Peanut Butter and Jelly

What is it with peanut butter and jelly that is so satisfying? I remember as a small child I did not care for it. For whatever reason my taste for PB&J kicked in when I was about about 13. I don’t eat it regularly but when I do I always enjoy it. I am talking about regular peanut butter, not the natural stuff. It just does not suit my tastes.


I am not saying there is no place for natural and organic, I just don’t care for it in my peanut butter. Give me Skippy or Jif any day. With or without chunks I love them both.

According whats cooking, , Peanut butter first surfaced in 1880 when a St. Louis physician created it for his elderly patients. Dr. Ambrose W. Straub received a patent for it in 1903. It was purchased by Bayle Food Products who debuted it at the 1904 world’s fair where it became a sensation.

This creation has been loved by Americans ever since. Of course with all the nut allergies today, some schools have banned this treasure from lunchrooms. Food allergies are no joke so I believe it’s for the good of the kids but it’s sad none the less.

Whether your enjoying it in it’s purest form, on white bread with grape jelly, or your having a deconstructed variation like the one featured below from Chef Terrance Brennan’s Picholine, the taste combo can not be beat.


There are restaurants dedicated to PB&J like Peanut Butter & CO in New York City,
There are books and songs dedicated to this national treasure like this one I used to read my daughter.

I love peanut butter without jelly, the other night I even mixed some in with my Chicken Tikka Masala. I love it on noodles, I love it with satay but there is something undeniably simple and satisfying about just plain old peanut butter and jelly. I guess the savory and sweet amalgamation is plain perfection.

I think I have one for dinner tonight.

Bill Brady Food Photographer.