By: Doniel Weinreich | Features  | 

Peanut-Butter-and-Jelly Sandwich Making Methodology

I’ve recently changed my mind about something. I’ve had a fundamental shift in perspective, of which I believe the contents are of utmost importance and are indeed relevant to most of our lives. The shift in question was in the way I approach making a peanut-butter-and-jelly sandwich. I used to utilize what I think is the more conventional and traditional method, whereby peanut butter is applied to one slice of bread, and jelly to another. The slices of bread are then put together and perhaps cut in half (in rectangles; cutting a peanut-butter-and-jelly sandwich in triangles is absolutely monstrous. I mean for goodness sake, it’s not grilled cheese). This method is problematic for several reasons, all of which will be alleviated by the alternative method.

In my newfound superior method, the only difference is in the construction: peanut butter is first applied to both slices of bread. Jelly is then applied to one of the peanut buttered sides, and the rest proceeds as above. The benefits of this method are threefold, on which I shall elaborate in order of ascending importance.

A) In the event of the sandwich’s delayed consumption, the bread will remain pristine, whereas the conventional method would result in the jelly rendering its slice of bread soggy. However, due to the circumstantial nature of this problem, this benefit is of minimal importance. The other two — which, according to some informal internet browsing, are less popular justifications — are more universal and essential to the nature of the sandwich.

B) The alternative method results in a more optimal peanut butter to jelly ratio. From both a culinary and nutritional perspective, one would want more peanut butter than jelly. It is, of course, possible to achieve the goldilocks ratio using the conventional method; however, it would require careful calibration and vigilance. With the alternative method, the optimal ratio is achieved naturally and automatically with near effortlessness.

C) Certainly, the most consistent conundrum confronted when it comes to consuming a peanut-butter-and-jelly-sandwich is jelly leakage. Jelly’s slimy, globular consistency doesn’t afford it the requisite friction and viscosity to remain in place unobstructed. A reasonably filled sandwich made with the traditional method will result in jelly pouring out the sides. The only move that can be made in attempt to prevent this persistent predicament is to use less jelly, instead gracing your sandwich with but a mere schmear. This on its own is outrageous, but furthermore, unless you want to confront a ratio problem, you’ll have to use a proportionally smaller amount of peanut butter as well. This would, however, yield an entirely inadequate sandwich barely befitting a preschooler; it would never suffice for a grown man’s luncheon. The only other option is to embrace the mess, absorb the impact, steer into the skid. There is no reasonable solution for the sticky-mess-averse who don’t want to risk dripping jelly on their pants or doom themselves to the post-sandwich finger fellating ritual.

But the alternative method contrarily opens itself to a solution quite naturally. All that is required is to leave the very edge bare when spreading the jelly. Now the peanut butter on both sides forms a cohesive seal (which can be enhanced with a slight press), locking that jelly in, away from your fingers and vulnerable surfaces.

On the whole, the alternative method allows for a larger, more optimally filled sandwich with less potential for leakage, whereas the conventional method yields an unsatisfying mess. It is clear which is preferable.


Photo Caption: A Peanut Butter and Jelly sandwich constructed with the conventional method.

Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons