Peanut butter and jelly is the quintessential childhood favorite – a sandwich loved by all.
I love it, you love it, Jay-Z loves it. There’s no denying it: the peanut butter and jelly sandwich is more popular than a Princess Leia slave cosplayer at a Star Wars convention. Despite the sandwich’s apparent fame and esteem, surprisingly few people are aware of its origins. How exactly did PB&J come to be?
Late one night, fruit preserve salesman Barnabas B. Goobersworth broke into the laboratory of George Washington Carver. When Goobersworth refused to leave, the situation escalated. What began as a chase around the laboratory developed into a full-fledged food fight, with Goobersworth slinging jelly and Carver tossing peanut butter. After the fiasco, the laboratory was a complete mess. Unfortunately, Carver had forgotten to purchase paper towels at the local Walmart. As a result, he was forced to clean up the peanut butter and jelly debris using a loaf of white bread. The rest is history.
Okay, maybe that never happened, but sometimes history needs to be spiced up a bit. Contrary to popular belief, Napoleon wasn’t that short, Marco Polo didn’t actually bring back pasta from China, and John F. Kennedy never called himself a jelly donut. Shocking, right?
In fact, it seems George Washington Carver wasn’t even the first man to create peanut butter. Marcellus Gilmore Edson of Montreal, Quebec patented a technique to manufacture peanut paste way back in 1884, only twenty years after Carver was born. Those dang Canucks beat us again!
In 1998, ice cream behemoth Ben & Jerry’s decided to produce a Peanut Butter and Jelly flavor. It lasted but a single year on the market and now resides in the Ben & Jerry’s Flavor Graveyard in Waterbury, Vermont.
Nevertheless, Ben & Jerry’s is giving a peanut butter and fruit spread ice cream another go. Peanut Butter Jam Session features peanut butter ice cream with raspberry and crunchy peanut butter swirls. I picked up a carton at Target, where the flavor is being sold exclusively.
In appearance, Ben & Jerry’s Peanut Butter Jam Session is a creamy, white color tinged with the swirls of light brown peanut butter and red raspberry. The ice cream carries the heavy scent of peanuts, but any presence of raspberry remains undetectable to the nose.
The white ice cream base provides a creamy, nutty flavor and houses the peanut butter and raspberry swirls. The swirls exquisitely complement the ice cream, providing for a delicate balance of sweet and nutty flavors that serve to tantalize the taste buds. Neither flavor manages to overwhelm the other.
The raspberry swirl offers a modest fruity quality to offset the creamy nuttiness of the peanut butter ice cream. The light berry taste pleases the palate with its sweet and toothsome tartness while not crossing over to achingly saccharine.
However, the true star of this ice cream is the “crunchy” peanut butter swirl. When I first tasted Peanut Butter Jam Session, I expected my taste buds to be hit with an all too familiar artificial peanut butter flavor — the kind frequently found in snacks such as Reese’s Cups and peanut butter Ritz Bits. Surprisingly, the peanut butter swirl presents a natural nutty taste without seeming too bold.
Texturally, the swirl is spot-on: the globs of crunchy peanut butter scattered throughout the ice cream introduce a slightly grainy consistency similar to chunky peanut butter. After consuming a bowl of Peanut Butter Jam Session, you will actually feel like you’ve recently eaten peanut butter.
In the past, I’ve experienced numerous Ben & Jerry’s varieties where the flavors contributed by the add-ins become drowned out by the richness of the ice cream base. Fortunately, the assortment of flavors housed inside a pint of Peanut Butter Jam Session can be experienced without hindrance, as no single flavor outdoes the others. The ice cream’s balance of nutty and sweet flavors has been executed with remarkable finesse, and I highly urge peanut butter fans to rush to their nearest Target to pick up a carton. I would happily purchase this flavor again.
(Nutrition Facts – 1/2 cup – 270 calories, 160 calories from fat, 18 grams of total fat, 8 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 65 milligrams of cholesterol, 110 milligrams of sodium, 24 grams of total carbohydrates, less than 1 gram of dietary fiber, 19 grams of sugars, and 6 grams of protein.)
Other Ben & Jerry’s Peanut Butter Jam Session reviews:
On Second Scoop
Item: Ben & Jerry’s Peanut Butter Jam Session Ice Cream
Purchased Price: $3.84
Size: 1 pint
Purchased at: Target
Rating: 9 out of 10
Pros: Flavor swirls complement each other well. Balanced nuttiness and sweetness. Princess Leia slave cosplayers.
Cons: Goobersworth. Food fights in laboratories.