“We take peanut butter and jelly serious.” Although it was meant to be a comical motto for my first business start-up idea, that statement perfectly reflects my attitude towards the peanut butter and jelly sandwich. With that said, my goal is to create unique and delicious meals for the fast, busy, and budgeted lifestyle of a working student like myself. I believe the peanut butter and jelly sandwich, affectionately known as PB&J, to be one of America’s oldest and favorite foods. It has become a staple to households country wide, and has been around for many generations because of its delicious and yet simple ingredients. Time for a little history lesson.
Even though George Washing Carver popularized peanut butter in the 1880’s, the peanut butter and jelly sandwich didn’t take flight in American kitchens until about 1945. You see, peanut butter and jelly were both items included on the U.S. military ration menus during World War II, and it is said that the U.S soldiers mixed the two on some bread to make them both a little more palatable. Peanut butter offers healthy amounts of protein and can serve as an excellent alternative to carrying meat around. The only problem is that peanut butter is extremely sticky and can get stuck on the roof of your mouth if the right precautions are not taken. Enter Jelly. After the war, when thousands of U.S service men returned home, they brought with them their love of the delicious sandwich and it was then that the PB&J sandwich soared in popularity in the United States.
Today, I turn the PB&J into the stuff legends are made of. I like to sweeten up the sandwich a little with a delicious, chocolaty hazelnut spread known as Nutella. This adds a rich yet smooth flavor to the sandwich that makes it all the more enjoyable. Nutella is a fairly common item, even though most people have never heard of it, and can be found at most supermarkets.
WARNING! This is not your little sister’s cold lunch. This is the Ultimate PBN&J. aka “The Double Decker”
Ingredients: 3 slices of your favorite bread, Jelly, Peanut butter, and Nutella.
Step 1. With a knife, spread the peanut butter onto the first slice of bread.
Step2. Spread the jelly onto the second piece of bread.
Step 3. Gently press the two bread pieces together. (Creating the traditional peanut butter and jelly sandwich, or a single decker)
Step 4. This is where things get tricky. With the jelly side up, spread another layer of jelly onto the top of the single decker sandwich.
Step 5. Take the remaining piece of bread and spread a dallop of Nutella on it.
Step 6. Finally, crown the sandwich with the Nutella side down, Thus making the “Double Decker!”
Though I boast it to be the “Ultimate” PB&J sandwich, feel free to improvise and mix it up in any way you want! The best part about the PB&J sandwich is the amount of versatility in flavors, textures, and colors that can be made from it. Try using different kinds of jellies or different stlyes of peanut butter until you find that perfect combination for your taste buds.