Last fall, Dwight Garner published an article in the NY Times hailing the merits of the peanut butter and pickle sandwich. I was fascinated. This was a peanut butter combination I hadn’t heard of. Garner describes the sandwich as “a thrifty and unacknowledged American classic.” Apparently, the PB&P is a cult favorite, but even Garner admits that it will probably never go mainstream, like the PB&J or even the PB&B (peanut butter and banana, come on guys!).
The problem is, I don’t really like pickles. I mean, they’re fine and I’ll nibble on them when they appear on my plate with a sandwich and fries, but I’ve never truly craved a pickle. According to Garner, the pickles’ role in the PB&P is a “briny, sophisticated, adult version of jelly.” All right, doesn’t sound so bad, but I’m pretty loyal to my fruity, immature version of jelly. That said, for the past few weeks this strange combination has been on my mind. I had to try it. After all, there is peanut butter in it, so it can’t be that bad, right? Well, I was about to find out.
Garner suggests making the sandwich with bread and butter pickles, white bread, and classic processed peanut butter like Jif or Skippy (none of this all-natural crap amiright?). So I headed to WesShop…
I tried the sandwich with two of my friends. We slathered PB on both sides of the bread and stacked up some pickles in between. Then we cut it into triangles and dug in. We were all nervous. Here were the reactions after the first bite:
Eliza: I love it.
Me: I can only taste peanut butter.
Camille: Honestly, the sweetness of the pickle tastes like jelly.
Then, as we took a few more bites:
Eliza: I could even have more pickle!
Me: I think I hate this.
Camille: I don’t like it, but I’m going to keep eating it anyways.
As you can see, our feelings on this new sandwich were very mixed. I think I didn’t like it because I really do not like to taste of pickles, and they are certainly prevalent in this sandwich. I thought it would give me a nice sweet and salty bite, but it ended up being almost overwhelmingly sweet. Eliza and Camille thought the sandwich was very similar to a PB&J. All-in-all, we agreed that it wasn’t particularly offensive to the palate, but we wouldn’t eat it over a classic PB&J.
-Sarah Koppelkam ’15