On the Proper Order of Peanut Butter and Jelly

One question has plagued the college student more than any other.  This of course is–which to dip first: the Peanut Butter or the Jelly?

Peanut Butter and Jelly

He… (and I say “he” not to be sexist or as an attempted rebellion against political correctness, but because a woman would simply wipe the knife off before sticking it in the Peanut Butter–or the Jelly as the case may be)  …He has to make the decision before starting the P&B sandwich.

Invariably, once the decision has been made, there are regrets.

Starting with Jelly:
The splash of grape color in the Peanut Butter makes the “he” wonder should the Peanut Butter jar now go into the refrigerator?! Pure Peanut Butter can survive in the cupboard, but after a while the unrefrigerated and opened purple grape Jelly turns nasty white.  Clearly, starting with Jelly complicates things.

Starting with Peanut Butter:
Arguably, this is the cleaner choice since the Peanut Butter should stick more to the knife than the soft Jelly.  But something about dipping a soiled knife into pristine purple grape Jelly* disturbs us men.  In addition, usually a touch of Peanut Butter does end up in the Jelly jar.  Regrettable, but unavoidable.

Other Issues:
And then there is the issue of using the ends of the bread (called みみ mimi in Japanese, by the way) or not.  Men differ on this matter.  I am firmly in crustacean camp; I like the crust.  However, I do see the other side’s point and wish them no ill will.

Lastly, our young college student has to decide which side gets flipped to be the top.  Do you put the jellied side on top of the Peanut Butter or the other way around? Are you adventurous and turn the more drippy Jelly side–or are you the clean type whose safe Peanut Butter bet assures no messy Jelly drips on the table?

Some would make this into a gender issue with Peanut Butter being seemingly more masculine and Jelly feminine.  This worldview becomes stickier when one thinks the process through:  If you turn the Jelly, you are putting the feminine representative on top–BUT you are also causing her to do all the work while the male sits back and does nothing.  As you know, perceived sexism is the #1 cause of college-aged male angst.

Obviously, stating my preference could get me in a great deal of trouble.  Not liking trouble too much, I leave this one for the reader to decide behind closed doors.

As you can see, the process of creating a Peanut Butter and Jelly sandwich is far for simple.  It involves tough moral choices and a few logistical considerations.  Doing the right thing isn’t always easy.  But it can be tasty with milk.


* Just as men don’t eat strawberry ice cream–preferring chocolate instead–, they also prefer grape Jelly.

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