Welcome to yet another review of the 100 foods an omnivore in DC should partake of. Read the full list.
Today, class, we will discuss s’mores and peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. I choose to discuss them together because both are delicious, ooey-gooey, comfort foods of our childhood. Both are sweet and gushey. Both are sandwiches. Most importantly, both make (most) everyone in America go… “Yummmmm”.
First we’ll ponder the s’more, number 61 on the list. The smore, a simple sandwich created by smooshing a block of chocolate (typically the Hershey’s milk chocolate bars you can break off into squares) with a toasted marshmellow (to your personal degree of satisfaction, ranging from very rare to cajun-style blackened) between two graham crackers. So basic, yet so satisfying.
My personal s’more is exactly like the one pictured above. I aim for a golden-brown cracked marshmellow with white fluff oozing out the sides, smothering the chocolate, and making it melt. Layered between two halves of a graham cracker, it drips down my face while I eat it. Most people usually partake of smores on camping trips. Those of us less inclined to sleep on the cold, hard, nature-infested ground outside under varying climates go to Cosi. That’s right, your neighborhood salad and sandwich spot, Cosi has s’mores for dessert. You didn’t know that? Go! Go now. WLDC will still be here when you get back, marshmellow fluff mixed with chocolate on your chin. Still here? Okay then…back to business at hand.
When I first moved up to DC I thought Cosi was pronounced co-sigh. Silly newbie, I was. Cosi is pronounced cozy, and I think that’s mostly due to the fact that during the evening hours you can find couples and groups of friends gathered around a fake science-nerd jelly fire toasting marshmellows to make s’mores. You can get a serving for 2 or 4, and you can even get a variation with big Oreo cookies substituting for the graham crackers. (That version is for chocoholics, exclusively.) There are plenty of variation to s’mores – adding peanut butter, bananas (bad choice if you’re on Top Chef), or strawberries are particularly popular versions. But how do YOU like your s’more? Do you light your ‘mallow on fire? Are you inclined to eat it as an open-faced sandwich creation? Everyone has a s’more story, tell me yours in the comments.
Now on to the other delicious sandwich, the PB&J.
Number 13 on the list is the peanut butter and jelly sandwich. You’ve had it (unless you’ve got a crippling nut allergy) and you love it. It’s your go-to sandwich when your fridge is empty. It’s great for road-trips, for last-minute lunches, dinners or even breakfasts. You can dress it up, you can eat it plain. The process of making the peanut butter and jelly sandwich is widely documented…it is THE peanut, peanut butter and jelly! (Click that link at your own risk, it might stick with you for the rest of the day. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.)
My co-worker Stephen has a huge tub of peanut butter (we’re talking Costco size) in our cabinet at work. “Cause it never goes bad!”, he says. He eats a PB&J at least three times a week, without fail. The love of the PB&J is catching too, plenty of people walk by him and say “ooooh that looks yummy!” - it’s like your favorite socks. You forget about them ’til you wear them again, and then you remember why they’re you’re favorite. Googling PB&J, you come up with all sorts of things. It’s a cult classic. They even make a Silicone PB&J spreader, with two color-coded ends so that you don’t mix your peanut butter with your jelly in the jars.
Like s’mores, PB&J can have plenty of add-ons. You can change the style of peanut butter to crunchy, to extra-crunchy, to other spreads, like almond butter. Change the jelly to strawberry jam, to raspberry, even to fluff. Add in fruits, change the bread to bagels, to pita, to english muffins. The possibilities are all but endless.
So tell me, folks. How do you take your s’more? What’s on your PB&J? Dish in the comments.