Sliced Bread and the PB & J

Reader Cindy asks if the invention of one of America’s most distinctive sandwiches, the peanut butter & jelly, had any thing to do with the introduction of sliced bread. Based on what I know, the answer is yes. The PB & J was supposedly invented by American troops in World War II, who, either out of boredom or desperation, were wont to mix and match various elements of their ration kits. For reasons that should be obvious by now, many of those kits contained pre-sliced bread. Soldiers became accustomed to the PB & J, so it’s said, and turned their families onto it when they came home from the war.

Seems plausible enough to me. I only wish my dad passed a sandwich as good on to me when I was a boy. His great contribution to our home cuisine was a sandwich made of peanut butter and Miracle Whip, which, for those of you who don’t know what that is, is a sort of sweet mayonnaise that people from Indiana enjoy. I remember eating more than a few of those as a kid, but now all I can do is look back and say: yuck.

UPDATE: Reader MIke adds:

Wait, you need to explain what Miracle Whip is? As a midwesterner, I feel truly sorry for anyone who has never known the sheer perfection of a BLT made with toasted bread and miracle whip!

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