Above: Peanut butter banana cupcakes, with some margarita ones thrown in for good measure. Aww yeah.
Peanut butter is really normal, right? If you’re American, you have probably had approximately a bajillion peanut butter and jelly sandwiches in your lifetime. They’re so ubiquitous that we can just say PB&J. No need for real words! And of course, the amazing thing is that peanut butter is vegan, and when people say “You’re vegan? What do you eat?” you can say, you know, normal stuff, like peanut butter sandwiches, vegetables, shit like that. Then you can mention that Oreos are vegan and just boggle their minds, which is pretty great.
And then you move to Europe. Or, I moved to Europe. Germany to be exact. And I moved in with a family who have a pretty normal German diet (lots of potatoes and cold cuts and who knows what else) and they do not eat peanut butter. It’s not like peanut butter is completely unheard of in Germany. It’s available in grocery stores, next to the wide array of chocolate spreads. But as far as I can tell, Germans are grossed out by every way that I can possibly think of to eat peanut butter, so I have no idea how the Germans who actually buy it use it.
Here are some ways that I like to eat peanut butter:
Peanut butter and jelly sandwiches
Peanut butter and banana sandwiches
Peanut butter and agave nectar sandwiches (messiest meal ever)
Peanut butter spread on quartered apples
Carrot sticks dipped in peanut butter
Peanut butter spread on a tortilla
Peanut butter off a spoon
Peanut butter cookies
Peanut butter cake/cupcakes
Peanut sauce on noodles
Ants on a log (celery, peanut butter, raisins)
Peanut butter on a spoon with raisins on top
Peanut butter on Wasa crispbread
Peanut butter on various other types of crackers
Squares of dark chocolate dipped into peanut butter
Chocolate peanut butter ice cream
Peanut butter filled pretzels, or normal pretzels dipped in peanut butter
Peanut butter on toast
Basically, I fucking love peanut butter. And I am living with a family who thinks that’s really weird. They actually think that everything I eat is weird– brown rice, beans, quinoa, soy milk, I don’t know what else. I’ve actually become really self-conscious about eating or making food in front of them. Once I was spreading peanut butter on apples in the kitchen and the mother came in and said “Peanut butter on apples?” and I was annoyed. Yes, I am overly sensitive, I know that. I am in every other aspect of my life too! Anyway, I started sneaking peanut butter. Well, it was more like, I would put peanut butter on two pieces of toast, and grab a banana and bring it back to my room and make a peanut butter and banana sandwich (possibly my favorite application of the holy paste) because I didn’t want to hear “Peanut butter and banana? Seriously?”
But in seven short days I will be back in America, land of the free (as well as land of Big Macs and George Bush…oh well, nobody’s perfect), home of the peanut butter and banana sandwich. I could not be happier.
But you know what’s also good on a sandwich with bananas? Vegan nutella, also known as Chocoreale. Which I can get here but not in the States. Shit.