Dwight Garner hips me to the Peanut Butter and Pickle sandwich, which he insists is a “thrifty and unacknowledged American classic.”
Why can’t the peanut butter and pickle sandwich get a little respect? A few weeks ago, I began calling and e-mailing smart food people — chefs, journalists, cookbook writers, editors — to get their take on the combination. I expected to get some high-fives from this crowd, the way I would in book circles if I had unearthed an unjustly neglected writer, another Dawn Powell.
Instead, I got crickets. Long, baffled silences. Not one of the people I spoke with had even tried a PB&P. A few reacted with outright disgust, the way people did when they heard that Julia Roberts had married Lyle Lovett.
My first reaction to hearing this, was, “Jesus H. Christ, that is disgusting.” But, by the time I finished the article all I could think about was, “why don’t I have any goddamn Wonder Bread and bread-and-butter pickles to try this STAT.” It strikes me as coming from the same place as the Butter and Sugar Sandwich, another Depression-era staple.