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

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

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by Jon Krampner
     
 

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The first popular account of one of America's most beloved foods (consumed by more than seventy-five percent of the population), Creamy and Crunchy is a comprehensive and entertaining history of peanut butter's development and integration into the American diet. Richly illustrated and filled with anecdotes and facts culled from unusual and engaging sources,

Overview

The first popular account of one of America's most beloved foods (consumed by more than seventy-five percent of the population), Creamy and Crunchy is a comprehensive and entertaining history of peanut butter's development and integration into the American diet. Richly illustrated and filled with anecdotes and facts culled from unusual and engaging sources, the book is a mix of interviews, research, travels in the peanut-growing regions of the South, personal histories and recipes, focusing on the manufacture of the food from the 1890s to the present, while also covering its cultural, nutritional, and even molecular evolution.

Jon Krampner begins with peanut butter's creation and the scramble to capitalize on its early success. He provides in-depth looks at Peter Pan, Skippy, and Jif, and why Peter Pan, one of the first big corporations to manufacture and market the food, is now a distant third behind market leaders Skippy and Jif. He examines the plight of black peanut farmers; the creation of the "Choosy Moms Choose Jif" campaign; the role of peanut butter in fighting Third-World hunger; and the salmonella outbreaks of 2007 and 2009 that threatened to derail peanut butter's sacred place in the American cupboard.

Krampner investigates the resurgence of natural, or old-fashioned, peanut butter; the five ways today's product is different from the original; why Americans love peanut butter so much more than people from most other nations; and the future trajectory of the industry. He also provides tips on peanut butter etiquette (if eating it straight from the jar, use a teaspoon — unless your girlfriend has just brutally dumped you, in which case a tablespoon is considered acceptable) and concludes with a "best of" list featuring top, taste-tested peanut butters and a timeline of key figures and events. A dedicated web site maintained by the author, www.creamyandcrunchy.com, contains additional images and information.

Editorial Reviews

Noel Riley Fitch
As a peanut-butter aficionado, I found this an excellent, convincing book written in a casual, journalistic, almost folksy style that cleverly disguises the real research done for it.
Library Journal
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.—Jerry P. Miller, Cambridge, MA
Andrew F. Smith
Jon Krampner's Creamy and Crunchy is a delightful book about America's most popular nut butter and sandwich spread. It is action-packed, peopled with medical professionals and corporate giants, captains of industry and hard-hitting advertisers, vegetarians and health-food advocates, and farmers and peanut-butter lovers. It is a well-written, fast-paced, surprising tale about the delicious food we thought we knew. One nibble, and you can't stop reading!

Aaron Bobrow-Strain
Creamy and Crunchy is a witty, encyclopedic history of one of America's most iconic processed foods. It is chock-full of fun facts and surprising insights into the way we eat today.

Noël Riley Fitch
As a peanut-butter aficionado, I found this an excellent, convincing book written in a casual, journalistic, almost folksy style that cleverly disguises the real research done for it.

New Yorker - Jon Michaud
Enjoyable and informative.

Washington Monthly - Justin Peters
well written and at times very witty...

Yum.fi
A great book has been born.

Times Literary Supplement - Bee Wilson
Jon Krampner is a wonderful guide to the many paradoxes of this all-American food...

The Columbus Dispatch - Rob Hardy
A lively and entertaining book.

The Past in Review
Creamy and Crunchy is the definitive history of this scrumptious staple, an entertaining and informative read.

Choice

...an enjoyable, interesting overview of an important part of American culture...highly recomended.

Harvard Business Review - Tim Sullivan
charming and entertaining

The Sacramento Bee
Krampner's fascinating history of peanut butter is loaded with anecdotes and tidbits, drama and humor.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780231162326
Publisher:
Columbia University Press
Publication date:
11/20/2012
Series:
Arts and Traditions of the Table: Perspectives on Culinary History Series
Pages:
320
Product dimensions:
6.20(w) x 9.10(h) x 1.00(d)
Age Range:
18 Years

Related Subjects

What People are saying about this

Marion Nestle
Creamy and Crunchy is a fast-paced, entertaining, and wonderfully gossipy look at the history of everything about peanut butter, from nutrition to allergies and genetic modification—and with recipes, yet. Everyone who loves peanut butter will want to read this book (personally, I prefer crunchy).

Andrew F. Smith

Jon Krampner's Creamy and Crunchy is a delightful book about America's most popular nut butter and sandwich spread. It is action-packed, peopled with medical professionals and corporate giants, captains of industry and hard-hitting advertisers, vegetarians and health-food advocates, and farmers and peanut-butter lovers. It is a well-written, fast-paced, surprising tale about the delicious food we thought we knew. One nibble and you can't stop reading!

Andrew F. Smith, editor in chief, Oxford Encyclopedia of Food and Drink in America

Meet the Author

Jon Krampner is the author of The Man in the Shadows: Fred Coe and the Golden Age of Television and Female Brando: The Legend of Kim Stanley. He received an A.B. in English literature from Occidental College and a master's degree in journalism from the University of Wisconsin at Madison. He lives in Los Angeles.

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Creamy and Crunchy: An Informal History of Peanut Butter, the All-American Food 3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Informing yet boring