Hey Bill Murray, We'll Make You a Peanut Butter and Pickle Sandwich!

Julia Bainbridge
Food Editor
January 22, 2014

Photo credit: Julia Bainbridge

Bill Murray, who Jezebel called “the king of unannounced hangouts," stopped by Reddit this week to participate in its Ask Me Anything series. Naturally, it was the food-related bit that caught our attention:

pinwhale: Do you like peanut butter and pickle sandwiches? I do.

_BillMurray: No, I like pickles, I put pickles in lots of sandwiches. I’m big on pickles, but I’ve never had them with peanut butter. I really like peanut butter though. I’m kind of surprised because I like them both so much that I haven’t combined them.

But, Bill! You might be missing out on one of the simplest pleasures one can make from grocery items already in your cupboards! As Dwight Garner of the New York Times expressed it two years ago, “The vinegary snap of chilled pickle cuts, like a dash of irony, against the stoic unctuousness of peanut butter. The sandwich is a thrifty and unacknowledged American classic.”

We agree, and we’ll prove it to you, Bill, in our in-house taste test.

The bread: Seeded multigrain, for texture.

The peanut butter: Creamy. All the better for adhering the pickles to the bread. Must be spread on both pieces of bread.

The pickles: Blogger Joy the Baker has a great recipe using bread-and-butter pickles, whose sweetness would probably be an ideal foil for the nuttiness. Since one of our trusty editors dislikes B&Bs, however, we tested kosher dills. They were spears, so we cut them in half lengthwise, and patted them with paper towels to remove excess moisture.

Then we got to snacking.

Taster #1: “OK, this was WEIRD but also really good. I reiterate my previous point that bread-and-butter pickles are gross. Not only that, they totally would not have worked in this context. Because the whole appeal is the salty/briny versus the sweet/creamy. I would totally eat this sandwich again.”

Taster #2: ”Peanut butter is the definition of the smooth, creamy, unctuous nutty flavor profile—peanut in its most palatable form. Pickles are piquant and bright, and I love a sour note in almost anything. Sweet-sour together; it’s classic. I think I might like this even better with chunky peanut butter, for more texture.”

Taster #3: “Surprisingly good. I mean, I shouldn’t have been surprised, given the proven goodness of salty and sweet, but upon first hearing the combo, I just thought: pregnant food. But it’s good. And I’d eat ten more if it got Bill here…”

Bill, come have an unannounced hangout with us and we’ll introduce you to the wonderful world of the Peanut Butter and Pickle!