Peanut butter and jelly sandwiches were the default brown bag solution, and more than a few times I caught my dad spooning it straight out of the jar. I even got a Mr. Peanut home peanut butter maker for my 7th birthday (you remember him, right? the peanut dude with the top hat and white gloves - peanuts go in one ear, crank his arm and the peanut butter comes out the other ear - who could want anything more?)
When my own children were younger, I worked hard to get them used to eating peanut butter, even though it wasn't always easy to come by here in Israel, but to little avail. Their tastes changed, rendering PB&J to them as just one of those "American foods" that Mommy liked to eat sometimes.
And then, from a very random Twitter link to a company called P.B. Loco, a light of hope the size of a peanut started to flicker and glow. This company impressed me with their excitement and desire to get people involved in their product through the social media world - from asking for suggestions for new flavors and product names, to holding trivia contests - to get the word out, offering free flavored jars of PB to the winners. So I replied to a few of their contests through Twitter, signed up as a fan on Facebook , and even kind of resorted to begging when I realized that, living outside of the US, I might not really even be eligible to win.
But the fine people of PB Loco came through, and did indeed send me a sample jar of chocolate banana peanut butter. Here's the description on the label (I dare you not to drool as you read it):
"This one was almost too easy. Deep, rich chocolate and untamed bananas from the heart of the jungle fused with our premium peanut butter. Caution: After you taste this, you may need a few minutes to finish the entire jar."
The day we picked up the package from the post office, we were on our way home after a week-long vacation in the South of Israel - hot, tired, and hungry. I actually believed that I'd be able to save the jar of gourmet flavored PB until we got home, maybe even til the next day, to make proper sandwiches. (I hear you laughing out there, but I really thought we'd savour it slowly...HA!)
It started with little fingers in the back seat, scooping bit by bit, delighting in the chocolate swirls. Joy of joys! My boys actually liked peanut butter again! Then the jar was passed on to big Daddy's fingers (still in the car, mind you - about five minutes from home), who, although never a big fan of peanut butter, actually held on for more. The jar stopped in my hands. Fingerfulls led to spoonfulls, then once we were home, led to breadfulls. And within the span of less than one hour we were scraping the very last creamy smudges off the inside of the emptied jar. It was amazing.
And all this, I thought later, started with a few lines in Twitter. What potential the world of social media has to influence us, to invite us in and win us over. It's a relationship that starts with a friendly note, a question, or a bit of advice, and continues with a satisfied and returning customer.
Now that I've got the peanut butter momentum going again in my family, I'm trying to decide which of their new flavors to order by mail, and which flavors to send to my dad for his next birthday. PB with Rasberry White Chocolate, PB with European Cafe Mocha, PB with Raisins and Cinammon - oh, the choices!
Really, it's driving me nuts.