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National Peanut Brittle Day (January 26)

Check out the weird holiday National Peanut Brittle Day on January 26. Learn the history of peanut brittle, & get ideas on how to celebrate.

One weird holiday on January 26 is National Peanut Brittle Day. Check out the other weird January holidays!

History of National Peanut Brittle Day

Peanut brittle traces back to the 1800s (or even before), but its origins are quite uncertain. The history of peanuts goes back to the American Civil War, when peanuts were used for their protein when meat was scarce.

Peanut Brittle is carmelized sugar or corn syrup with nuts tossed into the melted sugar, along with a bit of butter and baking soda. It is then poured onto a cookie sheet or other flat surface and smoothed thin. Once cooled, it becomes brittle and can be broken off into smaller pieces. They say it’s best to avoid making it on a rainy day.

Some people claim that it was a traditional Celtic dish that was served during the holidays. It was made by mixing peanut butter and sugar together, then baking it. Legend says that Irish settlers then made its way to the United States with Irish settlers.

Another origin story for peanut brittle is that a woman in New England in 1890 made it on accident. She was attempting to make a taffy, but she accidentally put in baking soda instead of cream of tarter. Not wishing to be wasteful, she continued making it and threw in a handful of peanuts just to see what would happen. She shared this peanut bark with her friends, along with the recipe, and it “went viral.”

A third story (that is clearly just folklore) is that Tony Beaver, supposed cousin of Paul Bunyan, saved a town from flooding by pouring molasses and peanuts into the river – thus creating peanut brittle!

No matter what the real reason is (and the first two could both be true), the term “peanut brittle” first appeared in 1892. The recipe has remained the same, only now most people use corn syrup instead of molasses.

Ideas for National Peanut Brittle Day

You can purchase some peanut brittle, or you can make some of your own with one of these recipes!

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