As I mentioned in my last blog, one of the five new products Uncle Harry’s Ice Cream Cakes will launch this July is the Peanut Butter Cup Ice Cream Roll. It’s fitting that the Peanut Butter Cup Ice Cream Roll rolls out (my apologies for the pun) in time for our country’s birthday since Americans are responsible for peanut butter and the peanut butter cup.
Many of you will say, “hold on there, Harry, wasn’t it the Incas who first made peanut butter?” Well, yeah, sort of. They made what has been described as a peanut paste. Our modern day peanut butter and the delicious peanut butter cup is purely American.
The American most credited with creating peanut butter is George Washington Carver. In his lifetime, Mr. Carver discovered over 300 uses for peanuts, but peanut butter was perhaps his most famous discovery.
Mr. Carver believed his discoveries to be gifts from God for a greater good, so he didn’t think it was right to patent his peanut butter.The patent instead went to Dr. John Harvey Kellogg who made a peanut butter for his patients at the Battle Creek Sanitarium. Many didn’t have any teeth, so the peanut butter provided them with a nutritious, high-protein meal.
While Mr. Kellogg’s peanut butter was quite popular, it had a problem. The oil and the peanut “grit” would separate from each other. In the early 1920s, Mr. Joseph Rosefield developed a method to make peanut butter using hydrogenated peanut oil. This not only solved the separation issue it also gave peanut butter a longer shelf life.
Later that decade, an employee at the Hershey candy company decided to venture out on his own and start his own candy business. Like most new companies, this candy manufacturer experienced successes and failures before creating a treat that would forever solidify the former Hershey employee’s name to the new product — Harry Burnett Reese. Well, not the Harry or Burnett parts, but you know the last name. At the time, the candy was known only as the peanut butter cup. Mr. Reese’s name would be added to the packaging later. In the end, the H.B. Reese candy company was sold back to its founder’s former employer for a cool $23.5 million.
Today, the peanut butter cup flavor can be found in Jell-O, brownies, cakes, milkshakes and now a brand new ice cream roll. May I modestly add, perhaps the best use of the peanut butter cup ever!