Peanut Butter and Jelly Sandwich
The iconic peanut butter and jelly sandwich is one of America’s staple snacks and, of course, as Google will show you, there are a million different ways to make one. This post describes the peanut butter and jelly mix filling and how it still remains a classic.
But really guys, let’s face it – a sandwich is a sandwich, and there is no ‘only way’ or ‘best way’ to make a peanut butter and jelly sandwich.
It is not rocket science. However, having said that, I do think it has to be one of the best sandwich inventions around.
I am adding this post here really just to help the Brits along (who may never have tried a PB&J sandwich), as many may not know exactly what it is.
And really it would be sad to go through life without ever having tried one (writer pauses here to go and make a PB&J..……….and no…….. I am not kidding 😃 )
Peanut Butter and Jelly Mix
Peanut butter and jelly mixed together (or jam as we call ‘jelly’ in the UK) has always been a success. Here you will find some history about the origins of this particular sandwich.
One of the great things about this sandwich is that it stays good as long as the bread is still fresh.
The filling is fairly inert thanks to the long shelf life of the ingredients which makes it ideal for taking on road trips or hiking trips.
Peanut butter and jam sandwiches are also high protein, satisfying as well as being cheap and tasty. This makes these simple sandwiches loved by students and families on a budget, as well as travellers and campers.
During my upbringing in the UK, we would eat peanut butter sandwiches without the jelly or on toast, and we would add salted butter under the peanut butter (which is tasty but really completely superfluous and a bit less healthy, but gosh it does taste good!).
Some Brits do not realise that the ‘jelly’ is actually jam and not ‘jell-o’, which is what we mean when we say jelly. The ones that do realise that are probably converted. How could they not be? I certainly was.
When I studied in the States, in Rochester, NY, I was introduced to the PB&J or PBNJ and have never looked back.
Types of Peanut butter
There are many different products of peanut butter out there, some of which taste very different. Most are made with roasted peanuts.
In the UK we used to have Sun-Pat peanut butter which was always a very creamy tasty peanut butter. Delicious.
In the Netherlands, we had product called Calve peanut butter (pindakaas in Dutch) which the Dutch swear by and do not leave home without.
But to be honest, personally, I have always found Calve quite dry and it is certainly improved with some raspberry jam.Amazon: ‘Calvé Pindakaas, Peanut Butter, Spread, Glass, 350 g
I was once asked to bring some Calve peanut butter, on my way over, to some Dutch colleagues working on a large project in a shipyard in China. Unfortunately, I was stopped at the gate in Schiphol with my hand luggage and told I could not take the peanut butter with me as it was a liquid (I had two large pots).
Pleading with the security assistant did not help me, unfortunately. ‘Helaas, Pindakaas’ he said – a rhyming Dutch expression which literally means ‘Pity, peanut butter’. He thought he was being very funny, as he took my peanut butter off me! I was less impressed, knowing it would probably fill his lunch sandwich later in the day!
Dutch expressions can be pretty weird. [More on this later maybe, if I ever get round to it!]
Next time I travelled to China I knew to check the peanut butter in the hold. So beware when flying with pots of peanut butter, as it may be considered a liquid!
When buying peanut butter you also have to make the choice between smooth or crunchy (ie with or without small bits of peanut). I have always prefered crunchy, but of course, it is up to you.
Best Jelly for PB&J
When it comes to the jelly, there is also an almost infinite number of fruit jams to choose from.
In most of these photos, I used a raspberry jam but you really can use whatever you prefer.
I like raspberry and strawberry jams with peanut butter, but I am sure you will have your own preference for your own peanut butter and jelly sandwich recipes. Grape jelly or redcurrant jelly are also good! Really you can use whatever fruit jam you like or have available.
I have written a bit more than I intended to about this wonderful sandwich, but I hope this post will inspire you to make yourself a PB&J sandwich. Writing this made me make one for myself – they are soooooo good!
Note also that many types of peanut butter are considered vegan, so if you choose the right type of bread and peanut butter you can also have a delicious vegan PB&J snack! But remember to forget the butter!
I hope you love eating peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. Please let me know how you make yours in the comments section below!
How to make a PB&J
Peanut Butter and Jelly