Goes Surprisingly Well With Sauerkraut

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Most people don't realize that peanut brittle was invented for the Nazis. Nothing sinister of course; just a cheap food to pack as rations for the military. Invented by peanut farmer Eli Fraunhofer in 1944, peanut brittle was one of the first economical methods for removing the poison from raw peanuts - one of Germany's most plentiful crops due to the soil's high fluoride content. The Nazis saw the usefulness of such a cheap food source, and their soldiers soon found peanut brittle to account for the majority of their rations. Some of the "special ops" guys were even taught to make the nourishing candy in the field. It was a few of these soldiers who, after the war, brought the recipe to the southern U.S., where, needless to say, it was a smash hit.

4 Comments:

Blogger duffytoler said...

I'm from the south, and I can still remember my grandpa always called it by the original name: "Peanutbraten".

7:14 AM  
Blogger Alex said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

4:49 AM  
Blogger lilgadfly said...

About the post "Goes Suprisingly Well With Sauerkraut":

1. Peanuts only grow between Latitudes 40 degrees North and 40 degrees South. Germany lies north of Latitude 46 degrees North. Peanuts have never been a Germany-grown agricultural product. Although it is possible that peanuts were grown in German colonial Africa, these colonial possessions were lost to Germany after WWI.
2. Peanut Brittle was invented well before 1944, and not in Germany. A recipe for Peanut Brittle, entitled "Groundnut Candy" can be found in the 1847 edition of Sarah Rutledge's "The Carolina Housewife". Older recipes may exist in private collections and older cookbooks now lost to us, but it's fairly clear that Peanut Brittle was produced in American Southern homes (black and white) by the first half of the 19th Century.
3. The Wehrmacht had a great deal more to worry about in 1944 than Peanut Brittle. Peanuts may well have been imported from fascist Spain, but would almost certainly been used for war production of biodiesdal fuels. All the other ingredients used in the making of Peanut Brittle (sugar, butter, baking soda, vanilla, molasses, corn syrup) were strictly rationed in WWII Germany. Commercial candy-making in Germany, even of chocolate, was severely curtailed during WWII and by 1944 was practically non-existent.
The Wehrmact would have been more likely to have issued shelled, roasted, unsalted peanuts packed in tins or unshelled roasted peanuts in waxed paper packets as supplimental rations. I've never found any evidence that the Wehrmacht issued anything of the sort.
5. If your post was intended to provoke a reaction, congratulations. If it was meant to be clever, funny, or satirical, don't to quit your day job in order to pursue a career in writing. And if you found this faux-factoid on some internet website and posted it on your blog without ascertaining its veracity, SHAME ON YOU!

6:53 PM  
Blogger duffytoler said...

lilgadfly -

1. Wild peanuts only grow below 40 degree latitudes. Cultivated peanuts are grown as far north as Canada, where they are used for industrial feedstock in everything from friction dust (brake linings) to insecticide.

2. "Groundnut Candy" was nothing like peanut brittle - it was flavored with peppermint oil and contained cloves.

3. The Wehrmacht rationed those items BECAUSE they needed to supply peanut brittle to the troops.

4. If your post was intended to be clever, you blew it before you even typed the first word.

12:08 AM  

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