In Lee Zalben's house, peanut butter was more or less an obsession. "My mother, tired of opening the jar of peanut better to see the outline of her two sons' fingers in the jar, kept three jars in the house at all times," says Zalben. "She labeled them 'Mom,' 'Lee' and 'Scott,' my brother. Then we could stick our fingers in our jars to our hearts content with no fear of double dipping."
So it made perfect sense that Zalben would grow up to become the president and founder of Peanut Butter & Co. creating an eclectic line of peanut butter from your basic Smooth Operator to exotic flavors like Cinnamon Raisin Swirl, Dark Chocolate Dreams, and the spicy The Heat Is On. Peanut Butter & Co. is also Zalben's cozy and beloved New York City sandwich shop devoted to a myriad of creative peanut butter sandwiches. There's the Elvis (a grilled peanut butter sandwich with bacon, honey and banana), the Pregnant Lady (peanut butter and pickles), and of course, the classic PB&J Club.
One Peanut Butter & Co. favorite is "Jerry Seinfeld's Comedy Special": peanut butter on a toasted bagel with honey, sprinkled cinnamon and some shmush-ing together into a giant mess. The sandwich was named for one of the shop's most famous customers. As Seinfeld wrote in the Peanut Butter & Co. Cookbook forward: "Peanut butter is scientifically proven to contain a chemical that is a natural antidepressant, which you're going to need as you head out to face a New York nightclub audience with some very shaky material."
So in honor of National Peanut Butter and Jelly Day, click on this Parade.com story and check out some fun facts about the food.