In Defense of the Peanut Butter and Mayonnaise Sandwich
It seems like we all have one or two things we love to eat that others might consider to be a bit odd or even downright disgusting.
For me, it's peanut butter and mayonnaise sandwiches.
While all of my friends were reaching for peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, I was more than content with the double creamy goodness of some Jif and Hellman's.
For the longest time I had no idea where my love of PB&M came from until well into adulthood when I discovered that they were a favorite of my Grandma - or 'Ruthie' as she was known to everyone.
And now it turns out that the peanut butter and mayonnaise sandwich isn't so bizarre after all.
A recent Tasting Table article, 'Peanut Butter And Mayo Sandwiches Were Once As Common As The PB&J', traces the origins of the sandwich and confirms that they were once a staple of many American's diets during the Great Depression.
They quote Smithsonian Magazine about how peanut butter was first invented by the Incans centuries ago, and how the modern day version we know today was commercialized by John Kellogg, founder of Kellogg's.
'Peanut butter was first advertised this nut spread as a health food, a meat alternative that would provide more protein than a porterhouse steak. By the end of the 19th Century, peanut butter was widely used among Americans, and it became a staple for them with the advent of sliced bread.'
Economics also played a role in the popularity of the sandwiches.
According to Garden & Gun, the PB&M provided Americans with a much more cost-efficient meal during the depression.
But it wasn't just sandwiches.
Dishes like peanut butter soup (made from milk, peanut butter, vegetable stock, and pepper) and peanut loaf (meatless meatloaf of peanut butter mashed with cooked rice, chicken bouillon, and ketchup) were also quite popular.
Despite its impressive history, the peanut butter & mayonnaise sandwich will no doubt be considered weird by today's standards.
But for me, it will always be a strong connection to my past.
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