The peanut butter and jelly sandwich or PB&J is a sandwich, popular in North America, that includes a layer of peanut butter and either jam or jelly on bread, commonly between two slices, but sometimes eaten open-faced or with one slice folded over.
A 2002 survey showed the average American will have eaten 2,500 of these sandwiches before graduating from high school.
In the early 1900s, peanut butter was considered a delicacy that was only served in New York City’s finest tearooms. The product was first paired with a diverse set of foods such as pimento, nasturtium, cheese, celery, watercress, and on toasted crackers. In a Good Housekeeping article published in May 1896, a recipe “urged homemakers to use a meat grinder to make peanut butter and spread the result on bread.” In June of that same year, the culinary magazine Table Talk published a “peanut butter sandwich recipe.” The first reference of peanut butter paired with jelly on bread was rumored to be published in the United States by Julia Davis Chandler in 1901. By the late 1920s, this sandwich eventually moved down the class structure as the price of peanut butter declined. It became popular with children. During World War II, it is said that both peanut butter and jelly were found on U.S. soldiers’ military ration list, as claimed by the Peanut Board.