Depression Era PEANUT BUTTER + MAYO Sandwich (Pickle & Onion, too) | HARD TIMES


Greetings, my beautiful lovelies! It’s Emmy! Welcome back to another episode of Hard Times, where I explore food and recipes from times of food scarcity and hardship. Today, I’m gonna be making a very simple recipe that was suggested to me by Jerry. Jerry, thank you so much for bringing this to my attention. I have never heard of this particular combination before, and it is peanut butter and mayo. In a sandwich. Mayo as in mayonnaise. I do have plenty of mayonnaise recipes. In my retro/vintage recipe playlist, if you haven’t seen those, I’ll put them up there. Lot’s of Jell-O and mayo, but I’ve never had it with peanut butter before. So, this recipe stems from the times of the Great Depression, where there was not a lot to go around and so things like peanut butter were a great way to get some protein and stretch the dollar. So you just use plain white bread, add some peanut butter, and then various things were added to it. So besides testing peanut butter and mayo today, I’m also gonna to be tasting peanut butter and onion, and peanut butter and pickle. So, I found a pretty well researched article about the history of the peanut butter and mayo sandwich, so I’ll put that link down below. I’ll also put a link to the New York Times, that expands on the idea and history of the peanut butter and pickle sandwich. A lunch counter offering during the Great Depression. Really simple, easy, and very cost effective meal. So, in that article, the writer, Dwight Garner, mentions that Ernest Hemingway loved to have peanut butter and onions sandwiches, so I’m gonna go make that one, as well. So as far as the peanut butter and mayo sandwich goes, it’s said to have come from the South and continues to be consumed there, and then made its way up north. And in the Midwest, it’s often served with something else. So peanut butter, mayo, and bacon. Peanut butter, mayo, and banana. But down in the South, usually it’s just peanut butter and mayo. The combination of salty and sweet together. And, apparently, a lot of people still eat their sandwiches this way. I’ve never, so this will be my first time. So in terms of my own personal preferences, I’m not a huge peanut butter fan. I don’t dislike it by any means in fact, I actually really love it on my burgers. You take a great burger and you just put a little peanut butter in there and it’s just excellent. A little bit of sweetness, lots of richness, it’s a great cheese substitute. I know it sounds weird, but don’t knock it ’til you try it because it’s so, so good. So I’m thinking that this peanut butter and mayo combination is gonna be a logical one. Pickles on the other hand? I’m not a huge fan of pickles, at all, just don’t really like them, but again, that sweet, tangy, salty combination might actually work. Onions. I have a vidalia onion, a onion that comes from the South. It’s very, very sweet. I think this might be, again, a logical combination in the sense of kind of a burger. You have that salty, kind of spicy onion flavor with the peanut butter, but we shall see. Alright! Let’s go ahead and make this! There’s not much to it, as you can imagine. It’s probably one of the simplest recipes I’ve ever made. I’m gonna take 2 slices of white bread. Ooh! Let’s get another slice. ‘Cause we want our sandwich to be happy. Okay! Like that! And we’re gonna take our peanut butter, this is just the jarred variety, nothing fancy here. This happens to be crunchy, but we don’t really care in our house. And now I’m gonna put some mayo on this side, and in some of the recipes I’ve read, they actually combine the mayo and the peanut butter together. But I’m gonna do it separately, I feel like you can actually taste it better that way. Or at least I imagine. So now we’re gonna take our 2 halves and put them together. Make them friendly. Okay, so that’s what the sandwich looks like, you can see a little bit of the mayo. Definitely see the peanut butter in there. Smells fine, smells like peanut butter. I’m gonna taste these all at once, so I’m gonna set that one aside. Next, I’m gonna tackle the peanut butter and pickle sandwich. Slather a slice. And now I’m gonna take some homemade bread n’ butter pickles, these were made by my aunt Susie. Have you seen my pickle cupcake recipe? I’ll put the link down below. Ding! So for the last one, which is the peanut butter and onion, I’m gonna cut up a vidalia onion and apparently, Hemingway liked a thick slice of onion, so…here we go. Alright, now come the onion rings. Straight up onion. That’s a lot of onion. Okay, close it up Peanut butter and onion. Okay, so, sandwiches are prepared. Let’s give them a taste. I’m gonna try the peanut butter and mayo combination, first. It looks like a regular peanut butter sandwich, to me. Until you look closely, and see that there is, indeed, a layer of mayonnaise. Alright, here we go. Itadakimasu! Hm! Don’t you just love the way white bread and peanut butter bind together into this mass of glue that kind of just enrobes your tongue and kind of glues your jaws shut. At any rate, it’s not bad. I would say, it’s just a slightly more salty and a little bit tangy -a just almost imperceptible tanginess – in the sandwich. It’s not bad. Mmm-hmm Go away, Winston. I think for those that are mayonnaise-phobic, I wouldn’t recommend telling anyone that there is mayo in here. In fact, I think if you were, especially, to incorporate it into the peanut butter, I don’t think they would detect it, at all. They would detect that something’s different, but they wouldn’t associate it with mayonnaise. But it works! And this is peanut butter/pickle. There are bread n’ butter pickles. I’m not really looking forward to this one so much because I don’t really like pickles, but here we go! Bottom’s up! *falling sound effect* Hmm! That works, too! Actually, that works really well! I still don’t really care for pickles so much, but it really, really works. I think what’s better about this one than the first one is the texture. The pickles have a really great crunch. Which goes really well with that whole mushy combination of white bread and peanut butter that kinda glues everything together. The crunch is really nice because you get a little bit of variation and…crunchy sensation? Mmm-hmm And in terms of flavor, it works really well, too. The acidity of the pickles is a nice kind of counter point to the fatty, crunchy, nutty peanut butter. And the sweetness of the pickles goes well with the peanut butter, as well. That actually works, it almost makes me…almost like pickles. Wow! Lastly, we have this one. Which is the peanut butter and onion. My onion is kind of falling out. Now, this one sounds pretty good. I love raw onion, although I don’t like the lingering effects of raw onion or raw garlic, I do love them while I’m eating them. Alright, so here we go. Fat slices of vidalia onions with my peanut butter, here we go. That one works, too! Although this is really different than the other 2 because this one has the most kind of vegetal crunch. And the onions are a little bit juicy, and they have a nice crunch, as you can hear. They’re sweet, but they also have a nice spicy kick to them. I like this version! I think I like this one the most. The peanut butter and onions are actually an excellent combination. Kind of imagine, y’know, saute sauce or peanut sauce? Mmm-hmm! Mmm-hmm This is really good! I think Hemingway was onto something. Apparently, he called this the Mount Everest special. So there you have it, 3 peanut butter sandwiches from the Great Depression. 3 different versions OF the 3. I think the onion one was definitely my favorite. If you’ve got some peanut butter and bread lying around and some other ingredients, I would suggest totally trying these just as a little simple thought experiment. And, yeah, thanks again, Jerry, for suggesting this recipe. Thank you guys so much for watching, I hope you guys enjoy that one. I hope you guys learn something. Leave me a comment down below, let me know if there’s a recipe that you’d like me to test out or try. Share this video with your friends, it really helps me out. Follow me on social media. Subscribe. Like this video, and I’ll see you in the next one. Too-da-loo! Take care, bye!

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Comments

  1. You have a great voice. When you mentioned the pickle cupcake recipe it made me crack up because I used to work at a bakery and would sneak a few pickles into one of the lemon poppyseed muffins before cooking. It was the Russian roulette of who would buy the tainted muffin. Never got any complaints so maybe it was good!

  2. I'm disappointed you haven't tried all four: peanut butter, pickles, onions, and mayonnaise together.

  3. My father grew up in the Depression eating peanut butter and Mayo sandwiches. He had me try it when I was young and eat them til this day. I switched the regular mayo for Miracle Whip though. really adds a sweet tangy flavor to it. An old girlfriend of mine turned me on to peanut butter, american cheese, and bacon sandwich which you fry in the bacon grease. Yum!

  4. Actually, my family has always put mayo on PBJ. I don't know if it started in that era but it's actually delicious, though I'm sure nobody would believe it haha
    The mayo actually seems to make the peanut butter creamier, and brings out the sweetness of the jelly.

  5. It’s delicious on toasted bread! My father and I eat it all the time. Haha. Try peanut butter and mayo on toast. 😄

  6. I've been eating peanut butter and mayo for years and it never occurred to me that it was a Depression-era food. I always just thought it was something that tasted good.
    Never thought of pairing PNB with pickles or onions but now they're definitely on my list of things to try.
    My favorite thing to pair with peanut butter is Sriracha sauce.

  7. My dad always made the yummiest sandwiches for me growing up – bacon, banana and mayo was my favorite!!!

  8. My dad's side of the family ate peanut butter, mayo, and banana sandwiches (traditional from southern VA).

  9. i love how everyone in the comments is saying how their dad whipped up some weird shit like peanut butter and mayo sandwich

  10. looks at sandwich looks back at camera. Looks and sandwich looks back at camera. Looks at sandwich looks back at camera. I’m dying I love you😂

  11. PB,, pickle and onion with mayo and lettuce is my favorite type of peanut butter sandwich. You can use sweet or dill pickles. Also sweet pickle, strawberry jam, peanut butter. It works but too sweet for my taste.
    Also PB, radish and yellow mustard.
    Also peanut butter, butter, and just a shimmer of horse radish sauce. Horse radish and PB is a great combo.

  12. Peanut butter on burgers? What the fuck is wrong with you people. Disgusting. Mayo belongs in Hell not on a sandwich.

  13. I love your depression era videos. Depending on your results sometimes they become a staple for my weekly menu. I hope you make more soon! I'm a big fan and love what you do!

  14. I used to dip sweet gherkins in peanut butter when I was little. We also ate peanut butter, jelly, and Kraft American cheese slice sandwiches. 😋 A less weird thing my dad used to do is to mix cayenne with ranch – we dip our french fries in it.

  15. I've seen other YouTubers try the peanut butter & pickles version, but not the others. I want to try them all now!

  16. I've made lots of p.b. and mayo sandwiches.  One slice of bread with the  p.b. and one with the mayo then toast in an oven, put together and YUM.  Also mixed p.b. and cane syrup for a sandwich, honey just  didn't work.  I also used to make onion sandwichs with thick onion slice with ketchup.

  17. My dad told me His dad would eat pb and mayo and dad described it as the worst possible combination. cut maybe 18 or so years later when they have both passed from this world. i am so broke and tired and in need of ANYTHING to change up the flavor game. Ate the forbidden pb and mayo sandwich. dad didnt know what he was talking about. Its actually pretty great! had it with dill relish too. However, since both fathers left traumatic scars upon their lineage, i have a better memory to associate this delicious and thrifty sandwich with and thats Emmymadeinjapan.

  18. According to my Dad a Pranut butter and pickle sandwich is ALWAYS DILL Pickles not Bread and butter pickles! I’m not into the PB&DP sandwich but my dad has eaten it since he was a little munchkin in the mid 1940’s!

  19. The first time I ever heard of a peanut butter and onion sandwich is in the movie little monster with a young Fred Savage!

  20. I love peanut butter and mayonnaise sandwiches. Eat them all the time. I like an onion sandwich with mayonnaise with salt and pepper.

  21. Growing up, one of my favorite sandwiches was a peanut butter and maple syrup sandwich. The daycare I went to couldn't afford much food, but they would mix together peanut butter and syrup (about 2 parts pb to 1 part syrup, I think, though you can play with the ratio as you like) and just put it in a sandwich! It's become a comfort food of mine.

  22. One of my favorite things to eat growing up lower middle class is peanut butter mixed with miracle whip and spread on a half banana cut lengthwise. OMG so good

  23. Omg yum it's taste so good peanut butter, mayo my bff he thought I was pregnant I eat weird
    food combo 😂 😋

  24. My mother used to make mustard and sugar sandwiches … And as gross as that sounds, I used to like them as a child …. 🤢

  25. My grandmother (who lived through the Depression as a teen) taught me to make this but with no onions, and larger slices of pickles! Peanut butter and pickle sandwich. All my friends think I'm so weird when I make one!

  26. Peanut butter and Mayo is a old sandwich. My Dad ( born 1930) use to make them. You really can't taste it. It was placed on the sandwich because peanut butter was stiff. We really didn't have all the brands that we have today. It came really stiff and Mayo made it easier to spread and swallow. lol

  27. I once asked my grandpa for a peanut butter jelly sandwich and you know what this man hands my 8 yr old self? A peanut, butter and jelly sandwich. Yes, this man put PEANUTS then BUTTER on top of JELLY. Do NOT recommend lol

  28. We used to make fun of an old gentleman at work for eating peanut butter and pickles.
    So one day he brought in about 10 sandwiches, cut in half and he gave each of us in the office one…
    We stopped making fun of him.
    It was pretty good.

  29. I grew up with Peanutbutter + Butter, and learned about Peanutbutter + Mayo later when I got curious about where tf my mom got the Panutbutter + Butter thing. Now I eat Peanutbutter + Butter + Mayo together along with the traditional Peanutbutter + Butter combo I grew up with, and both are some of my ultimate comfort foods…….. Though I don't think you could get me to touch any one of those combos with pickle and onion. Yuck.

  30. Please try dill pickle instead of the sweet type. The vinegar garlic really ties the sandwich together. Please try, it’ll change your life.

  31. my great grandmother used to put brown sugar in a sandwich and nothing else during the great depression. suprised she didn't have cavities! I've gotta say tho… I tried it out of curiosity, and it was pretty decent.

  32. My grandfather moved from Alabama to California when he was 14 years old. He would make peanut butter and mayo sandwiches and eventually started to add banana to it- I'm guessing that was the California influence on him 🤣 thank you for this video Emmy, brings back memories of him ♥️

  33. peanut butter and pickle is pretty normal on the white side of my family (im half filipino and half white) but yes, the combination strangely works 😂

  34. I really like pickles dipped in peanut butter (ik I’m weird)
    So imma try the the pickle peanut butter sandwich

  35. Me and my dad being enjoying your videos. When I was younger you should try this sandwich I used to eat. It's peanut butter dill pickle and potato chips I was enjoyed it. Or I used to eat just pickle and potato chip sandwich my sister used to be hot pepper peanut butter and potato chip sandwich. I did eat peanut butter on a cheeseburger once before wasn't crazy about it. But I did enjoyed eating ketchup on chocolate cake.

  36. Down here some people like peanut butter, mayo, and banana sandwiches. Not quite my thing but a lot of older people are fans!

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