WE ALL KNOW the three main “P” food groups: pizza, popcorn, and – most importantly for a truly balanced diet – peanut butter. This has been on my mind since I emptied a rather large jar of peanut butter yesterday. Hopefully we will get more before I go into some form of reverse anaphylaxis.
The health benefits of these three foods cannot be questioned. Some people refer to them as “comfort foods.” It should go without saying that comfort is an essential psychological necessity. No one can put down an empty pizza box or popcorn container without feeling better, satisfied with their lot and pleased with the experience. Audible moaning should not be frowned upon.
When I was a much younger man, I worked once in the kitchen of a family-owned pizza restaurant. My direct supervisor at the time was the family 15 year old, who was a little shithead, you should pardon the expression. But I handled it because whenever I had the chance, I would make myself a little personal pizza, which truly bolstered my ability to withstand the kid’s lunatic management style.
Popcorn, of course, has long since come out of the movie theater and entered our homes in the form of microwave popcorn, surely the greatest invention since microwave ovens themselves. Costco used to sell a huge bag of a brand of popcorn called Nearly Naked, as tall as my desk when sitting on the floor beside me as I shoved ungainly handfuls greedily into my mouth like a man just returned from outer space. The “Nearly Naked” reference is to the lack of unhealthy additives as opposed to its effect upon one’s state of garb.
But it is peanut butter – wonderful, creamy, gooey peanut butter – that has to get the most plaudits. Beyond its primacy in the “P” food group, it takes a backseat to few edibles. We all know how delicious a good medium-rare steak can taste, but it still cannot come close to PB&J on soft, fresh white bread. And if the guy who invented peanut butter cups doesn’t deserve sainthood, then I don’t know what!