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Peanut Butter or Peanut Paste?

February 9, 2005

Anyone who grew up in Queensland just knows ... it's peanut paste. Butter comes from cows ... only Southerners and other Aussies of dubious extraction call it peanut butter.

There's only one problem with this argument ... if you type "peanut paste" into Google you get just 4130 hits compared with 2.4 million for "peanut butter", so it seems the weight of world opinion is against Queensland.

The debate hit the airwaves recently when a caller to ABC Radio in Brisbane complained about the ABC using an "American term" instead of a good ol' Queensland expression.

Callers then argued that Queensland legislation had prohibited anything but dairy products to be called "butter", a situation which had also led to "lemon butter" being known as "lemon curd" in some areas.

A former dairy farmer from Kingaroy said the law was changed in the 1970s after threats from other Australian States about legal action over restraints to free trade.

Although they lost, dairy farmers strongly opposed the move at the time.

Chris Patch from The Peanut Van in Kingaroy also rang in. They sell "peanut paste" and have been complimented by their customers for using this term but she says she had also been advised that "butter" sounds more spreadable.

The last word goes to www.peanutbutterlovers.com, an American website devoted to peanut butter.

They reveal that when Dr John Harvey Kellogg and his brother W.K. Kellogg (better known for their breakfast cereals) patented a "Process of Preparing Nut Meal" in 1895 they described the end result as "a pasty adhesive substance that is for convenience of distinction termed nut butter."

So we'll stick to "peanut butter" on this website (despite being proud Queenslanders) but we know that no matter what it's called it still tastes great and is good for you!

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