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How to make Ina Garten's perfect PB&J

The Barefoot Contessa's peanut butter and jelly sandwich requires very specific ingredients — and they're all store-bought!
Garten toasts the bread it doesn't get soggy from the spreads when taken on the go.@inagarten/Instagram / Getty Images
/ Source: TODAY

Americans have very strong opinions about how to make the perfect peanut butter and jelly sandwich — and Ina Garten is no exception.

On Friday, the Barfoot Contessa helped us all appreciate life's #simplepleasures (her hashtag), with a drool-worthy post of a PB&J she enjoyed with her husband, Jeffrey, on a wintry lunch date to the seaside.

The white bread was crisp and golden on the top and fluffy and white in the center. The toasting method was a bit unconventional, perhaps, but any naysayer would quickly retreat at one glimpse of those gleaming globs of peanut butter blended with crimson-colored jam dripping ever-so-delicately onto the table.

Followers flipped for her elevated twist on the kid's classic, just as they did for Garten's upgrade to grilled cheese and tomato soup.

"Why does your PB&J look like Henry Cavill in a tuxedo and mine looks like my dad in a leisure suit circa 1978??" one fan wrote.

Giada De Laurentiis applauded the PB&J, Katie Couric commented how it "sounds dreamy" and actor Melissa McCarthy said the sandwich could "make a bunch of stuff better" — all sentiments we echo.

Now, onto the important stuff: What's in Garten's perfect PB&J? While she did not immediately spill the ingredients in her caption or on her blog, she slowly but surely answered questions in the comments, revealing her sandwich secrets.

Some may have expected the sandwich's ingredients to be homemade — peanuts crushed into butter with a mortar and pestle and preserves made with fruit from her garden. Surprisingly, though, all three ingredients were premade. After all, the Barefoot Contessa does say that, in some cases, store-bought is fine.

Here are the exact ingredients she makes her PB&Js with:

  1. Pepperidge Farms White Bread, toasted, so it retains its crunch and doesn't get soggy from the spreads when taken on the go.
  2. Skippy Creamy Peanut Butter, of course. A classic.
  3. Eli Zabar's "amazing" raspberry jam, which is a splurge at $25 for a 16-ounce jar, but which she calls her "one indulgence" in the simple recipe.

Well, if we want to live the darling, beach-date life of Ina and Jeffrey Garten, that's just the price we'll have to pay.