The old man leaned back in his chair and took a lingering drawl from his pipe as the wide-eyed children before him took in his tale. "But why, Grandfather?" asked one of the doe-eyed ragamuffins at his feet. "Why did Fahey eat a peanut butter and pickle sandwich for us?"
The old man smiled wistfully. "Because he loves us, child. Because he loves us."
Actually I did it because of a New York Times article Stephen Totilo linked to me late last week regarding the odd combination, which has been enjoying a mild resurgence after years of being the sort of food eaten by folks wishing to relive the Great Depression.
I don't really love you. If we slept together it wouldn't mean anything. You wouldn't want to anyway — I just ate a peanut butter and pickle sandwich.
I am no food daredevil either. I am hypersensitive to not only tastes and textures, but also the very atmosphere around me while I am eating. I can eat the same exact item in two different places and have two completely disparate experiences. For instance, I can only eat sushi if I can see the ocean — otherwise it tastes like week-old dead body.
My palate is a work in progress. Up until last year I couldn't stomach pickles on their own, let alone bathed in creamy churned peanut meat and lovingly nestled between two pieces of bread.
I explain all of this because when Dr. Totilo (not a doctor) linked the article from the New York Times and I read it, something inside me thought "Hey, that might be something I could place between my teeth and chew without throwing up."
It certainly doesn't look like that, especially with a large bite taken out of it. See those seeds dangling off the end of the bite marks? No? Here, I'll zoom.
There you go.
Those creepy little bastards with their thin gelatinous coating are the primary reason I'd avoided pickles for so many years. On a burger it's not so bad, as the pickle genitalia (what?) is almost never fully exposed. Here, however, the drowned cucumber's naughty bits are exposed for the world to see.
Strangely, I am fine with this.
The first bite into this poor-man's layer cake of wheat bread, crunchy Jif (the wife's pick) and Mt. Olive kosher dill sandwich stuffers is like your first kiss. It's frightening. You're shaking. You might have a mild erection. Also, her (his) breath is particularly nasty, and she (he) isn't very good on the eyes.
But damn can she (he) kiss.
There's a bit of a flavor skirmish in that first bite, the warm and creamy peanut taste struggling with the vinegar salt and sour of the pickle. For a moment it feels as if the two are going to reject each other so violently your cheeks might explode. But then something wonderful happens.
These two strong tastes ultimately decide that they can work together to overcome their respective weaknesses. The peanut butter nullifies the brine. The pickles grant the creamy thickness as satisfying bite. The bread makes sure neither side gets out of control.
Soon the two distinct flavors are making out in your mouth, making everyone around you feel awkward. You pretend to feel awkward as well, but secretly you're enjoying having peanut butter and pickles having sex on your tongue, you sick bastard.
One caveat: When constructing your peanut butter and pickle sandwich, make sure no pickles dangle over the edge of the bread. Bite into one of these dangling participles and you'll be immediately acutely aware of the horrible thing you've just done.
I went into this review thinking I would come out of it with a funny story and maybe stomach cramps. Peanut butter and pickles? That Fahey is a wild man!
Instead, I discovered I am some sort twisted deviant that likes to imagine food screwing other food in his mouth. I only do it because I love you.