PB + Mayo: A Taste Test
In Defense of a Southern Staple
In the world of Southern sandwiches, the combination of mayo and peanut butter is hard to beat as one of the strangest. Whether born of an affectation for the complicated combo of flavors or fueled by the necessity of a sparse cupboard, the sandwich is one familiar to many who grew up south of the Mason-Dixon line. But should the sandwich make a comeback? We tried four versions of the classic to find out.
Duke’s Mayo & JIF Peanut Butter
For: Fans of real classics and those fond of one-stop grocery shopping
Our take: Do you like sweet and savory together? Good. This will grow on you. The mayonnaise plays off the bread, while the peanut butter stands up on its own. If you’re looking to dive into this throwback Southern sandwich, you can’t go wrong with these pantry staples.
Chipotle Mayo & Artisan Peanut Butter
For: Grocery-store shoppers who like novelty products and experience a sense of catharsis in the organic section at Kroger. Also, fans of Sriracha.
Our take: A more gourmet chipotle spread may have helped things along. We didn’t spy until later that this store-shelf mayo is actually—gasp—reduced fat, and therefore not half as exciting as our other pairings. But in the same way that spicy peanut sauce works, so did the spicy & sweet flavors here.
Homemade Mayo & Homemade Peanut Butter
For: People trying their first Whole 30 diet or who spend more than 10 minutes a day on Pinterest. Anyone with an immersion blender.
Our take: As home guru Martha Stewart would probably say, everything is better homemade. Our DIY mayo was a bit thinner than the store-bought varieties, allowing it to sink deep into the bread slices and add just a subtle bite. It’s a good thing.
Sir Kensington’s & Big Spoon Roasters
For: Those who have discerning palettes and don’t mind spending $20 on two jars of the good stuff. No, really—this stuff is crazy expensive.
Our take: It was the chai that did us in. While the Sir Kensington’s was some of the best mayonnaise we tried all day, the spiced peanut butter was overwhelming. Lesson learned: When you’re trying a classic sandwich, stick with classic ingredients.
“Yeah, I’m into it. I’m on board.”
– Katie Bridges, Editor
“This opens so many doors for me. I’ve got peanut butter and mayonnaise in my fridge at home. Now I know that adds up to a sandwich.”
– Jordan Hickey, Associate Editor
“If I were to see it on the menu, I wouldn’t shy away. But I’m not gonna get out the Hellmann’s and Jif at home.”
– Kelley Lane, Creative Director
“This chai peanut butter tastes like a candle. Like the inside of an Anthroplogie.”
– Emily Van Zandt, Food Editor
“It is sweet and savory, but I think it would be greatly improved with sea salt.”
– Arshia Khan, Photographer