(No, it was not explorer Marco Polo who brought it back from China.) While he fiddled around with his creation as early as 1912, it was not until 16 years later that he had perfected the machine and was prepared to introduce it to the general public, notably bakeries.
Beginning in 1921, a local company in Indianapolis termed the
As the story goes, an executive of the company was watching hot air balloons floating across the sky and declared them a”miracle” and the name took off (not as a hot air balloon). When the Continental Baking Company purchased out Wonder Bread in 1925 and started selling it sliced a couple of decades later, it turned into a revolutionary new product throughout the country. Homemakers loved the idea that it had been pre-sliced, in addition to its soft feel, which interpreted (and was encouraged ) as being new.
Clearly the bread had to be packed, as a result of pieces, so it was banned temporarily during WWII so as to conserve paper. But as the baby boomers went to college, lunch boxes throughout the nation carried sandwiches made with Wonder Bread daily, and it was actually a miracle of the 1950’s. Much to the horror of white bread aficionados, WB disappeared in 2012. It appears Hostess Brands (suppliers of Twinkies and cupcakes) declared bankruptcy. But another firm, Flowers Foods, sprang to the rescue only a year later, once more stocking the shelves of supermarkets with the white bread. (Phew… a year without Wonder Bread must have been stressed.)
What could be better than sliced bread? Close your eyes and envision that the irresistible aroma of roasting peanuts. Already a favorite in ballparks and circuses, the humble peanut grew in popularity, and now peanut butter dominates the sandwich options, smeared on white bread and covered with grape jelly. Though George Washington Carver is famous for his discovery of peanuts and their many applications, it was John Harvey Kellogg, founder of cold flaked cereals, who came up with peanut butter in 1895. Together with his brother, they improved their processing process. Initially the peanuts were steamed however a far more pleasing flavor emerged when roasted instead. The tasty nut butter provided a fantastic protein for kids and older folks who couldn’t chew meat.
In the St. Louis World’s Fair in 1904, lots of new foods were introduced, and alongside potato chips and waffle cones to hold ice cream, the smooth, creamy yummy peanut butter was a hit. Slap it on some bread, then add jelly, and it provided wholesome rations to our soldiers in WWI. And once Wonder bread has been introduced a couple of years later, the PB&J sandwich provided a good, simple and economical lunch for kids of all ages and became a staple for Americans.
When snack foods were popularized in the 1930’s, peanuts and peanut candies were on the hit parade and now contain some of the most in-demand goods in the U.S.. We consume more than six pounds of peanut products annually per individual, which adds up to 2 billion dollars . Peanut butter alone constitutes about half of our annual consumption. The rest includes nut snacks, baked goods and candies. Not to be ignored, peanuts offer a favorite cooking oil also, and a few fast food restaurants use it for frying.
Are you really a chunky or creamy enthusiast? We know that Elvis Presley’s favorite gourmet dish was fried peanut butter and banana sandwiches, though we are not sure whether his cook utilized sliced white bread. Probably.