I’ve never met Jon Krampner, which is lucky for him because if I ever did meet him I might very well kiss him on the mouth.

Why?

Because I really love his new book, Creamy & Crunchy: An Informal History of Peanut Butter, the All-American Food, just out from Columbia University Press.

I say this not just as someone who eats a tremendous amount of peanut butter, but as someone who reads a fair number of books. Creamy & Crunchy has what every great cultural history should: a knack for telling the larger story of our country through our shared artifacts.

Krampner’s history of peanut butter is exhaustive without ever getting dry. He lays the facts on thick but keeps the tone playful. It’s one of those books that’s almost shockingly addictive, where you find yourself thinking: Holy crap is peanut butter fascinating! (Note: this is true even for those loonies who turn up their noses at a dollop of Jif.)

Krampner was gracious enough to answer a few questions about C&C for TNB, knowing that many of our readers consume their own weight in peanut butter each month.