The Height Of Gastronomy, Right Here

by Matt on January 30, 2007



Allow me to revert back to my childhood for just one tiny ‘lil minute.

Or just allow me to revert back to any day this week, actually.

Ah, the beloved peanut butter and jelly sandwich. One of my most favorite things on God’s green earth. Ok, on God’s green and brown, getting-too-warm-thanks-to-us earth.

It happens to be the first recipe I properly mastered – age 4, thankyouverymuch. And I suspect it was probably the first thing many American kids learned to make as well, much to the chagrin of nutritionists and pediatricians all over the United States.

The National Peanut Board says that an average American consumes 1,500 peanut butter and jelly sandwiches by the time they graduate from high school.  I think they probably meant to say “Matt Armendariz, 6th grade.”

Excluding my friends with peanut allergies, a PB&J really has to be one of the most sandwiches around. I never realized this until reading facts and figures from companies like Smucker’s and the Peanut Board, but this sandwich is the perfect example of sweet and salty, one of my favorite flavor combinations–if not my absolute favorite. It can be enjoyed standing in the kitchen, dressed up with carrot or celery sticks, adorned with toasted bread, made exotic with seasonal preserves or other nut butters, but it’s always satisfying, simple and delicious. And c’mon, there are times when you don’t really want to think about what to eat, especially when you’ve been around food all day long, and that’s when this sandwich comes to the rescue.

So now I ask you: My European friends always ask me to send them jars of peanut butter. Is it an American thang? Are we the only ones who dig it?

And do you enjoy PB&Js? Is the nut butter / jam / preserve ratio important to you? A little or a lot?

Note: I won’t insult your intelligence by including a recipe. Duh.