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Oct 22, 2012 03:38 PM

Can the "Peanut Butter & Pickle" Sandwich Make it to the Mainstream?

From the NYT in an article titled, "Peanut Butter Takes On an Unlikely Best Friend":


LIKE Krazy and Ignatz, Carville and Matalin, Cupid and Psyche or Alison Krauss and Robert Plant, the peanut butter and pickle sandwich is one of those unlikely pairings that shouldn’t work, but does.


The PB&P has been a minority enthusiasm in America for generations, lingering just under the radar. The sandwiches appeared on lunch-counter menus during the Great Depression and in extension-service cookbooks in the 1930s and ’40s in recipes that generally called for a few spoonfuls of pickle relish. A lot of people’s grandmothers used to eat them.

These days, they’re a cult item. Kinsey Millhone, the fictional private investigator in Sue Grafton’s alphabet series of mysteries, is probably America’s best-known devotee.

Below that, there’s a consistent but low-level Internet buzz about the combination, just as there is about the other unlikely things people like to marry with peanut butter and place between bread slices: mayonnaise, olives, thick onion slices (this was Hemingway’s favorite sandwich), horseradish, bacon, Marmite (in England) and Vegemite (in Australia), to name but a few.

Read the whole thing for yourself here:

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  1. What is this "comeback"? ;-)

    I've been eating PB&P for since high school, and that was a LONG time ago. Laura Scutter Crunchy, and Claussen Kosher Dills.

    Now I'm hungry, and no food available for at least an hour and a half!

    eta:Peanut butter and kimchee is good too...

    1 Reply
    1. re: kcshigekawa

      "Peanut butter and kimchee"?!

      I gotta try that tonite.

    2. I was once asked if I had ever had a banana sandwich. I said of course because I thought this person meant peanut butter and banana. Not so! Apparently, banana and mayonnaise has a following in the south. Can anyone attest to this? I keep meaning to try it but haven't yet!

      3 Replies
      1. re: ohmyyum

        Man, I don't even put mayo in my "regular" deli meat sandwiches -- ain't no way that stuff is touching a fruit (the banana) that's near and dear to my heart.

        1. re: ohmyyum

          Yes, banana and mayo is a sandwich in the south. I've never had one though - but I do love banana and peanut butter sandwiches!

          1. re: ohmyyum

            Banana salad - a leaf of iceberg lettuce (as an under-layer for the banana), a banana sliced in two and placed cut-side down on the plate, a dollop of Miracle whip, sprinkled with chopped peanuts and a maraschino cherry.

            I loved them as a kid, but wouldn't touch one with a ten-foot pole now!

            My grandmother ate peanut butter and pickle sandwiches, but she never convinced me to try one.

          2. Peanut butter and cheddar is a throwback to lunches with the neighbor kids. I also like peanut butter and pesto. Reminders me of flavors in Thai food.

            3 Replies
            1. re: melpy

              I used to love peanut butter and American cheese on white bread.

              1. re: i_eat_a_lot_of_ice_cream

                Me too...that was one of my lunch staples. However, my Mom also used to add some Miracle Whip to it. Why? I have no idea, but it did taste good!

                I **hate** PB&J!

                1. re: jbsiegel

                  In a bizarre way, I think I can envision miracle whip enhancing that combination!

            2. I have to admit a degree of snobbiness in reading this article (in the New York Times) and thinking - ok, I'm willing to try this. Versus hearing about the spaghetti with ketchup and butter sauce on Here Comes Honey Boo Boo and thinking 'ew'.

              1 Reply
              1. re: cresyd

                Spaghetti with ketchup and butter, right here on CH, and spanning a time-frame from 2001 to this week:

              2. It's not the pickles and PB that surprises me, it's the bread choice. I'd select a hardy bread not Wonderbread..and I'd def. toast it.