a week in our household, and thus inspired the “J” in our PB&J superfood chocolate bars. 
 
It began with fruit preserves and a reference to it can be found in the oldest cookbook in existence called De Re Coquinaria’ (On the Subject of Cooking) published in the late fourth century – which started a cookbook writing trend that has lasted over 500 years, with still no end in sight!

Sandwich (aka bread)

Our love of bread dates back even further to Egypt around eight thousand years ago, when nobody cared less about their carb intake. 
 
For centuries we ate bread with nothing in between, until, in 1762, John Montagu, the 4th Earl of Sandwich asked a servant to make him something quick and easy to eat. The clever and still uncredited servant inadvertently invented “the sandwich” and little did he know how popular his culinary experiment would be.
 
The sandwich became one of the world’s great snacks but, unfortunately for the Earl, it took another 139 years for someone to think of putting peanut butter and jelly inside it.


superfood, pb&J, sport nutrition, seven summits
The PB&J


Finally, in 1901, a woman called Julia Davis Chandler published the first recipe for a peanut butter and jelly sandwich in the ‘Boston Cooking School Magazine of Culinary Science and Domestic Economics’ - which took less time to make than it did to read the title of the book.  
 
During WW II the PB&J became a fuelling staple with soldiers and following the war their popularity with Americans soared, reaching its pinnacle in the 1990s when Barney the Dinosaur sang a song about them.
 
Today the PB&J is one of the most popular foods in the world for anyone who hikes, walks, skis, plays basketball, soccer, tennis, or even tiddlywinks, and yet- it’s often forgotten as sport nutrition sustenance. Apparently “NBA stars like Russell Westbrook and Steph Curry all religiously eat PB&Js for their pre-game snack. The simple carbs in the bread and jelly gives you a fast hit of energy and the protein in the peanut butter helps keep you going. Of course, they’re also great for lazy people who just want something quick and yummy to eat.  
 
The PB&J sandwich has been thousands of years in the making and we’re certain that, now it’s here, it’ll be around for thousands of years to come. Seven Summits Snacks have harnessed the long history and awesome power of the all-American PB&J in 'The Denali' which you can check out HERE. 
 
The Earl of Sandwich might never have had peanut butter and jelly in his sandwich, but thank goodness WE have. Though, by all accounts, the Earl didn’t scale the Seven Summits, anyway.


-Ray Matsen