Peanut butter porn

I'll do anything you say.

I’ll do anything you say.

I love peanut butter. Passionately.

I like anything and everything with peanut butter – peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, peanut butter on carrot sticks or celery sticks, peanut butter on sliced apples, peanut butter and honey on toast, peanut butter mixed up with bananas, peanut butter cookies, peanut butter fudge, peanut butter straight out of the jar (licked off the spoon), and – most of all – any variety of peanut butter and chocolate combinations.

I always knew that not everyone loves peanut butter as much as I do. But, I grew up in a world where most people liked peanut butter and ate peanut butter and its creamy goodness was freely and regularly available. I had a happy childhood.

Then I left America for Europe and made a discovery that was difficult for me to comes to terms with. It turns out PB love is a particularly American phenomenon. Not only do many Brits and French not eat peanut butter, but a notable portion of them have an active distaste for it. Indeed, they often make fun of Americans for liking something so crass and mouth-coating. I know French people who find peanut butter repulsive and view it as the archetype of American culinary deprivation. Clearly, they have never eaten a peanut butter banana sandwich.

Usually the peanut-butter-chocolate pairing is the zenith of their misguided disgust. This (delightful) coupling is about as American as you can get: peanut butter chocolate cookies, peanut butter chocolate cheesecake, peanut butter chocolate brownies, and peanut butter chocolate sundaes are not things you’re going to find on the menu in London or Paris.

When I first arrived in the UK, it used to be that I couldn’t even find Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups on the supermarket candy shelf; I had to make a special trip to a store specializing in imported candies to get my fix. Over the years, the British market clued up to the pleasure of peanut butter, and the scrumptious cups started to become more widely distributed.

The Brits consumed £50 million of peanut butter in 2011 (source: Mintel). That sounds like a lot, until you compare it to the £1.1 billion ($1.8 billion) that Americans spent on peanut butter (source: Businessweek). Americans consume five times as much peanut butter per capita as their deprived compatriots across the pond. Peanut butter is eaten in 91% of American households. The remaining 9% live unfulfilled lives.

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5 Comments

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5 responses to “Peanut butter porn

  1. Ed Avis

    The Reese’s cups are strangely un-peanut-buttery in a way. They are kind of oily. If the French would stop messing around with foie gras and the like and instead apply their undoubted culinary élan to the production of superior peanut chocolates, all of Western civilization would benefit.

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