Who Invented Peanut Butter and Jelly Sandwiches?

The origin and history of peanut butter and jelly sandwich isn’t clear as to who actually invented it. What is known is that during World War II the sandwich was eaten by US soldiers.


Possible Origin and Source

Bread had been eaten for thousands of years. Various forms of jelly have also been in existence for several hundred years at least. However peanut butter wasn’t invented until the 1890s. Records show the peanut butter became popular during the 1904 World’s Fair in St. Louis.

By the 1920s and 1930s, several companies had come out with many peanut butter products. These Included Peter Pan and Skippy.
It was also around this time that pre sliced bread started to appear. But food records don’t actually state that peanut butter and jelly were being sold.

One theory is that the history of peanut butter and jelly sandwich began when US soldiers combined the two so they could eat quickly. There are claims peanut butter and jelly were part of their food rations.

Another theory is that peanut butter was used because other popular foods were hard to find during the 1940s. Because meat and other food staples were scarce or costly, people begin trying other meals. The results were peanut butter and jelly sandwiches.

Other Accounts

There are claims the sandwich was already in existence in the early 1900s. Some claim that during the early 1900s peanut butter was served with various sweets and toppings. According to this account of the history of peanut butter and jelly sandwich, peanut butter was regarded as a delicacy.


They were served with crackers, pimento and jelly. Some historians assert that the sandwich was already being eaten during the 1910s but wasn’t called peanut butter and jelly sandwich. Eventually peanut butter was discovered by middle class and other citizens.

As the cost of production went down, everyone was finally able to afford it. During the 1920s sugar was included in the peanut butter. This made it more popular with kids.

Peanut Butter and Jelly Sandwiches Today

The sandwich is sometimes called PB&J for short. In the UK and Canada it’s called peanut butter and jam. The history of peanut butter and jelly sandwich has produced many variants. But usually the two ingredients are combined with two slices.

Sometimes jam is substituted for jelly. Others like to eat it without placing the two slices together. Through the years, other ingredients have been used. Among them are soybean, hazelnut and nutella. Jellies and jams come in various flavors and almost any can be used. Among the most popular are raspberries and blackberries.

Other ingredients that can be added are raisins, honey and syrup. Marshmallow, fruit bits and bananas can also be used. Almonds can also be included. As it became popular, more and more variants appeared.

The history of peanut butter and jelly sandwich is interesting enough. But for most people, what really matters is its yummy taste. It’s also flexible so you can add other ingredients and still get PB&J.