Australia vs The Peanut Butter and Jelly Sandwich

Every pure blooded American knows that the Peanut Butter and Jelly sandwich is the greatest sandwich ever created and was in all likelihood the manna from heaven that the Israelites ate off the ground whilst wandering around in the wilderness for 40 years.

Imagine my surprise when I first got off the boat here and looked around for a peanut butter and jelly shop only to discover that this nutritious holy sacrament turns out to be a crucifix dipped in holy garlic water to the hedonistic Australians who offer Vegemite to their false gods of sandwich spreads.

Australians cannot wrap their heads around this most holy of sandwiches and when you talk to them about it their eyes will squint into a watery frown and they tell you, “You mean Peanut Butter and JAM! right?”

Answer: NO! Peanut Butter and JELLY Damnit!

So to any Australians that stumble upon this lexicon of cultural AsiaPac truth, let me explain it to you once and for all right here.

Jelly, when used in the title “Peanut Butter and Jelly”,  is in fact the universal generic term in describing these delicious sandwiches regardless what the technical name of the spread they consist of. You can make Peanut Butter JELLY sandwiches out of Jelly, Jam, or Preserves and we still call it, a “Peanut Butter and JELLY” sandwich.

Get ready Australia, because the images below are about to BLOW. YOUR. MIND!

Jelly – Jelly is a lightly coloured gelatinous type of Jam that you could almost call ‘Jam-Lite’ which I have not seen in Australia. There are no seeds or pieces of fruit in this form.

Jam – This is what you are more used to and is a clearish fruit preserve that you normally put on your toast. It contains both fruit juice and pieces of fruit finely chopped up.

Preserves – This is more of a fruit puréed and contains large chunks of the fruit and full seeds within it.

This can be made out of any flavour of jam as well. My favourite is Strawberry, but a few flavours Australia might not be very familiar with are Grape, Black Berry, Blueberry, Apricot, Orange Marmalade, Plum, Red Raspberry and Boysenberry.

Two of the most popular American Jams are Smuckers and the more gourmet Knotts Berry Farm.


Stay away from the mixed PB & J jars such as Goobers. (Image below) This is a cardinal sin of PB & J making!

You can make a Peanut Butter and Jelly sandwich with any type of loafed bread or peanut butter whether it is crunchy or smooth. The variety of combinations of Jams, breads, and peanut butters can be overwhelming to the novice sandwich maker so please start simple. Do not fear them!

My personal prefered Peanut Butter to use is Jif however Skippy is an acceptable substitute in the US. Growing up we also had novelty brands such as Peter Pan (when not recalled for salmonella)  and Superman peanut butter.

Everyone makes their PB & J’s differently. Some like a heavy spread of peanut butter with a light spread of Jam to prevent seepage out the sides, but I prefer a heavy side of both with an extra side of seepage.

Tip: Put the peanut butter on one of the slices of bread first. If you put the jelly on first, then dip your jelly covered knife into the peanut butter, you may have jelly residue festering in the non refrigerated peanut butter jar in your cupboard.

After both sides are spread to your liking, attach the two slices together so that the shape of the cut matches identically. Wrap the sandwich in a paper towel as there will no doubt be messy elements seeping out the sides no matter how careful you try to be.

If you decide not to eat the sandwich whole and want to add fancy cuts to it (normally more popular with children) you can slice the sandwich in half or diagonally so as to create two matching triangles.

Eat and Enjoy

But not you Australia! Oooooh no, not you. In time maybe you will develop your palette to the high sophistication of the PB & J, but until then, enjoy your Vegemite, Butter and toast.

For more information on Jam go here


~ by Nickolas Gardynyr on October 14, 2009.

7 Responses to “Australia vs The Peanut Butter and Jelly Sandwich”

  1. JIFF RULES! and Grape Jam, too!

  2. I am an Australian and have eaten PB & J sandwiches since I was a little child. I am now 30 and still enjoy them and so do my three children. We do however enjoy Vegemite also.

  3. I’m an Australian and I dig the Peanut Butter and Jelly sandwich, so nyah…

    But seriously, why the warning about Smuckers Goober Grape? It’s actually the only form of ‘jelly’ jelly I’ve ever seen in Australian supermarkets. And it tastes pretty good.

    Is it the combination of the two in the one jar that’s all wrong about it? Or the assumption that your peanut butter and jelly ratio will be equal?

  4. Peanut Butter & Honey rules! Followed closely by Peanut Butter & Apricot Jam.

  5. My step-daughter in Galveston, Texas sends to us in Perth, jars of Peter Pan peanut creamy butter every year – my gosh it is about the best peanut butter I have ever tasted.
    Peanut butter and jam works well, as my wife is american and we have enough choices of jam, plum especially, in Western Australia, and all works well with it. Though honey and peanut butter works good too. For my generation though, we used to call it peanut paste and using this american name of peanut butter takes some thinking about.

  6. 1. Just because Americans like something doesn’t mean everyone else has to, nor does the American way of doing things have to be the way everyone else does them. Some misguided souls even call Grid Iron “football”.
    2. The goo made from peanuts (and resembling dehydrated diarrhoea) is not a dairy product and should therefore not be called “butter”. It was called Peanut Paste in Western Australia until the local government gave in to Kraft’s complaining.
    3. One of my colleagues from years back called peanut paste “penis paste” and its Australian cousin “vaginamite”

    • I think you missed the point of this post and blog. It’s all in good fun. I’m obviously not the American-Australian who you think I am. But thanks for the insight and taking the time.

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