Question for you:
At what age do your taste buds and your stomach and brain sync so that the part of your brain in charge of eating — pretty sure it’s called the celeryebellum — have a conscious thought along these lines:
“Yes! Yes, and yes. I am definitely going to try that food RIGHT THERE!”
It’s got to be around the time you can walk and see something like a birthday cake and start motoring toward it because you realize that this is not that Mashed Green Peas or Strained Pumpkin crap mom has been feeding you from the little jar with the little spoon.
You see chocolate, an M&M or maybe a cupcake, and something in your tiny celeryebellum kicks in and you know there is Real Food out there.
And then, THEN, right behind that experience — maybe this is when momma lets you lick the cake frosting off the blender beater — right then must be the moment when your entire Eating System says, “YES! Yes, and yes. I am definitely going to eat THAT again.”
Those food memories are lost to Toddlerhood, youth is wasted on the young and all that. What a joy it would be to remember the first time Gramps handed you a fried chicken leg. Your first hot water cornbread. Lima beans cooked slowly.
Bacon. I can never remember not loving bacon. Oh, that we could go back to when bacon love bloomed.
But … now and then as a grownup, or at least as a person playing a grownup in real life, fate throws you a culinary bone and your taste buds get to sing a new tune.
Which brings us to Uncrustables and to last week when I met this glorious, superb, most delightful food. Like when you met your true love and wondered, “Where have you been all my life?”
I asked some friends who know their way around legit on-the-go food if, during March Madness, they’ve heard the NBA on TNT crew raving over some sort of snack food with a silly, carefree name … Crunchables? Uncrunchables? “Does anybody know what I’m tal…?”
“UnCRUSTables,” my friend interrupted, straight-faced and trying not to feel sorry for me that I didn’t know. “Uncrustables. They’re a game-changer.”
And then he said, “We’ve got some.”
And he did. And I ate one. And life as I know it will never be the same.
You probably already know this because Uncrustables have been around like TWENTY YEARS. Somehow, I am the last person in the entire Western Hemisphere to know.
Better late than never.
Uncrustables are little peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, round as if you’d made a normal square sandwich and used a cookie cutter to cut out the heart of the sandwich, sans crust. Thus — Uncrustables. The outside of the two pieces of softer-than-soft bread are crimped, like the oval edge of a meat pie.
It’s a Circle of Perfection is all it is . . .
Never had I thought the human race could improve on the peanut butter and jelly sandwich, a staple in this bureau and one of our greatest achievements … (automatic banking, man on moon, PB&J, polio vaccine). But then again, I’m not the Smucker’s Corporation, the Harlem Globetrotters of jelly products. Smucker’s knows about jelly stuff like the South Pole knows about ice and snow. The Smucker’s people, great Americans everyone, have outdone themselves, whatever that really means, with Uncrustables, and I tip my humble hat.
The only danger is you eat one and they are so light and fluffy that you could eat 14 without giving it much thought. They are so delectable and succulent and inviting, you could pop those babies like Honey Roasted Peanuts.
You can get a box of four or 10, in the freezer section. (Get 10.) That way when you thaw it, the bread is soft and willing.
To speed the thawing process, I put one in my pocket Monday and, 30 minutes into an hour walk for exercise, popped the wrapper and dug in.
By anyone’s definition, I’m not what you’d call a winner. But that day, I sure did walk like one. Ate like one too.
Contact Teddy at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @MamaLuvsManning