One has many obstacles to surmount when constructing the proper peanut butter (PB) and jelly (J) sandwich.  The entire process is fraught with peril and risk to one’s own safety and emotional well-being. As a result, this guide has been produced to assist the intrepid sandwich artist as he or she approaches this daunting task.

Scared man eating a peanut butter and jelly sandwich

Failure to adhere to the cautions within, improper planning and execution, or foolhardy attempts to freelance or deviate from established practice may result in accidental death, dismemberment, and unsatisfying dining experiences.

Bread Selection

Proper selection of a bread platform is of paramount importance.

One may find that the use of bargain basement (read "non-cellophane, double-wrapped) bread may result in tearing and shaky performance of the PB&J conveyance. Skimping here may result in a non-starter, resulting in expensive cost overruns and re-budgeting.

Methodology of Order

In what order will the delicious food stuffs be added to the creation?

The pragmatist will state that the application of the peanut butter initially is sound from an engineering standpoint, as the adhering nature of the PB acts as the proverbial glue that holds the project together.

However, the adventurous soul opts for a jelly premiering first, as the free-form and devil-may-care attitude of the gelatinous substance makes for a more unpredictable experience, especially as the less-permeable peanut butter first contacts the jelly.

Crust Issues

Now, at this stage, a serious issue arises, information regarding which should have been ascertained prior to the beginning of construction: whether to remove the crust off the bread.

While many believe this step should be further down the sequence ladder, this, without a doubt, is fallacy. One must decide prior to application of the food stuffs.

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One school of thought states that the crust should be removed before any PB or J are applied to the bread. Reason being, removal of the crust after the PB&J are present may well result in residual food material making its way onto the now detritus crust, posing the risk of finger and hand contamination upon removal.  

However, a competing school of thought posits that the crust acts as a structural stabilizer, ensuring a smooth and problem-free application of the PB&J, after which the crust can be safely removed. The debate rages on…

PBJ crust sandwich

Spreadable Delivery System (SDS)

This is yet another area where creativity and the use of ingenuity play a role in the process.

Spoons, forks, sporks, Ouija planchettes, protractors, rulers, obsolete cell phones and even the occasional finger are acceptable tools to use at this stage. While many will default to the ubiquitous "butter" knife to apply the layers of goodness to the bread, one might find a situation where either (A) no butter knives are currently serviceable, or (B) only one butter knife is available.

One might ask why two SDS’s are necessary for this operation. Only those who are truly horrible human beings would even suggest the use of one implement to approach this endeavor, and any further discussion of the issue is irrelevant and frankly blasphemous.

Ratios

While certainly subjective to the individual tastes of the consumer, the ratio of PB to J must be considered from a safety standpoint.

While an overabundance of jelly can cause the sandwich to approach the level of a dessert due to high sugar content, it is not a dangerous option, save for potential leakage due to a weak pressure seal (see "Bread Selection" and "Crust Issues" above). Conversely, if one were to overindulge as to the level of PB on the sandwich, death or serious bodily injury may result. Peanut Butter naturally adheres to the inner linings of the mouth and throat. One need only experiment with a spoonful of PB consumed without the benefit of a beverage to see the effects.

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In order to pursue a safe dining experience, an adequate ratio of lubricating jelly proportionate to the level of sticky peanut butter is necessary.

Beverage

As aforementioned, a cold beverage is ideal for the safe delivery of the newly constructed PB&J sandwich to your gastrointestinal regions. To discuss further would complicate the process unnecessarily.

 As has been shown, the decision to undertake the construction of a Peanut Butter and Jelly sandwich is not to be taken lightly. One who fails to take appropriate caution, submit to careful forethought and planning, and commit to a standard of excellence does so at their own peril. 

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