EC eats

The end of the peanut butter and salami sandwich

Sam Johnson

More stories from Sam Johnson

The Tator
December 13, 2022

On April 13, my life changed forever, when my destiny became forever intertwined with an evil force capable of destroying all that I hold dear.

The peanut butter and jelly sandwich — the infamous PBS. Will that get us sued?

On April 18, I went to war with the sandwich. It was an exhilarating and perilous odyssey, but I came out victorious, ensuring peace in the culinary world for years to come. Or so I thought.

When I saw the title of last week’s “EC eats,” I was furious. 

I thought I had put a stop to these shenanigans and protected my favorite column’s legacy forever. Apparently not.

So, once again, I’m here to vanquish the peanut butter and salami sandwich.

I returned to my parent’s kitchen — this time, I brought backup. Ryan Mass, my on-again, off-again assistant and muse, joined me on my quest. 

I grabbed two buns, smooth peanut butter (chunky is too weird on a meat sandwich, I didn’t have it in me), salami and jelly. I tried to keep my hands from shaking, so the sandwich couldn’t tell how nervous I was. 

Also, since people are just going wild with it — adding jelly to an already weird sandwich — I grabbed cheese and hot sauce, hoping to bring this saga to a close. 

I assembled the sandwiches and nearly started punching them, but stopped myself, deciding instead to beat them on the page.

One sandwich had peanut butter, salami and jelly. The other had peanut butter, salami and cheese. I cut them in half, put them on paper plates (because I’ve got class) and brought them to the table.

Mass and I decided on jelly first. We took a deep breath, considered saying a prayer and bit in.

It was fine. Not good, not bad; just perfectly mediocre.

I was getting hints of peanut butter, hints of salami and hints of jelly. Really nothing special.

I tried sriracha and tabasco on a couple of different bites, which made it better, but only because I like hot sauce, and the sandwich was nearly flavorless as is.

Then it was time for the cheese. I wiped my tears away, then Mass and I took a bite.

Again, nothing special or interesting. With more hot sauce, the same results.

I can’t understate how exceptionally uninteresting this sandwich is. As long as there are no dietary restrictions, anyone who tries it won’t have a problem.

For anyone interested in trying it, jelly helps a bit, but also maybe just be normal and eat a regular sandwich. 

The shocking normality of the sandwich got me thinking. Why have we dedicated four articles — over 2000 words — of a 100-year-old newspaper to such a bland sandwich (a blandwich)?

I have a few theories.

One: It’s just a surprising list of ingredients. Claire Schoenemann introduced us to an unusual food combination that sounds way more offensive and intriguing than it really is.

Two: People don’t actually understand peanut butter. Peanut butter is mostly savory yet primarily used with sweet things. Peanut butter chicken has been around for a long time, maybe peanuts are more versatile than we give them credit for.

Three: I’m a complete moron who has — for no reason — wasted a space meant for delivering important information by writing useless nonsense. 

Johnson can be reached at [email protected].