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March 28, 2011

In defense of peanut butter

When you give a Frenchman something containing peanut butter, the reaction is almost always:

"You Americans! You Americans with your peanut butter! You LOVE your peanut butter!" (accompanied by a chuckle and a shaking of the head and a refusal of what you offered)

or, more commonly:

"I can't believe you just gave me something with peanut butter OMD I need to spit this out immediately before I get fat and DIE."

When you try to explain that peanut butter has lots of protein and can actually be pretty healthy, so long as it doesn't have too much sugar in it-- whoops, there they go racing to the kitchen to clean their mouths out with chocolate. 

In France, chocolate in all its forms is considered the main part of a balanced breakfast, preferably when coupled with butterific carbs. Chocolate bars inside a croissant (pain au chocolat). Chocolate-hazelnut spread on baguette (Nutella). A chocolate square imprinted with the image of a little schoolboy stuck to a buttery biscuit (les Petits Ecoliers). Chocolate shavings mixed in with your cereal (Fitness). Hot chocolate. Chocolate sprinkles. Chocolate brioche sandwich with Nutella and Petits Ecoliers and chocolate sprinkles, and hot chocolate to dip it in. N'importe de quoi. 

But peanut butter? (Insert image of hands flying away from one's butt and belly and cheeks ballooning to their largest size to indicate massive weight gain.)  

Non merci!


  1. You posted this just as I'm running out of my last, (imported by visitors) giant sized jar of Skippy Extra Chunk! Within a week's time they're going to find me curled up in a fetal ball on the floor of my apartment, hallucinating and salivating and screaming for a fix. And I'm telling you what, a piece of bread with nutella ain't gonna take away the pain.

  2. I just had this same fight with my bf when he scoffed at my peanut butter and I thought, really?! Really, you nutella eating feine!

  3. I kid you not, I just licked my spoon clean of peanut butter, which I had slathered indiscriminately on pretzels before even taking my coat off upon returning from school. I am a fan of the three ingredient kind: peanuts, oil, and salt, so I feel absolutely no guilt whatsoever about my gluttony. Also, I got Nicolas hooked on it, so now he makes his tartines with peanut butter and honey in the morning like a true Americaine-loving Frenchie. This post is the best thing since sliced bread and peanut butter.

  4. Give them Reese's cups, that's the key to conversion.

  5. Wooo! Fitness shout-out! I just bought a 750mg box of Fitness. That's three quarters of a kilo, which makes me laugh for some reason.

    Our American guests two weeks ago brought us two big jars of *ahem* one-ingredient peanut butter. We usually don't have any snacks around the apartment. I'm not saying that peanut butter is a snack by itself, but I've been eating spoonfuls of it with honey on top. It's a good thing.

  6. Here's a delicious granola bar recipe from my future-mother-in-law for all you PB-lovers out there (if you can bear to spare one cup of peanut butter):

    Melt one cup chunky peanut butter with one cup honey over medium heat on the stove. When combined, pour in one 16-oz bag of granola (she suggests Nature's Hand Original) and stir it up real nice-like. Pour into a baking dish and let cool. I usually use an 8-x-8 one, but you could do bigger if you like thinner bars, smaller if you like them thicker.

    Wait for them to cool if you possibly can, and then nom nom nom all the way day long.

  7. I have NEVER understood this!! The chocolate thing at breakfast time bothers me sooooo much. If that's perfectly acceptable, then peanut butter should be too.

  8. HAHAHA!!! This post is soo funny! Only the French!

    Salut Nina, je m'appelle Ugomma and I found your blog from the assistant forum. J'aime votre blog, c'est manifique! I applied to TAPIF for the 2011-2012 year, and in about a wekk or so I should be getting my response, I hope its the one I want!

    Any hoo! I have a blog as well so please check it out and follow my stories (it'll get more exciting once I get into the program!).