Peanut butter month all over again, and some thoughts on food love affairs
Yes, it's November, and apparently National Peanut Butter Month. If you get into these sorts of occasions, maybe, as J-Plautz reported, you could start investing in peanut butter diamonds, or if you're "feeling art" maybe Vik Muniz's "Double Mona Lisa (Peanut Butter and Jelly)" is the way to go.
Honestly, I couldn't care less that it's Peanut Butter Month, and when March comes & it's straight-up Peanut Month, I'll be equally enthused. That's because I still can't stand to be in the same room as peanuts, or any other nut. It's too soon. Do you want to know why it's too soon? It's too soon because I've fallen out of love with nuts. I'm officially an apostate of the nut kingdom.
Growing up, I was the pickiest and most maligned eater ever born. I kept kosher without even knowing it, and would audit the innards of a simple baked potato; in short, I had trust issues. Eventually this fussiness found an acceptable outlet under the aegis of vegetarianism, sometimes veganism if I was really into a certain Moby album. But even though a peanut wasn't wrought from an animal, I still hated the things, and extended prejudice to their kin.
Then, around 20, something happened-- I'm assuming witchcraft--and I fell in love with the things. I incorporated them into every possible meal: "Lasagna? Great--I'll just add a little cashew butter"; "Are the guests here? I'll just rip open a new bag of chili-lime-peanuts." No salad could stand alone without a quota of almonds. And then, recently, I began hating everything they stand for, and now I'm one of thoes people squinting onto labels hoping not to find a "processed with equipment shared with peanuts and other nuts" caveat.
(To be fair to the nuts, I've also had hate-love-hate affairs with Haribo "grapefruit" slices and popcorn. I'm back on with licorice, but the passion seems too strong to last. I'll save my candy-oriented vitriol for some other time.)
Has anyone else ever had a love affair (as in, with a beginning and end) with a particular food?