peanut-butter

Makeover! Peanut butter sandwiches get wild new look

June 17, 2011 at 1:24 PM ET

©Theresa Raffetto /
The Cheese Puff sandwich features Italian cheddar bread with creamy peanut butter and Cheetos® cheese puffs.

If you thought that peanut butter sandwiches were only for school lunch boxes, think again. This classic kids' meal has grown up, thanks to the efforts of Lee Zalben, a self-described "peanut butter enthusiast" and founder of Peanut Butter & Co.

From the “Et Tu Peanut Butter” with romaine and anchovies, to “Movie Night” with M&Ms and popcorn, Zalben’s concoctions are not for the faint of heart… or stomach. He’s created a different peanut butter sandwich for everyday of the year, and releases one a day on the blog Nutropolitan Museum of Art.

Theresa Raffetto /
Peanut Butter & Co.'s Crunch Time peanut butter, romaine leaves, anchovies, and croutons feature on the "Et tu, PB" sandwich.

Zalben came up with the idea after a customer challenged him to come up with a different sandwich for every day of the year. He took the dare and ended up with not only the blog but also a popup gallery exhibition in New York in March.

“We are the biggest peanut butter cheerleaders in the market,” Zalben told TODAY.com. “We love to push the envelope when it comes to flavor combinations and recipes. The Nutropolitan has helped to show our customers and potential customers some of the fun things we are doing, and some of the fun things they can do too.”

Zalben founded the N.Y. sandwich shop Peanut Butter & Co. in 1998 and soon branched out into manufacturing specialty peanut butter. He now sells his crazy flavors, like White Chocolate Wonderful and Cinnamon Raisin Swirl, in 15,000 supermarkets around the country.

What’s the wackiest peanut butter sandwich you have made?

Theresa Raffetto /
"Starry Night" features toasted brioche with Peanut Butter & Co.'s Bee’s Knees peanut butter and sliced starfruit.
Theresa Raffetto /
Smooth peanut butter and honeycomb make up the "Peanut Buzzer" sandwich.
Theresa Raffetto /
The "Movie Night" features popcorn and chocolate M&Ms.
Theresa Raffetto /
Smooth peanut butter, raisins, and peanuts on health bread make up the "Peace Nut" sandwich.

Click here to see more crazy sandwiches.

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