I was in Aldi the other day when I stumbled upon these modern marvels of engineering. That's right, folks, there is actually a company out there that manufactures and sells frozen peanut butter and jelly sandwiches.
Really? Who's buying this stuff? Moms who would like to prepare food for their families, but are too busy to open two jars and a bag of bread? Wouldn't it take even longer to unfreeze one of these than to spread the condiments on two pieces of bread?
Not to mention that you lose all semblance of creativity that goes along with making your own PB&J sandwich. What's that? You don't see how making PB&J can be creative? Well, good thing I'm here to set you straight.
You see, I love a good peanut butter and jelly sandwich. They're cheap, they taste good and they remind me of the best parts of my childhood. The only problem with most PBJs is that they can leave you with an acute case of peanut butter mouth. PBM is not a recognized disorder by most medical associations, but I try to avoid it anyway.
The secret to avoiding PBM when making PBJ is simple. Use a ratio of 3 parts jelly to one part peanut butter. You can even blend different flavors of jelly for a real party in your mouth. I know you're probably all saying that such a sandwich, while avoiding the terrors of PBM, would put the consumer at a high risk for other issues such as sticky fingers syndrome and, of course, jelly shirt.
To this, I say welcome to the party! Now you're using your brains instead of your microwaves.
So we want to avoid sticky fingers, jelly shirt and PBM. How can we do this? Why, more bread, of course. We double up the bread on the jelly side to avoid sandwich soak-through. You can even use whole wheat and boost up your fiber intake, if you're someone who worries about those kinds of things.
Again we've solved one problem, but created another. No one wants to eat two pieces of bread smashed together. That's not even a sandwich. So we need something else between the two jelly-side pieces that won't contribute to jelly soak-through or PBM. What can we use?
What can we not use? A sliced banana is fine for the unadventurous, but an apple will add a nice contrasting taste and texture to the classic PB&J. Calorie-counters, avert your eyes, but a little lightly-toasted marshmallow goes with just about anything. And if you're adding that, you have to throw in a Hershey bar. You just have to. Peanut butter and jelly s'mores, anyone? I thought so.
There are infinitely more possibilities, and that's my point exactly. The only possibility with a frozen, mass-produced PBJ is that it isn't completely thawed when you bite into the center. Nobody wants that.
So there you have it, people. Don't buy frozen, individually-packaged replications of a simple (or needlessly complex) American classic. You can make a real PB&J, I promise.