A few words about peanut butter

The arrival of March is an occasion full of optimism and cheer, especially for those of us living in the far and frigid north (ie: above the 49th parallel). There is a scientific basis for this: after a seeming eternity of winter bleakness, the third month’s appearance on the calendar triggers a complex release of cellular signals to receptors in the brain, signals that contain psychofrenetic pheromones in the pre-coital cortex.

Sure, it’s snowing outside as I write this, but knowing that the official first day of spring is only nineteen days away does more to elevate mood than any cocktail of serotonin reuptake inhibitors, full-spectrum desk lamps, and ‘We are the World‘ videos ever could. This is when the Dinah Washington records go back into storage and my Wreck Beach blanket (queen, 650 thread count) gets put on-deck in cheerful, if premature, anticipation.

But this time when spring moves from immanence to imminence isn’t the only cheerful thing about March. It’s not widely known, thanks to an oppressive conspiracy by anti-anaphylaxis commie zealots, but the first day of the month is also National Peanut Butter Lover’s Day.

Yes, it’s sort of a Yankee thing, since the US likely produces most of the world’s peanut butter, and perhaps it’s more a token way to avoid additional direct farm subsidies than a genuine expression of peanut love. But I can’t very well suppress my affection for peanuts and ignore this event just because the CBC has neglected to keep up with one of its core mandates – local imitation of American pop-culture dreck phenomena.

Peanuts have been my single most popular food since the beginning of time and have remained a constant staple of my diet since. I generally prefer my peanuts unpolluted by external influences – salt is sometimes permissible, but no chocolate, yoghourt, sugar, honey, wasabi, barbecue, etc. This is especially true for peanut butter. Why, there oughtta be a law against selling peanut butter that’s been contaminated with sugar and palm oil! I ate that as a child, because I didn’t know any better (and likely because it was cheaper and didn’t need stirring), but now it’s only an absolute last resort.

And I don’t go for any of those post-production pollutants either. No peanut butter-and-jam, no raisins, no bananas. No cinnamon. And especially no mustard! I know, you’re wondering “What kind of idiot would put mustard on peanut butter anyway?” A nine-year-old idiot seeking peer-approval, that’s who. Once, a gang of third-grade kids hanging out in our apartment courtyard were arguing about how best to eat peanut butter (it was 1972 – what else of importance could there possibly have been to talk about?). I stupidly bragged that I liked to put mustard on my peanut butter, and was subsequently dared to prove it.

A few minutes later, I sat on the stairs surrounded in kids who watched me choke down a peanut-butter-and-mustard sandwich, determined not to show any signs of displeasure despite the fact that I wanted to puke the whole time.

While it’s bad to put things into peanuts, it’s perfectly acceptable to put peanuts into things (clear exceptions do apply). On my birthdays, my grandmother used to send through the mail a whole tin of home-baked peanut butter cookies, which I kept on my bedside table and munched on happily in the evenings while I read.

Peanuts, if you don’t know, aren’t technically nuts, they’re legumes, and grow in the ground like potatoes. They’re also known as earthnuts, ground nuts, goober peas, pygmy nuts, pig nuts, and – my favourite – monkey nuts.

Peanut butter also provides evidence that the theory of evolution is bunk. Check out pseudo-christian wacko Chuck Missler (who’s also connected with people who believe that the Vatican is communicating with extraterrestrial life) explain this in the video below.

Happy Peanut Butter Lovers Day! See you on the beach.



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