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Pass the peanut butter! It’s the perfect pantry staple. Sweet, salty, nutty, and fatty, it hits all of the right notes to subside the deepest of hunger pangs. And while my go-to combo for peanut butter is jelly or jam, I was surprised to know that throughout history, peanut butter has had many partners between two slices of sandwich bread. Are all peanut butter sandwich combinations edible? Well, that’s for you to decide.

Peanut Butter And Onions

Via: Cookthinker/Flickr

Peanut butter and onions. Yes, that was a combination. There is a sandwich with these two ingredients in them. And while you may think it’s a bit odd, given the era of its creation, you’ll understand this strange unity. During the early 20th century meat became more and more expensive, so many turned to cheaper staple foods and turned them into the main dish. This is seen with baked onions stuffed with peanut butter and crumbled stale bread, so having a no-bake sandwich version of the fancier dinner was a logical evolution, especially when you didn’t want to raise your gas and electric bills for turning on appliances for a long period.

Peanut Butter And Cottage Cheese

In the 1940s, when pennies were pinched by most, the government bureau released radio shows and print media. The hope was that the media-released information could guide Americans on how to eat with less. A pamphlet titled Money Saving Main Dishes from the Bureau of Nutrition and Home Economics had a recipe for peanut butter, cottage cheese, and diced pickle sandwich. The Tenement Museum, in Manhattan’s Lower East Side, has on display a similar guideline for American immigrants, and it too mentioned eating peanut butter and cottage sandwiches. Whether you fry the sandwiches or eat them raw, the texture of the cottage cheese doesn’t melt. Sadly, the cottage cheese does little to amplify flavor. The moisture of the cottage cheese only dilutes the peanut butter, creating a benign and beige sandwich.

Peanut Butter And Pickles

Via: brooklynfarmgirl/Flickr

Peanut butter’s tangy partner — pickles — is something like tuna casserole. It has a very loyal following, but it also has a strong group of haters. The pickles, coated in a tangy and sleek brine, don’t stick completely to the peanut butter. But many swear that the sweetness of the peanut butter counters the sharp acidity of the pickles making a sweet-savory combination that’s out of this world. My vote still isn’t in on this one.

Peanut Butter And Mayo

Via: Loli Poison/Flickr

The Depression Era’s frugality, coupled with new shelf-stable food innovations, curated the peanut butter and mayonnaise sandwich. Just like the cottage cheese combination, the peanut butter and mayonnaise sandwich is a very beige sandwich that reflects the culinary mindset of many in that era. The sanatorium movement, made famous by John Harvey Kellogg (yes, the same Kellogg that made cereal), saw meat-heavy and overly spiced foods to overwork the body. Spices or certain sharply acidic fruits and vegetables were considered unhealthy, stimulating the body in the same way caffeine affects the body and mind. For Kellogg, these were must-avoid foods. This peanut butter mayonnaise sandwich was after the bland food wave, but it shows just how strong that mindset was held in society.