Creamy and Crunchy: An Informal History of Peanut Butter, the All-American Food

Columbia Univ. (Art and Traditions of the Table: Perspectives on Culinary History). 2012. 320p. bibliog. index. ISBN 9780231162326. $27.95. COOKERY
Krampner (Female Brando) provides a comprehensive and entertaining account of peanut butter and how this popular food assumed its place in American food culture. Jammed with facts and folklore gathered from numerous library collections, extensive personal interviews, and travels throughout the Southeast, this book details the manufacturing of peanut butter from its inception by Kellogg in 1895 to the present. Krampner discusses why peanut butter became creamy, crunchy, and chunky as well as why its consumption declined in nutritious-conscious households of the late 1980s. To obtain an insider's perspective, he tracked down numerous spokespersons from Peter Pan, Jif, Skippy, and other manufacturers who shared unique insights and picayune facts that will enliven readers' understanding of peanut butter's place in American food culture—now and into the future. Comments regarding genetically modified peanuts and a listing of recommended products conclude the discussion.
VERDICT This informal, folksy discussion will likely appeal to curious consumers and those interested in the history of food.
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