Debunking the Great PB Myth

13 Oct

There seems to be this notion that once you leave the United States you can no longer find peanut butter. Allegedly it doesn’t exist outside American borders. They said it to me last year in Spain, “oh I’ll bet you’ll miss peanut butter” and again this year, “we have a lot of food you’re used to at the supermarket, except maybe peanut butter. Americans love peanut butter.” And even other Americans I know that live abroad talk about it like it’s Moby Dick, the white whale of foods that just can’t be found.

I’m here today to disprove this myth.

I am not arguing that other countries love peanut butter, they don’t. Most foreign people I’ve talked with about the subject (just so we’re clear I mean like 10-15 people, from Spain, France, the UK, and the Czech Republic… my international network is not that big) think it’s a strange substance and don’t understand how Americans can love it. Last year I even made one of my students a peanut butter and jelly sandwich and he gagged after the first few bites (for drama’s sake, I’m sure). He ate some more of it then said “it’s gross, I don’t understand why you love it.”

But despite their feelings toward it, peanut butter is available in Europe. I found Skippy in the Albert supermarket down the street from me in Karlovy Vary. Skippy!! Skippy peanut butter!! You can’t get more genuine than that. And in Spain they even make their own brand of peanut butter called Captain Mani. I used to buy it at the Carrefour in Huelva. And it was good peanut butter. I feel qualified to make this judgment because during my senior year of high school I brought a peanut butter and jelly sandwich for lunch literally every day. I’m not exaggerating. Ask my mom and dad.

Are there supermarkets in Europe that don’t carry peanut butter? Yes, undoubtedly. Do a lot of Europeans embrace peanut butter the way Americans do? No, probably not. But my point is, if I can find Skippy here in small city Czech Republic and they make an entire brand of peanut butter in Spain it can’t really be that hard to find outside the US…

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One Response to “Debunking the Great PB Myth”

  1. thekev506 January 24, 2013 at 3:32 pm #

    Peanut butter is pretty popular in the UK – it was a staple in our cupboards as a kid, there are a few UK brands, and I still love a peanut butter sandwich. I haven’t found any in my searches around CZ supermarkets yet though, and I’m starting to have withdrawal symptoms…

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