Review: Peanut Butter & Co. Rip-Roarin’ Raspberry Preserves, Seriously Strawberry Jam, #PBJRevolution Contest, & I Used to Hate PB&J
Junk Food Nation, a LOT to get to today. First, a confession: I used to not like peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. For reals. Yeah, I dunno. I grew up eating plenty of funky foods across the Asian cornucopia, but straight up American combos I always had little experience with. I mean, it took me a while to even grow to like ketchup. I’d eat peanut butter sandwiches, and I’d eat jelly sandwiches, but mixing them together? It was like asking me to eat mustard and honey together (which now, ironically, is what I cook my pork shoulders in!)
But yes, I learned to love PB&J, and now the good folks at Peanut Butter & Co. want you to also. Because it’s back-to-school time (ALREADY), and PB&J’s are a grade-school lunch staple, they want to REVOLUTIONIZE the PB&J. More importantly, they want to know how YOU would revolutionize the PB&J? To help with that, I am holding a contest for two jars of jam/jelly and two jars of peanut butter from Peanut Butter & Co. Oh yes, you heard me right. Details at the bottom of the post.
Meanwhile, to help get me started on my #PBJRevolution, they shipped me two jars of their jam/jelly, which I’d never had before: Peanut Butter & Co. Rip-Roarin’ Raspberry Preserves & Seriously Strawberry Jam!
Peanut Butter & Co. Rip-Roarin’ Raspberry Preserves and Seriously Strawberry Jam are NOT the ONLY two flavors Peanut Butter & Co. makes – they also have grape and apricot. Before I get to my own #PBJRevolution, I wanted to briefly review these jams/jellies.
First: Peanut Butter & Co. Rip-Roarin’ Raspberry Preserves!
I REALLY liked this jar of Peanut Butter & Co. Rip-Roarin’ Raspberry Preserves. Deep red in color, these preserves were nice and lumpy and full of raspberry seeds. When I placed the spoon in my mouth, the super-sweet taste of raspberry exploded everywhere. It was like eating a sauce made of Fruit Roll-ups. I mean that in a good way. All I was looking for here was spot-on raspberry flavor, and I got it…with plenty of sweetness.
Next: Peanut Butter & Co. Seriously Strawberry Jam!
I liked this Peanut Butter & Co. Seriously Strawberry Jam, but honestly, not as much as the raspberry preserves. Don’t get me wrong – it tasted great. Nice smooth texture, plenty of strawberry flavor. Just as sweet as the raspberry, but with less fruit pulp. This seemed more…blended, if that makes sense. I’m definitely more of a lumpy fruit spread kind-of-guy. The Junk Food Gal, however, is a huge fan of strawberry and she LOVED this jam. So go fig – it’s a preference thing.
Both jams and jellies were tasty, so I was excited to make my #PBJRevolution creation. To get inspiration, I looked at this BuzzFeed article re: PB&J sandwich hacks. And, of course, I needed some quality peanut butter, so Peanut Butter & Co. mailed me two jars of my favorite one: Cinnamon Raisin Swirl.
With tools in hand, it was time to start my sandwich.
#PBJRevolution Step 1: Decide what type of PBJ you’re going to make.
I decided to combine three things I saw on that Buzzfeed list – (1) using two jellies, (2) doing the PBJ-wall-lock-in technique, and (3) the grilled-cheese-technique.
#PBJRevolution Step 2: Gather ingredients
See the above-usual-suspects…all the way down to the cheapest white bread I could find and plus some butter to get that nice toast on the outside.
#PBJRevolution Step 3: Create the PB foundation.
See what I did here? I the jelly does in the gap and when I cover it – SEALED IT. The raisins act like bricks, I swear.
#PBJRevolution Step 4: Lay down the jelly!
Basically two HUGE dollops from each jar. And NO USING THE SAME SPOON FOR EACH JAR, you heathens. Wash that ish.
#PBJRevolution Step 5: butter the outside
Like any classic grilled cheese, the butter on the outside is necessary to (1) get that nice color on the outside, and (2) prevent your crappy white bread from sticking to the pan like a novice.
#PBJRevolution Step 6: get a better camera.
No sorry, Step 6 is to start browning that sandwich! MMMM
#PBJRevolution Step 7: why are you stopping? KEEP BROWNING!
#PBJRevolution Step 8: remove sandwich from pan to plate.
See, I think the peanut butter wall worked! No jelly leaking out…yet.
#PBJRevolution Step 9: Slice in half to see your success.
#PBJRevolution Step 10: take a close up photo
You know how when you spread peanut butter or jelly on toast, it sort of melts from the heat from the toast? Multiply that times 1000x. The jelly was molten.
#PBJRevolution Step 11: EAT.
Let me tell you, this sandwich was epic, but OH SO HOT. This is actually the first time I’ve tried PB&J this way, and it was delicious. The bread and butter formed the perfect outer crust. My peanut butter wall? Didn’t work as well as intended, but it was ok. Everything melted on the pan, so once I took a bite, the wall and everything inside came exploding out.
Remember how I said it was hot? Yeah, I scorched the sh*t out of my mouth and tongue. WORD TO THE WISE: LET THIS THING COOL!
But flavor-wise? AWESOME. Essentially, cooking this thing on a pan heated up ALL the sugar within (from the peanut butter and jelly alike), and (even though I know it didn’t REALLY do this) it tasted like the sugar was caramelized. All the sugars from the peanut butter and jelly melted and mixed together into a huge pool of GOODNESS IN MY MOUTH. Boiling hot goodness, but still.
So go out there and make YOUR modernized crazy PB&J sandwich. What would you do, or what is your current go-to-method of PB&J? Let me know in the comments below. That’s not the contest – but I’m still curious. TELL ME YOUR PB&J STORIES!
JAMS AND JELLIES PURCHASED AT: via mail! Can be bought online here.
COST: $6.00 per jar.
*** TWITTER CONTEST DETAILS ***
Ok, so you know how PB&Co. sent me two jars of jelly and two jars of peanut butter? Well, they want to send YOU the same thing! Seriously. So let me tell you how can you get your hands on a TWO (2) JARS of PEANUT BUTTER & CO. PEANUT BUTTER (any flavor) AND TWO (2) JARS of PEANUT BUTTER & CO. JAM/JELLY/PRESERVES (any flavor):
1. Join Twitter. This is a Twitter contest, so man up and sign up. I keep telling you to do this. So do it.
2. Once you’re on Twitter, look for my tweets about Peanut Butter & Co.! To best find these tweets, follow me on Twitter here – it’s not required, but it’ll make everything a whole lot easier when you’re looking for my Peanut Butter & Co. tweets.
3. Re-Tweet the Peanut Butter & Co. Tweets that I’ll post periodically through the week and weekend. AND THAT’S IT. You’ll automatically be entered in a drawing for TWO (2) JARS of PEANUT BUTTER & CO. PEANUT BUTTER (any flavor) AND TWO (2) JARS of PEANUT BUTTER & CO. JAM/JELLY/PRESERVES (any flavor).
4. Contest ends at 11:59pm EST on Monday, August 25, 2014. Get all your Re-Tweets in before then! I’ll announce the winner on Tuesday, August 26, 2014. I think.
5. US residents are the only ones eligible to participate, and no one with PO Boxes…AND no Hawaii or Alaska. I don’t make the rules. Wait, I kind of do. But whatever – Peanut Butter & Co. will only ship within the US and to no PO Boxes, and no Hawaii or Alaska. SORRY! So keep that in mind.
6. Friends can and SHOULD enter, since I’ve become friends with so many of you over Facebook, Twitter, comments, etc. Family cannot enter, but is encouraged to re-tweet anyways and have THEIR friends enter.
7. The more times you Re-Tweet, the more times you’ll be entered! The winners of the Candy Corn Oreos DELUGED THEIR TIMELINES with Junk Food Guy tweets. You can do the same thing!
So that’s it, Junk Food Nation! Enter my Twitter Contest and win a TWO (2) JARS of PEANUT BUTTER & CO. PEANUT BUTTER (any flavor) AND TWO (2) JARS of PEANUT BUTTER & CO. JAM/JELLY/PRESERVES (any flavor) mailed directly to your door. DO IT!
Junk Food Guy