Way back in the early 1900’s before Twitter, peanut butter was rare and consumed by only the rich and famous. Sure there were peanuts around and there was plenty of butter, but mass production of peanut butter didn’t happen until the late 1920’s.
Jelly, jams and preserves have been around, but again, most of it back then was homemade that were canned and stored in jars in the basement or pantry.
In the early days they paired up peanut butter with pimento, celery, cheese and watercress. By the Roaring Twenties however, hooch was flowing and PBJ’s were appearing in speakeasies and nightclubs across the country.
Today, PBJ’s are as American as apple pie, baseball and BMW’s.
Let’s review this simple procedure.
2 Slices White Bread
Smooth Peanut Butter
Jelly or Jam of Choice
Spread the peanut butter on one slice, the jelly on the other and firmly entrench the two together. (Hint; The sandwich tasted better if the jelly is on top) Garnish with glass of milk.
A single PBJ provides 27% of the Recommended Daily Intake of fat and 22% of calories.
Many mutant PBJ’s have been bandied about over the years since the sandwich boomed in popularity. A PBJ with honey, bacon, chocolate or maple syrup. Peanut butter and jelly with marshmallows, raisins, potato chips or even butter. Some prefer to eliminate the jelly all together and just relish peanut butter on a banana or the pregnancy staple of the peanut butter and pickles sandwich on whole wheat.
In 1998 JM Smucker came up with the Goober jar, a PBJ for the person on the go, layered peanut butter and jelly in a vacuum sealed jar. What a time saver!
Snooty bistros around the world have also gotten in to the act with Bobby Flay-style PBJ creations that just don’t work. Some do, but most don’t. For instance, Make a standard PBJ slice in to triangles, dip each portion in pancake batter and deep-fry for a minute or two. Dust it with powdered sugar and I’m here to tell you, this sandwich rocks.
Some wing joints fry up wings and dip them in a spicy peanut sauce that is pretty decent. Kind of like a chicken satay only with wings. Check them out. Pretty good.
I came across a Bobby Flay-like variation that didn’t seem to work for me. A PBJ on olive bread, with feta, bacon and fig jam instead of my old stand by grape jelly. I myself even failed in the test kitchen once when trying to come up with a peanut butter and asparagus sandwich that just didn’t pan out. Some people even substitute the peanut butter for of all things, Nutella! How gross is that?
Thank God I don’t suffer from the debilitating condition suffered by millions of Americans called Arachibutyrophobia, the fear of having peanut butter stick to the roof of your mouth. This disease is especially prevalent in denture wearer’s throughout the land.
A grilled PBJ is about the most exotic I will get, because when you get down to it, it’s just a simple sandwich that I loved as a kid and love even more as a bigger kid. That’s all.
The slideshow and video compliments this little ditty about the PBJ very nicely.
Happy PBJ everybody.