Peanut butter... and jelly. The two condiments are nothing without each other, and for years, they've gone hand in hand wedged between two slices of bread. As National Peanut Butter and Jelly Day is April 2, it’s only fitting to celebrate the two foods and their relationship by examining what makes them so great for each other, and to determine how to make the perfect peanut butter and jelly sandwich.
Jelly came into existence long before its counterpart, peanut butter, with uses of it dating back to the 15th century. Peanut butter came onto the scene in the late 19th century, when a St. Louis physician developed a peanut paste for people with bad teeth in 1890. Only five years later, the Kellogg brothers patented the process of using steamed peanuts to create peanut butter and distributing it in plastic packaging, and from there the idea of peanut butter was born.
Although peanut butter and jelly existed in the food world as separate entities for years, the first written reference of them together is said to be from 1901 by a woman named Julia Davis Chandler. Why or how the sandwich was created is still uncertain, but regardless, we're happy about its creation.
While simple and easy to put together in theory, there are certain techniques for making the perfect PB&J. We examined the simplicity of the sandwich to determine how to get the best results — everything from the type of bread to use to the ratio of butter to jelly and how to do the perfect spread. And while peanut allergies have kept this beloved sandwich out of many schools and institutions, there’s still a wide variety of substitutions that you can use to follow our method.
Peanut butter and jelly don’t just stop at sandwiches, though, and we’re going to show you all of the delicious ways to put the two together in your kitchen. Whether you’re a cookie lover, looking for new ways to serve the two, or want to incorporate them into your breakfast, there are recipes that celebrate peanut butter and jelly and all of their glorious flavors.
Anne Dolce is the Cook editor at The Daily Meal. Follow her on Twitter @anniecdolce