Peanut butter and jelly sandwiches were once high class food before becoming a lunchtime standard! What changed!?
The sandwich that dominated your childhood, whether you enjoyed the crust or not, was once a fine delicacy for only the most elite classes! Now moms across the world simply slather it together in a rush to send with their kids in a simple brown bag to school!
Before finding its perfect mate with jelly, peanut butter was paired up with all sorts of foods such as pimento, nasturtium, cheese, watercress, and toasted crackers. You can thank a May 1896 issue of “Good Housekeeping” for coming up with the idea of using a meat grinder to make the peanut butter then spreading it on bread. Jelly didn't enter the scene until 1901 by Julia Davis Chandler in the Boston Cooking-School Magazine of Culinary Science and Domestic Economics (not a catchy title!).
Peanut butter became much more economical in the late 1920s and quickly moved down the class structure, becoming a staple in a child's lunch. They were also popularized during WWII when the sandwiches were added to the United States soldiers' military ration list.
A survey in 2002 showed the average American will have consumed about 2,500 peanut butter and jelly sandwiches before graduating high school!