Peanut Butter and the Geek

Peanut Butter and the GeekIn response to Ryan Matthew Pierson’s Bacon: Why Do Geeks Love It? piece, here is my homage to peanut butter, the breakfast of those who you might not trust completely. Peanut butter is the essence of a good life, but one must beware of the purity of the product. Things such as Jif® are not strictly peanut butter. They are peanut spreads, and might contain corn syrup, sugar (a lot of sugar), and hydrogenating agents. Yum. Real men prefer peanut butter which, in my book, is made with peanuts and a little salt. That’s it: just peanuts and salt. Some otherwise reasonable people prefer crunchy, but I will take it smooth.

“But Sherm,” you say, “that kind of peanut butter separates with oil on top and even when I mix it up, it still sticks to the roof of my mouth.” To which I can only respond, “Yeah, want some more?”

Peanut butter is primarily used for sandwiches. The classic, of course, is PB and jelly. There are even restaurants devoted to PB and J (this one is in New York). But the creative geek does not stop there with such an obvious construction. My favorite is creamy organic peanut butter piled high with crispy bacon on sourdough bread. My family doctor actually retched when I told him that, but we do not let criticism sway us. Occasionally I will pile a fried egg on top of my peanut buttered toast and eat it open-face style. I am not alone in creative peanut butter sandwiches. Can you name a famous person who loved peanut butter and banana sandwiches? Do you have a favorite variety we might not have tried?

Stopping at the humble sandwich is both uncreative and ungeeky. The ways that peanut butter can be conveyed from container to mouth are numerous. Women in the Midwest have known for years the reason God put a groove in celery is to load in peanut butter, making it more attractive to their children who would probably be scarfing up potato chips if offered pure celery. But I go further and dip carrots and even chips in pure peanut butter. The peanut butter in Reese’s cups is not my favorite, and the chocolate seems to have a lot of wax in it, but still, they are good. My wife buys luscious chocolate spheres that are filled with peanut butter and chocolate and which do not last long in our house. She also makes a peanut butter based dip for artichokes for special occasions.

This is the truth. Years ago I earned a free pass to the San Diego County Fair by entering in the pie making contest. My entry: peanut butter pie, naturally. I had innocently entered it thinking only of the free pass. In those days, I was a graduate student and habitually broke, so that seemed a good way to scam a free day at the fair. But things went a bit bad when my pie made it to the last round of judging and several reporters started to interview me because I was the only man to enter a pie. Women were giving me nasty looks. It could have gotten ugly; luckily I was eliminated before they got to the ribbons.

Another time I burned up a perfectly good blender trying to make my own peanut butter from peanuts that I roasted myself. Not to be deterred, I bought a heftier one. You, too, can make your own. The example I choose is for those who prefer crunchy — just to show that I am open-minded.

Finally, the folklore has it that peanut butter was invented by George Washington Carver. Alas, while he did contribute, the honor of invention should go to Marcellus Gilmore Edson, with US patent 306,727, who seems to have precedence unless we give credit to an unknown Aztec who first made peanut paste, which might be the same thing we call peanut butter. Trivia: in Holland it is called peanut cheese because the word butter is restricted.

So remember to celebrate next January 24, National Peanut Butter Day, with a hefty peanut butter and bacon sandwich. Bet you did not know we had a Peanut Butter Day.

CC licensed Flickr photo by The Eggplant

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  • http://www.cyberfanatic.com/ CyberFanatic

    What’s happening folks just me trying to win the amazon gift card

    • sdeforest

      You can use it to buy some peanut butter.

  • Ramin

    These combinations are quite weird to me. Personally, meat and sweet don’t go together. I’ve tried those bacon maple bar donuts. Not my cup of tea… So things like peanut butter and bacon, no thank you. Or even that peanut butter celery mix you mentioned…

    • sdeforest

      If you think of PB as sweet, you might be used to Skippy and the life which add corn syrup and sugar (lots of it) to accommodate what they think Americans want. Try pure peanuts and salt only.

  • http://www.facebook.com/jtgralka J.T. Gralka

    Bacon is by far one of the best meats ever, and peanut butter is one of the best butters ever; ergo, bacon peanut butter together must be effin’ phenomenal together! By the way, if any of you like PB&J, you should try a grilled PB&J. Yep, you heard me right — a GRILLED peanut butter & jelly sandwich! It’s great comfort food. Hmmm… That gives me an idea; maybe I’ll have to try some peanut butter on a BLT the next time I have one!

    • sdeforest

      You got me. I never thought of that. Tomorrow for breakfast–you might not hear from me again.

  • http://www.facebook.com/hen.sjoberg Hen Matt Sjöberg

    Everything has a day. Also, I would like to try Peanut Butter and Bacon on Peanut Butter and Bacon Day, Sept. 15th.

    • sdeforest

      I will mark it on my calendar

  • http://www.facebook.com/beshoy.lovesjesus Beshoy Shafek Malk

    Amazon card…some combinations don’t mix, like this one but hey don’t knock it till you tryit..I will try that tomorrow

    • sdeforest

      Good for you. Experimentation is how we progress

  • ipad8769

    Hi, Peanut butter and bacon! Yumm that sounds good. RAW Bacon… maybe trickinosus? Love the Geek Outs! Thanks!

    • sdeforest

      Never raw, and I have progressed to the crisper the better. Maybe I am compensating for not using crunchy PB.

  • http://www.facebook.com/jrdnv Jordan Vasquez

    I love bacon with anything! My favorite pizza is hawaiian easily lol. Bacon, pineapple, and pepperoni toppings!!! om nom.

    • sdeforest

      I thought Hawaiian pizza had ham. I have never had it with bacon–or peanut butter for that matter.

  • ipad8769

    Peanut butter an Bacon? Yumm… Sounds good! Love the Geek Outs!

    • sdeforest

      Have you done it yet?

  • http://twitter.com/ItsJordanVbaby Jordan V.

    mmm I don’t buy peanut butter with anything other than peanuts so why not make my own! (: thanks for a recipe

    • sdeforest

      Good for you. See the previous comment by a Skippy lover

  • http://twitter.com/uthmanbaksh Uthman Baksh

    I love my peanut butter! LOVE IT! My favorite brand is Skippy, the reduced fat Super chunky variety. Bacon is not my thing so I look forward to PB! Also, it is one of the few things I still have left from my childhood.

    • sdeforest

      The first ingredient in Skippy is peanuts, but the second is corn syrup, and the third is sugar (http://www.labelwatch.com/prod_results.php?pid=522005). More than a dozen other added ingredients complete the list. It is labelled as peanut butter, not like Jif which is peanut spread. Try some peanut and salt only PB next to Skippy and you will taste the difference. I am not saying Skippy is bad, or your choice is wrong. It works for you, and that is what is important.

      • http://www.facebook.com/paul.g.waller Paul G Waller

        I like Skippy, I have also been a Peter Pan PB connoisseur for over 40 years. can’t stand that natural PB.

        • http://twitter.com/uthmanbaksh Uthman Baksh

          Skippy is the go to brand for me. And as for the corn syrup, that is why I use the reduced fat kind. It is thicker and tastier.

  • http://twitter.com/LOLBOOM24 Aly Osman

    I am a geek but I don’t like peanut butter! Most geeks like peanut butter but they make a good mix geek and peanut butter!

    • sdeforest

      Some geeks don’t like bacon either. Go figure.

  • Jesse Aranda

    I like peanut butter but hate the smell, but I substituted PB for Nutella

    • sdeforest

      Good choice, I the other nut spreads are okay, but I never cared for cashew butter. The hazelnut stuff is good.

  • http://www.facebook.com/GeorgeFrancis222 George Francis Pirkhoffer

    Peanut butter is definitely up there with bacon, It is weird how foods like that just become so awesome. I mean who chose to make bacon and peanut butter the food of geeks? Anyway I still like it, and am definitely trying PB&B sandwich today :)

    • sdeforest

      Once on that road, you won’t go back. Trust me.

  • http://www.facebook.com/ferraripower Andrew Benner

    i personally have been a long time fan of peanut butter… for as long as i can remember i’ve always found reese’s peanut butter cups the best part of Halloween trick or treating.

    • sdeforest

      I agree, but scaring the little kids comes in second.

  • http://bkgcom.blogspot.in/ Bharat Kumar Gupta

    i m a geek too and i would prefer crunchy flavor of it, in a sandwich though, preferably a veg sandwich and healthy diet is always a balanced diet, not a big fan of preparing the peanut butter in my kitchen but buying it from a reputed brand, though again i dont know much about flavors but i m open to try it, lets see what flavors are av in my country.

  • http://bkgcom.blogspot.in/ Bharat Kumar Gupta

    i m a geek too and i would prefer crunchy flavor of it, in a sandwich though, preferably a veg sandwich and healthy diet is always a balanced diet, not a big fan of preparing the peanut butter in my kitchen but buying it from a reputed brand, though again i dont know much about flavors but i m open to try it, lets see what flavors are av in my country.

    • sdeforest

      I have nothing against crunchy, just prefer smooth.

  • http://twitter.com/TheDualCoreDude Lewis Wickes

    I hate peanut butter don’t get me wrong I am a geek but PB, not my thing!!!

    • sdeforest

      You have wasted half your life.

  • oliver18754

    Since 2009, i have been watching your videos and as always, they’re all entertaining. I always ignore all hater comments and always try to defend you and diana when i can. Thanks for all the entertaining videos and keep it up.

    • sdeforest

      Thank you. Sharing good: hate bad.

  • Tommy Sadler

    Ewwww. I love peanut butter and bacon but not together! Yuck!

    • sdeforest

      The San Diego County Fair this year sold 5000 strips of chocolate-covered bacon. That is a yuck!

  • Cworld01

    I really don’t know we have Peanut butter day on January 24.

    • sdeforest

      You have wasted half your life.

  • http://www.facebook.com/mnm9994u Muhammed Nazim

    Peanut Butter and Jam… Crunchhhyy…. too….

    • sdeforest

      Crunchy PB or crunchy J?

      • http://www.facebook.com/mnm9994u Muhammed Nazim

        Obviously PB dude…

  • IvanTomica

    Peanut butter on bacon, that can’t be bad. Have anyone tried it yet?

    • sdeforest

      While I do eat it often, my wife refuses to try. Go figure.

  • http://twitter.com/creation4use Samuel Guillermo

    sounds like a plan

  • http://twitter.com/joelovesandroid Joe Sakamoto

    I need to start peanut butter for more than just sandwiches. I’m gonna try peanut butter with bacon for dinner.

    • sdeforest

      On celery is good. I prefer PB&B for breakfast, but that is me.

  • http://twitter.com/joelovesandroid Joe Sakamoto

    I need to start using peanut butter for more than just sandwiches. I’m gonna try peanut butter with bacon tonight.

    • sdeforest

      Maybe we should start a club

  • http://www.facebook.com/eileen.j.hay Eileen Hay

    when I was five, used my toy coffee grinder to make peanut butter, never had better

    • sdeforest

      And you did not burn it out? I destroyed a perfectly good adult blender doing the same.

  • A Dash

    Well I dont think this would taste that great

  • http://www.kindorf.net/ Scott Kindorf

    Peanut Butter Sandwich and a tall glass of NesQuik! Gotta love that!!!

    • Raymond Combs

      Chocolate, or Strawberry, Nesquik? (Read the name off of my strawberry Nesquik.)

  • Raymond Combs

    Natural PB:
    My local market has a Peanut Butter machine! Just a hopper full of dry roasted peanuts. Flip the switch, and fill a container full of Peanut Butter. No sugar, no syrup, no additives. Yes, you have to stir it occasionally – how lazy are we getting?

    • sdeforest

      That is neat. I have seen grind your own coffee machines, but not peanut butter.

  • kevalc7

    i have never tasted peanut butter directly. Bt my favourite oreo cookie is peanut butter..
    i m definitely going to a store to buy 1 for me.

    • sdeforest

      Buy two. While you are there, treat yourself to some pure peanut butter. The stuff they use in Oreo cookies is probably laden with sugar.

  • http://www.facebook.com/familyhearingandbalancecenter Dale Hansen

    Peanut butter cookies…it is my fav!

    • sdeforest

      My bad. I overlooked that wonderful treat. I can only plead that the medium cannot handle all aspects in a single post.

  • http://www.facebook.com/dennis.mcclune Dennis McClune

    Yeah …REAL peanut butter……makes a great sandwich …on wheat, … with bacon !

    • sdeforest

      I prefer sourdough, but wheat is good.

  • http://my.opera.com/geekgirlfri/blog/ Melinda P

    OK, this looks like a good place to put this bit of personal trivia…

    My father, God rest his soul, used to make sandwiches using the following:

    Two slices of bread, toasted VERY dark brown & crunchy
    Peanut butter (probably JIF, but I can’t remember)
    American cheese, 1 slice
    Lunch meat, 1 slice
    Grape jelly

    I have never yet had the courage to try one, so I cannot tell you how it tastes, but I think it definitely fits under the category of geek creativity! He also loved peanut butter shakes, whenever he could find one. I’m sure if he’d been aware of Peanut Butter Day, he’d have celebrated it, especially since his birthday was also in January.

    And for the record, I L-O-V-E peanut butter & banana sandwiches. Also, peanut butter and orange marmalade. (My kids think that’s gross, so I guess I’m just my father’s daughter!)

    Lately, I try to buy Smart Balance peanut butter whenever it’s on sale (peanuts, evaporated cane juice, natural oil blend of palm fruit & flaxseed oils, salt, molasses). I tried a Smucker’s brand of natural peanut butter once, but didn’t like the consistency of it. Maybe I’ll try the fresh-made stuff I’ve seen at the Publix deli & see if that’s any better….

    • http://www.facebook.com/sherman.deforest Sherman DeForest

      Welcome to the PB&J club. I think your father went a step further than I would go by mixing the jelly with meat, but if it suited him, go for it. Is Smart Balance technically peanut butter or a spread?