Peanut butter and jam blondies

Born in the USA, made in south London—a controversial cake from Cinnamon Tree Bakery

Convention—and one of the most successful advertising campaigns of the 20th century—dictates that the title of most controversial toast topping goes to Marmite every year. Friday feeling—that is, the motley crew of writers and eaters behind this column—would propose a contender to this office: peanut butter, and its sidekick jelly.

Put together, these two strong, dominating upstarts have become synonymous with the United States and its occasionally off-beam culinary mores. Sweet potato and marshmallow. Burgers in doughnuts. Kraft cheese slices.

To mention peanut butter, let alone jelly, is to rend the team asunder between those who revile it, and those who eat it straight from the jar with a spoon. Those of the former camp need read no further. But the latter? This one’s for you, the peanut butter-lovers: whether crunchy, whole nut, Sun-Pat or Skippy’s smooth.

Sweet, squidgy squares
Its name is peanut butter and jam blondie: it hails not from America, but from south London, where the bakers behind Cinnamon Tree Bakery handmake biscuits and cakes daily. As well as peanut butter, the sweet, squidgy squares contain “oats, butter, and strawberry jam instead of jelly” explains Maximo on the stall. “Which is nicer, I think.”

“It’s pretty American: it’s popular with some people and not others—and there are many people who are allergic to peanuts,” he points out. They should steer well clear of course, but what to those for whom its sweet saltiness and doughy friendliness is manna from the Land of the Free?

Maximo recommends serving it with a cup of tea or coffee, to balance out the sugary rush of ripe strawberry jam and satay-like peanut filling. We agree, but being from the go big or go home school of thinking, wonder if ice cream would work also, if you’ve a bowl and 3Bis to hand.