Peanut butter and jelly sandwiches are a nostalgic childhood treat as well as a quick and easy on-the-go lunch. You might’ve been making them for decades without realizing that there are actually multiple different recipes and approaches to making the perfect PB&J — and some are superior to others.
There are a few main methods of construction. One is spreading your choice of nut butters on one slice of bread and then spreading jelly, jam or preserves on the other before closing it up. The second option is to spread peanut butter on bread first, then slather the jelly on top of the peanut butter before topping with the second slice of bread.
Believe it or not, some savvy sandwich makers have discovered that if you spread a layer of peanut butter on each slice of bread and then spread some jelly between them, the layers of PB help keep both slices of bread from getting soggy by creating a barrier.
Secondly, people have different preferences for how to cut it. There’s the age-old “crust or no crust” debate, which comes down to personal taste. Some people eat the sandwich whole, while others prefer to cut it in half, either straight down the middle or diagonally. A couple of chefs revealed to Bon Appetit that they believe slicing diagonally is the best shape to hold the sandwich together and get a balanced bite with equal parts peanut butter and jelly. Some choose to cut it into quarters, or even wedges.
So how do you make your peanut butter and jelly sandwich, and you are willing are you to defend it? Arguments about PB&J technique have been riling up social media for years, making it one of the biggest food debates of our generation.