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No Jelly Allowed: 9 New Peanut Butter Pairings

Clearly, jelly is a thing of the past in the sandwich world. Peanut butter paired with everything from bacon to Nutella to pickles is the wave of the culinary future.

As a kid, a day didn’t go by that didn’t include peanut butter, either by way of bread, apple slices, or a spoon. Come to think of it, rarely a day goes by in my adult life that doesn’t include peanut butter, either. Of course, some things have changed over the years. Jelly is no longer my go-to pairing ingredient; instead, I opt for pumpkin butter, Greek yogurt, and other delicious options I would’ve passed on in my youth. But some people take it even further than that, combining peanut butter with things that would never occur to my own nut butter–obsessed brain. 

The New Jersey Breakfast

Eggs, cheese, and Canadian bacon on a bagel sounds like a tasty but tame breakfast sandwich, which is why blogger Peanut Butter Boy (real name: Nick Strand) adds a tablespoon of peanut butter to his version. It’s based on a popular morning meal in Hoboken that he claims is “unbelievably satisfying and can cure the roughest of evenings.”

Photo source: Peanut Butter Boy

PBJ’s Peanut Butter and Gruyère
The combination of cheese and peanut butter might raise a few eyebrows (it certainly raised mine), but it’s more common than you’d think. For example, PBJ’s, a Portland-based food cart, makes the Betty sandwich with Gruyère cheese and peanut butter. It also comes with bread and butter pickles (shockingly, another popular peanut butter add-on) and a dash of salt and pepper.

PBandU’s Banana, Bacon & Honey

Even non–peanut butter aficionados know that Elvis was a big fan of peanut butter, banana, and bacon sandwiches, especially if they were fried. Now that bacon has been paired with practically every edible thing under the sun at this point, his signature dish doesn’t seem that extreme anymore. This sandwich, from PBandU in Wayne, Pennsylvania, takes it up a notch and adds honey to Elvis’s favorite combo.

Photo source: Food & Spirits Magazine (cc)

Peanut Butter & Co.’s Peanut Butter Cup

Is there a more delicious duo in existence than peanut butter and chocolate? New York restaurant Peanut Butter & Co. has a plethora of creative peanut butter sandwiches (including one with chicken and pineapple jam), but its Nutella-heavy Peanut Butter Cup is hard to pass up. Just looking at the picture makes you want a glass of milk.

Photo source: noellium (cc)

Fruity Peanut Butter Lettuce Wraps
Every year since 2003, Jif holds a contest for the most creative peanut butter sandwich made by kids. 2010’s winner, ten-year-old Rachel from Clovis, California, combined crunchy peanut butter with Fuji apples, chicken breast, grapes, honey, and light mayonnaise. She then rolled the mixture inside lettuce leafs for a fun, slightly healthier take on chicken Waldorf sandwiches.

PB, Strawberry, and Basil Sandwich

The Southern Peanut Growers held a contest called PB&J My Way in March 2010, and the peanut butter, strawberry, and basil entry was one of the top three finalists. The recipe, which uses French baguettes as the sandwich base, is incredibly simple but yields a highly unique, robust flavor.

Photo source: PR Newswire

Scotty’s Brewhouse’s The Shewman Special

Take the New Jersey Breakfast, sub out the Canadian bacon for a hamburger patty, add a hefty dose of jalapeños, and you’ve got the super-spicy Shewman Special, one of the most popular burgers at Scotty’s Brewhouse, which has multiple locations in Indiana. The menu boasts that Indianapolis Monthly called it one of the top twenty-five burgers in the area.

Photo source: a loves dc (cc)

Peanut Butter and Tomato

As intriguing and heart attack–inducing as the combination of bacon, cheese, and peanut butter sounds, sometimes simplicity is best. Just like pickles and peanut butter, and even PB and mayonnaise (which I deemed too disturbing to include here), people speak fondly of the peanut butter and tomato combo. The Peanut Butter Boy likes his toasted, with a little kosher salt and fresh cracked pepper sprinkled on top.

Photo source: Peanut Butter Boy

The Fluffernutter

I was all about PB&J as a kid, but people who grew up on the East Coast consider marshmallow fluff a quintessential part of their childhoods. According to them, the best way to eat it is alongside peanut butter in a sandwich. Not quite as decadent as the Nutella-PB sandwich, but it sure comes close.

Photo source: rlorenzo (cc)

As much as I love peanut butter, I just can’t see pairing it with grilled cheese or pickles, though I salute anyone who attempts such cutting-edge combinations. But I am intrigued by the concept of a savory peanut butter sandwich. Perhaps some spinach and carrot sticks mixed with red pepper jelly and crunchy peanut butter … Hmm, that just might work! Today’s lunch just became a lot more exciting.



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