pb and what?

I was never a fan of the pb & j sandwich when I was a kid. Cloyingly sweet jelly, with peanut butter, was not a combination of flavors I enjoyed. Even more unappealing, was the appearance that the 1970s popular brand of white bread took on, as it became soggy and purple-stained, after it sat all morning, in the lunch box, of the girl who sat across from me at the lunch table.


I came across a sandwich in The New York Times. It mentioned what seems like an unlikely partner for peanut butter — pickles. My guys and I experiment with food combinations. Like my most recent recipe published in the December, 2012 issue of Highlights for Children.


The idea of tackling a peanut butter/pickle sandwich though, was met with resistance and funny faces. Peanut butter and pickles in a SANDWICH?!

Off to the store we went. We had the peanut butter. But, what kind of pickle? We decided to try Dill pickles, and bread and butter pickles, to see the difference in taste with peanut butter. The store is carrying a new brand of organic peanut butter these days. We hit upon the idea to have a blindfolded taste test for pickles and peanut butter. And we were going to invest in some good bread.

No white bread, in plastic wrap with polka dots, like the pb & j I can still see across the elementary school lunch table. A firm, white bread from the bakery section.

The result? My guys liked the new peanut butter better. Dill pickles won out over the bread and butter version because of their pucker. Now, it was time to assemble these unlikely ingredients.

Tasting the peanut butter & pickle sandwich was the deal breaker. They were willing to sample peanut butters and pickle varieties. Not together in one crazy sandwich! They cleared out of the kitchen before the lid came off  the jar of peanut butter.

It was just me and the pb & p. The nutty flavor of the peanut butter mixed with the briny juices from the pickle. An unfamiliar mix of the creamy, nutty texture of the peanut butter and the crunch from the pickle. Two common ingredients, but one taste, that was completely not relatable to anything I’ve ever tasted.


 A shopkeeper, in New York’s Greenwich Village, made his first pb & pickle sandwich when a mother-to-be walked in and requested it. He figured it was his job to make the customer happy. It is still on his menu today as “The Pregnant Lady.”

And isn’t it my job, as mom, to be the first to taste something that “looks weird” for my children? I don’t know if there will be a second pb & p in our kitchen.

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