|Peanut Butter and Jelly Sandwich by Evan Amos|
An almost universally beloved food has its own month - a true comfort for the chilly month of November. Peanut Butter can be eaten in so many ways, in main dishes, desserts, snacks, and straight from the jar. In many ways peanuts are like corn, appearing in a variety of foods as either a main ingredient or as a by product of processing. And it's not just humans who love it; pretty much all rodents eat it (mice, rats, squirrels, chipmunks among others), not to mention many birds. Even those who are allergic to peanuts, (and we must all sympathize with those poor folks) are often drawn to it and find it hard to resist. It's truly tragic that something so tasty and nutritious can be deadly for some. Nevertheless, peanuts are an ancient crop originating in the new world, and its cultivation and consumption have spread world-wide. A number of interesting factoids about peanut butter are presented by the National Peanut Board, including the history and current statistics on peanut consumption. (Did you know that Arachibutyrophobia is the fear of getting peanut butter stuck to the roof of your mouth?) And later on this month (November 20), we can celebrate National Peanut Butter Fudge Day! For a beautiful and tempting gallery of peanut butter dishes, including recipes, check out Tastespotting's peanut butter page. And one final tasty tidbit, Alton Brown has a very popular recipe for peanut better fudge on the FoodNetwork - yummers!