Is that weird? That’s weird, huh?
Well, fine. Not quite, then. But when I look back over some of my more sarcastic blog posts, I feel like I’m two steps away from yelling at the neighbor’s snot-nosed kids to get off my lawn. Maybe that’s what happens after you eat enough green pepper jelly and beet cookies.
So today, I’m getting in touch with my inner eight-year-old for a change.
When I was a kid, my absolute favorite food in the whole wide world was peanut butter sandwiches. Not peanut butter and jelly … just good ol’ peanut butter on wheat bread, spread nice and thick. (I only ate jelly in the form of Goober, and that was only because the stripes were too cool not to eat.)
Peanut butter sandwiches (no jelly, please and thank you) are still a favorite snack, especially now that my life consists of going to school, coming home and having 10 minutes to eat, and then dashing off to work or whatever else I happen to have going on. Peanut butter sandwiches are a classic.
I never thought I’d find anything terribly out-of-the-ordinary in the peanut butter aisle. Until I actually looked, that is.
I dragged my boyfriend with me on my food-searching adventure this time, mostly because he’s the kind of person who thinks things like clam juice are perfectly normal. He’s that balancing factor when I’m deciding what to blog about. As open-minded as he is about food, I know of at least one thing he really can’t stand: white chocolate.
So when I spotted a jar of white chocolate peanut butter and picked it up and showed it to him, his facial expression can only be described as priceless. Well, that and utter disgust.
Personally, I’m a big white chocolate fan. In fact, I love those white chocolate Reese’s — they’re one of my favorite kinds of candy. But seeing white-chocolate-flavored peanut butter took me back to my high school days.
See, there was this kid at lunch who, almost without fail, would always bring chocolate peanut butter sandwiches. He literally spread peanut butter on once slice of white bread, then took the other slice and drizzled a heaping amount of Hershey’s syrup onto it. By the time lunch rolled around, the syrup had soaked into the bread. I could never decide if this was absolutely revolting or absolutely wonderful, until the day he offered me a bite and I tried it for myself.
I will never forget that horrendous moment. I don’t think I ate anything involving Hershey’s syrup for a very long time after that.
So when I saw the white chocolate peanut butter, my mind wrestled with my instincts. My mind told me it would be good, like those Reese’s cups. My instincts told me that this was nasty lunch sandwich, Take 2, and I should stay far away.
My mind won out. Kind of. It was really more that sick curiosity — the one that compels me to watch horror movies and regret it later.
The outside of the jar (can I even call it a jar, since it’s plastic?) says, “Try me with pears.” I hated to disobey, but I don’t have any pears and didn’t think to actually read the jar — er, jar-ish thing — before leaving the store. So instead, I tried it the good, old-fashioned way: on a piece of wheat bread.
The peanut butter had an oily, kind of grainy consistency, which is pretty consistent — no pun intended — with natural peanut butters. (Since this was, after all, “no-stir natural” peanut butter. It’d better be, with the arm, leg and firstborn child I paid in exchange for the measly 16-ounce container.)
It smelled just like regular peanut butter, with no hint of white chocolate. But smells can be deceiving. I spread a generous amount on a slice of bread, lifted it to my mouth, and took a bite.
I was immediately transported back to that fateful lunch period in junior high, and I almost wanted to cry.
But once I pushed past the memory that the disturbingly sickly sweet taste brought to mind, I started to realize that this stuff actually tastes really, really good.
I wouldn’t recommend eating it in a sandwich, especially not with jelly. (And that’s not just because I don’t like jelly.) It’s a little (er, a lot) too sweet for that. But I can imagine it tasting good on pears, like the … jar thing … recommends, and it would probably be pretty yummy on graham crackers as a quasi-healthy snack.
Oh, and the best part? Speaking of quasi-healthy, the peanut butter is made with evaporated cane juice. There’s no Sucralose in this one — not this time.
Ingredients: Peanuts, evaporated cane juice, vanilla, cocoa butter, palm fruit oil, lecithin (from sunflowers) and salt.
Price: $4.49 at Fry’s Marketplace.
Pros: Kinda like a Reese’s. Kinda. Plus it’s all-natural and has a refreshingly short ingredients list.
Cons: Junior-high lunches involving chocolate syrup and peanut butter sandwiches.