Which jelly flavor goes best with a peanut butter and jelly sandwich?
Peanut butter and jelly go together as naturally as macaroni and cheese. But nothing is as simple as it seems. PB&J fans are divided on which flavor of jelly to use for this classic sandwich: Is the best jelly for a Peanut Butter and Jelly Sandwich Grape, strawberry … or something completely different?
The Story of the PB&J
According to Markita Lewis, a registered nutritionist who works for the as a marketing and communications officer National Peanut BoardJohn Harvey Kellogg (cereal famous) invented peanut butter in 1895. The reinvented food quickly became a delicacy reserved for the wealthy: those with the means to buy peanut butter paired it with pimento cheese, celery, pickles and crackers.
Lewis says while no one is sure who first combined peanut butter and jelly, the first known mention of peanut butter and jelly together dates from 1901 culinary magazine. Even after the popular pairing was first introduced, the peanut butter sandwich remained an expensive treat usually reserved for teas and fancy affairs. That changed in 1920 with the introduction of affordable sliced bread. Later, during the Great Depression and World War II, peanut butter and jelly sandwiches rose in popularity and became ingrained in American culture forever.
according to a Survey 2016 Under the direction of Peter Pan Simply Ground Peanut Butter, the average American will eat nearly 3,000 PB&Js in their lifetime. However, there is still no consensus on whether grape, strawberry, or some other type of jelly is the best PB&J.
Lewis tells Yahoo Life that there is “no scientific evidence as to what type of jelly goes best with peanut butter.” Her “go-to is always strawberry jam or preserves,” but she emphasizes that it’s just a matter of “personal preference.”
According to Scott Utke, Chief Marketing Officer at whichthe company attempted to “let the internet settle the debate once and for all questions [their] Instagram followers whether they preferred Welch’s Concord Grape or Strawberry Spread on their PB&Js.”
“Surprisingly, the answers were split down the middle,” Utke tells Yahoo Life, “proving there is no right answer to this question.”
Is grape best?
Many think Traube is the one only Choice for a real peanut butter and jelly sandwich and the stats back it up. According to IRI Worldwide, the company that does Welch’s analysis and sales, consumers ate 9% more grape jelly than strawberries last year. Data from IRI also shows that Welch’s sells seven times more grape jelly than strawberry jelly.
“I think generally for a classic PB&J, grape jelly is the only jelly,” says food blogger Alena Chappell, although she adds that strawberry is better for “almost everything else”. Susan Anderson, author at The worthy goods, is also turned off by strawberry jelly. “Because the flavor of strawberry jam is so distinct, I find that the flavor can be overwhelming at times,” she says. “Grape jelly isn’t as strong and the tart flavor goes with almost anything.”
cooking blogger Helen Merritt says that grape is the clear choice because it’s not as widespread. “Strawberry flavors are everywhere and grape flavors feel like something fresh and out of the ordinary,” she tells Yahoo Life. writer Hebba Gouda says her love of grape jelly is all about childhood memories. “I love the nostalgia of a PB&J with grape jelly on Wonder Bread,” she says.
Is strawberry better?
It’s hard to resist the nostalgia of a classic grape jelly peanut butter and jelly sandwich, but overall more prefer strawberry. Samuel Campbell, owner of a restaurant in Indianapolis PB&J factory see this in action daily. “Grape is a classic flavor,” Campbell admits. “Most people will base themselves on grapes because they know it, but once they’ve met other jams, many find they like strawberry jam.”
In fact, Campbell himself prefers strawberries “for the pieces of fruit.”
“It gives a more natural taste,” he explains.
Dee Broughton, a food writer and recipe developer, says her love of strawberry jelly stemmed from the grape jelly overkill she experienced as a child. “Growing up, my family only bought grape jelly, so I had no idea about the delicious options out there,” she says. “After eating strawberry jam for the first time…it was love at first bite.” Blogger Kelly Dedeaux also prefers strawberry. “I think strawberry jam is better because it has a stronger flavor and a more pleasant texture than grape jam,” she says. “Grape jam tastes like diluted fruit juice, while strawberry jam has a really fruity flavor that I really like.”
food blogger Vered DeLeeuw says there’s a reason strawberry is superior. “Grape jelly is too sweet,” she says. “It doesn’t have any interesting notes. It’s just a thick, overwhelming, gooey sweetness.” In contrast, DeLeeuw finds, “Strawberry jelly is better because it [has] a slightly sour note.”
“Its flavor profile is more complex than grape jelly,” she says.
What about other flavors?
food blogger Jenny Jaeger suggests going beyond the strawberry-or-grape debate. “If you’re looking for something classic, go for grape or strawberry,” says Hunter, “but if you want to try something more adventurous, don’t be afraid to explore the world of wild and exotic jams.”
Hunter likes “blueberries, figs, peaches, or something more unusual like watermelon [because] These jams add a flavor boost and a touch of sweetness.”
DeLeeuw says “Orange marmalade or preserves are wonderful,” and describes the variation as “complex… and never overpoweringly sweet.” food blogger Isabella Flintstone says her favorite jelly is “a little more left-wing.”
“Jalapeño jelly,” she says, “it’s great on any savory sandwich or just plain with a cracker if you’re tough enough.”
Campbell’s experience at PB&J Factory proves that options beyond grape and strawberry are great. “Our biggest signature Sammies are the Cookie Monster, [made] with a cookie butter base and our Pop’s Bacon Butter Melt,” he says. “[For that]we use our own bacon jam.”
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