I apologize to everyone who is allergic to peanuts. Partly because this post is all about peanut butter, but mostly because it’s just so damn delicious.
Every year for the past three years, I have made a peanut butter banana chocolate pie on March 14. For you folks who aren’t math geeks, that’s pi(e) day. As in, 3/14 and 3.14. And really, an excuse to make and eat lots of pie.
Really, it’s an exercise in taking something that’s pretty cool, and making it extravagantly over-the-top. I looked at a recipe for peanut butter mousse pie in a chocolate crumb crust and thought, “you know, what that needs is some sliced bananas in the bottom of it, and maybe a layer of chocolate ganache on top for good measure.” And thus, the peanut butter banana chocolate pie was born. Next time around, I think I’ll take it further and caramelize the bananas in rum.
Peanuts are not a nut, they’re a legume. Ergo, people who are allergic to peanuts can still eat nuts – unless, of course, they’re allergic to nuts.
Peanuts are rich in an amino acid called arginine (arr-jin-een). Foods that are rich in arginine have been associated with higher likelihood of outbreaks of cold sores and, erm, outbreaks that are like cold sores. To be precise, it’s thought that an imbalance in the levels of two amino acids, arginine and lysine, is responsible for cold sores. (Outbreaks, that is. There’s a cute little virus that causes cold sores and the like in the first place.)
Incidentally, chocolate is also quite rich in arginine. Hrm. Arginine sure is tasty.
There’s just something about peanut butter. It’s rich and luxurious, and that stick-your-tongue-to-the-roof-of-your-mouth feeling is comforting. It reminds me of being an awkward kid with pigtails. I’m pretty sure that when I was a kid, my parents gave me a spoonful of peanut butter just so I’d stop talking.
And peanut butter and chocolate? Divine. Baskin-robbins ice cream, all melty chocolatey with a ribbon of peanut butter stickiness? Yes, please.
I picked up some peanut buttery chocolatey things while in Seattle last week. It’s all research, you see. In my head, I’m creating the world’s best peanut butter and jelly bonbon. It’ll be one part peanut butter praline, one part grape jelly, and all kinds of grown-up, nostalgic tastiness.