It’s time for yet another American Icons post.
Let’s talk a little about what I’ll call America’s most simple and iconic sandwich of all times: The Peanut Butter Jelly Sandwich (the PBJ for the insiders).
I realize that I have only been talking about food in this segment so far (which goes to show what my priorities in life are, we’ll change it up soon, promise) but this is a really interesting one (also, I seem to always say that, #sorrynotsorry).
First off, let’s set the musical groove for today’s post. It couldn’t be anything else than this clip that went viral in the 2000s (sounds like a long time ago, which it ACTUALLY is) with the famous Dancing Banana celebrating her Peanut Butter Jelly Time (don’t ask).
I don’t know how this banana does it but it’s freakin’ hypnotizing.
My first contact with the famous PBJ
Let’s get to the point here. I first made contact with this famous sandwich back in January 2006 when I lived in Canada for three months (with the best of homestay families you could wish for, shoutout to the Gooderhams!) where it was a common lunch option every once in a while. Until then I had NEVER heard of it before, like I would assume most of the Europeans I know. I would even go as far as saying Swiss people would never come up with this combination and would even say it’s weird. What do you think? Have you ever tried it? Do you like it?
Yet it is THE one sandwich EVERYONE eats here.
So it’s totally justified that we talk about it a little more today.
The military background of the PBJ
Both peanut butter and jelly were on the U.S. Military ration menus in World War II, and it has been reported that soldiers added jelly to their peanut butter to make it taste better. It was an instant hit and returning military made peanut butter and jelly sales go big in the States.
Food rationing on the homefront may have contributed to the combination’s popularity as well. Meat and butter were expensive during World War II. Peanut butter on the other hand was a cheap resource. No matter how it started, the PBJ was a big hit in postwar America and has been ever since. It became especially popular as a school lunch and snack staple for kids.
Quick break for the LOLs
Still, there are a few “exotic Americans” that have never tried it. Check out this video, it’s kind of funny (my favourite statement is the one at 00:23, she says it in a very concerned way that is funny. 00:45 is cute but concerned, too):
I put it in the LOLs section because it isn’t really that good but I definitely want to get better at it (actually get good at doing them, I’ll still have to learn). Btw: I’ve put a little bit of chia seeds in there because I am fancy like that (honestly though, no reason). And I have to say, I like it!