Now, even though today is not national peanut brittle day (which is January 26th if you didn’t know!) I still want to share the history of peanut brittle.
Peanut brittle was said to have been created by a woman in the south, who was making taffy, but then accidentally added baking soda instead of cream of tartar - which in the end left her with a crunchy hard candy... peanut brittle! Talk about happy accidents!
Peanut brittle is generally considered an American recipe and began appearing in cookbooks in the 1960’s. Traditionally peanut brittle is made with peanuts (obviously) but in some places they use other types of nuts, like in the Middle East they use pistachios in their brittle and in Asia they mix in sesame seeds with the peanuts.
There is also an American folktale that puts a different spin on the creation of peanut brittle, and it all starts with a lumberjack named Tony Beaver who saved his village. Tony lived in the mountains in the 19th century where you had to be creative and rugged in order to survive - categories in which Tony excelled greatly in. He operated a mining camp and stockpiled jumbo sized peanuts- and because Tony was a giant they were the perfect size for him but they were much too big for the rest of the villagers; so he was stumped as to what he was going to do with them. Then it rained for multiple days and the river began to rise and was going to flood and it was going to destroy the village. So Tony came up with an idea to save the village; he dumped the jumbo sized peanuts and molasses into the river which formed a thick brown mass and when it hardened it stopped the water from rising. Even though he stopped the flood he was still left with a problem; the place where the villagers got water was now blocked because of his creation. So Tony broke off a piece of the hardened mass and realized it tasted amazing- he gave some to the villagers and they all agreed. Tony had unknowingly created peanut brittle!