Well, it finally happened. At 28 years and 10 months old , I ate my first nut butter and jelly sandwich.
Being part of that 1% (and growing!) of the population that's allergic to peanuts, I never got to have that paragon of the American lunch: the peanut butter and jelly sandwich. Everyone else seemed to eat them all the time. Even Foodgoat ate them daily for years, keeping two jars and a loaf of bread in his car. It was hard being different. And jelly sandwiches are not all that interesting. I had to content myself with butter-and-sugar sandwiches.
But then last week I went to Trader Joe's, where I spied, next to the poisonous peanut butter, jars of creamy almond butter. "A delicious and natural alternative to peanut butter!" a sign proclaimed. I can eat almonds, without so much as an itch, though for many years I didn't know it. One day I bravely decided to try them, and popped a Hershey's Kiss with Almonds into my mouth. But there was no almond in it! Just chocolate. I had never heard of this happening before! Was it a sign? I decided to try again. This time ... there was a nut ... 10 minutes later, I was still alive. I could eat almonds.
With that in mind, I picked up the almond butter. That week, for lunch, I made myself an almond butter and raspberry jelly sandwich on wheat bread. The almond butter smelled like peanut butter, which made me nervous. The almond butter looked exactly like peanut butter, very thick and sticky, which didn't help. Foodgoat reported that it tasted very close to peanut butter. With a glass of soy milk on hand, I took a bite.
Hmmm ... I taste nuttiness, definitely almond-ish... and sweetness ... and hey! My tongue is sticking to the roof of my mouth!!
Now I see what the big deal is: something-butter and jelly sandwiches are good. An intriguing combinations of flavors. A weirdly fun experience in textures. A healthy protein-filled snack. And really, really easy to make.