We’ve all heard of peanut butter and jelly, the classic combination ingrained in the American diet. Heck, people can get so passionate about it that one man actually pulled a knife on his brother for eating too many peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. Peanut butter-nutella, peanut butter-banana and Flutternutter sandwiches are also fairly common.
But what about peanut butter with the spicy, savory and crunchy? According to Peanuts: The Illustrious History of the Goober Pea, peanut butter was first paired with a “diverse set of foods such as pimento, nasturtium, cheese, celery, [and] watercress.” Apparently, peanut butter has many other culinary partners besides jelly or Nutella. But peanut butter and pickle? That can’t actually be good, can it?
We tested of these uncommon peanut butter pairings in sandwich form, ranking them based on taste, texture and overall satisfaction. Here’s what we found.
1. PB-Sriracha (Rating: 4.5/5)
At first, this pairing may seem strange, but let’s keep in mind that peanut butter is often used in spicy Thai sauces. The peanut butter and Sriracha sandwich works: Sriracha adds a nice kick to peanut butter’s creaminess, which in turn dulls the sharpness of the spice.
2. PB-Spinach (Rating: 3.5/5)
Spinach has no particular flavor, so this sandwich tastes more like bread with crunchy, airy peanut butter. The combination could use a couple more flavor components; perhaps some Sriracha sauce would do the trick. It’s an excellent way to add more veggies to your diet, though.
3. PB-Bacon (Rating: 4/5)
We love bacon. It is the star of many salty-sweet combos, such as these cupcakes and these cookies. Peanut butter and bacon sandwiches are delicious: creamy and meaty with that salty-sweetness that makes your taste-buds sing. Keep in mind that this pairing is on the heavier side calorie-wise, so you might want to hit the gym afterwards.
4. PB-Pickle (Rating: 3/5)
We all agreed that this one was weird. There’s a lot going on, with the creamy, sweet, salty, crunchy and sour flavors and textures competing for attention. The aftertaste was a bit awkward, though not altogether terrible. Peanut butter and pickle is definitely an acquired taste, and we probably wouldn’t eat it again.
5. PB-Tomato (Rating: 2.5/5)
Our tomatoes were cold and didn’t mesh well with the peanut butter. If it was toasted, it definitely would have been better. This sandwich, however, was “meh” at best.
6. PB-Potato Chips (Rating: 5/5)
The texture was great: smooth with an exciting crunch. It’s that sweet and salty again. Make it ASAP if you have all the ingredients at home. Pretzels might work too.
7. PB-Raisins (Rating: 4/5)
This is a classy twist on the peanut-butter and jelly sandwich that swaps preserved grapes for dried ones. Raisins add a distinct chewiness to the sandwich, making it more fun to eat. Next time, try adding chopped celery for an ants on a log sandwich?
8. PB-Chocolate Chip-Sprinkles (Rating: 3.5)
We finished off our taste test with a celebratory chocolatey dessert sandwich, complete with sprinkles! This one was fun to eat, though the sweetness of the chocolate chips can be a little much. To make this sandwich an instant 5/5, add potato chips.
So there we have it! Plenty of pairings turned out well. Next time you want to spread the peanut butter love to other foods besides jelly, spring for one of these sandwiches. Just not peanut butter and cold tomato.
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