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Peanut Butter and Jelly

The “No Peanut Butter in Argentina” subtitle of this blog is meant to draw attention to this small detail of life in Argentina as emblematic of cultural divide: one of the most common comfort foods in the U.S. is peanut butter. Whether on toast, on a bagel, with jelly, with chocolate or by the spoonful, this is an extremely common topping for Americans, especially children, who grow up looking forward to PBJs for lunch. It’s so common, we call it PBJ. In Argentina, that concept does not exist.

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28 Comments leave one →
  1. June 17, 2009 6:02 pm

    “No peanut butter in Argentina”, but a lot of Dulce de leche and it is just as dangerous as peanut butter.

    • June 17, 2009 6:12 pm

      Thanks for your comment BA Photo!

      Ya, dulce de leche is a killer. Have you ever tried it with peanut butter? OMG!

    • Sara Poggio permalink
      August 29, 2013 12:13 am

      but we have dulce de leche which is not appreciate by Americans but is the our pbj.

  2. June 26, 2009 4:53 am

    After ten years in BA, friends know what is at the top of my shopping list to bring me. I don’t care if they bring Smucker’s Natural, Jif or Skippy–I use it when I want a PB&J sandwich!

  3. June 26, 2009 6:32 am

    I missed PB so much, I formed a facebook group to raise money to take a trip back to the states and fill up on peanut butter! http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=91829476871&ref=ts

    . . . You can get PB in the Barrio Chino, but it is not the same. .

    . . also. . my thoughts on Dulce de Leche vs. Peanut Butter: http://veggiecarly.blogspot.com/2008/08/peanut-butter-vs-dulce-de-leche.html

  4. Keijo permalink
    July 12, 2009 8:14 pm

    Right now I’m coming back from Carlos Paz with 4 Argentine peanut butter jars which have almost nothing to envy from Jif or Peter Pan. They cost $ 9 pesos each in a local supermarket called Becerra. If any of you happen to be traveling through Cordoba, you’ll easily find some PB. I’m managing myself to make Disco (a country-wide supermarket company) get them to its Buenos Aires branch. They did already with some other national brands. I miss Oreos doublestuff, though.

  5. Sara permalink
    December 18, 2009 11:24 pm

    The Carrefour supermarket in Acassusso carries Skippy peanut butter – unfortunately, not the chunky variety but the smooth one.

  6. Martin permalink
    December 21, 2009 7:24 pm

    Just a quick note: I’m argentino, but lived in the US for years, and loved peanut butter, but only the basic, nothing added one: just peanuts and salt, organic or similar…well, here I get just the same! go to any Jumbo supermarket, and they have it as an arabic food ingredient, “pasta de mani” it’s just that, and is gooood….so anytime I want, I get 1-2 jars and last me a long time…(I’m the only one in my family that eats it…my kids love dulce de leche, no pbj for them…)

  7. August 23, 2010 7:43 pm

    I ventured once to China Town for peanut butter in Baires. It wasn’t the real stuff. but it was close enough!

  8. gustavo permalink
    October 20, 2010 7:49 pm

    Hi, Belgrano’s Chinatown in Falabella and Walmart is a very tasty DAMEMANI name
    Best Regards

  9. Tammy permalink
    August 1, 2012 12:50 pm

    My son has recently moved to Argentina. Can I just send him some in a package or is there a problem with importing?

    • August 1, 2012 2:19 pm

      Hi Tammy, Thanks for the comment! Yes sending packages is quite difficult. It is likely to be held in customs indefinitely. Unfortunately I would not recommend sending anything, especially anything of high value. Cheers!

  10. Emma permalink
    August 5, 2012 9:38 pm

    En dietéticas y negocios naturistas podés encontrar peanut butter

    • July 12, 2013 2:38 pm

      Hi Emma,

      That’s not really the point of this entry. The point is that peanut butter is absolutely EVERYWHERE in the USA and here it is only at a few places. Those places, though, are so inconvenient to get to that I now make my own peanut butter. The other point is that a peanut butter and jelly sandwich is so incredibly common as a child’s food in the USA, that everyone knows what it is. Literally 100% of Americans. But here nobody knows what it is. This illustrates a difference in culture through food.

      Thanks for reading!

  11. August 23, 2012 3:13 pm

    There is Peanut Butter here now! And, not only one obscure little brand, there are several. They realized that they could just as easily produce PB here and export it to the USA. What extra product they have they can sell locally and voila! Now you have peanut butter. In fact, now I just might introduce Peanut Butter Cookies to the local market and see if it sticks!

  12. Luciano permalink
    October 11, 2012 7:23 pm

    just saw this post and wanted to let you know that PB has been in Argentina (at least in capital) for many many years. When I was a biology student in Buenos Aires (year ~2000) I used to buy peanut butter (made in Argentina, it was not mantecol) to make mice bait (for ecological research and the mice were not harmed) in a small shop (“all organic”) approximately in Coronel Diaz y Mansilla or Paraguay)!!

    • October 11, 2012 11:35 pm

      Hi Luciano. Thanks for the comment! I wonder, though, did you read what I wrote about peanut butter?

  13. February 28, 2013 4:56 pm

    that is so awesome. since I am allergic to peanut butter anyway

  14. bob permalink
    November 28, 2013 7:54 pm

    I brought small foil wrapped peanut butter to B.A. and was glad I did.
    I didn*t see any in the supermarkets.

  15. March 3, 2014 12:50 am

    Hello, I am a U.S. citizen (and fellow WordPress blogger) who will be traveling to Buenos Aires in a week and a half. It’ll be my first time in Argentina, and I am very excited. As a fellow foodie, I can empathize with your predicament. I’d be happy to bring you some peanut butter. Just let me know what kind you want 🙂

    • Daniel permalink
      March 26, 2014 9:45 pm

      AH! Thank you so much for the offer! I’m sorry I didn’t see this comment sooner. I hope you enjoyed your stay here in Buenos Aires 🙂

  16. October 12, 2014 3:26 am

    Haha so interesting, eh? You can find it in soooome places, though pretty rare. For people in Argentina comfort food is dulce de leche and dulce de membrillo, mmmmm. When I first tried PB as a kid I thought it was the most disgusting thing ever, hah! 😛

  17. May 12, 2015 2:32 am

    OMG- just found this blog, and already loving it. When I moved out here to get married to my Argentine husband, I brought over 9 big jars of Sainsbury’s crunchy peanut butter (UK supermarket)- after blind-tasting a lot of different varieties- British, American & Argentine (don’t even bother with that last one) we found it to be the best. Also- 100% agree- peanut butter and dulce de lech is divine… have you tried this combi in between 2 Rumba cookies? There is no other taste like it!
    Any ideas on the best dulce de leche brand? Would be interested to hear!

    • May 13, 2015 2:16 pm

      Hi Tori,

      The undisputed best dulce de leche brand is La Salamandra, but I believe they went out of business recently. If you can find them they are truly gourmet. My wife and I are hoarding a few jars still. And on the peanut butter front: your best bet for restocking is to buy a really good food processor/blender and buy peanuts in barrio chino. Get the unsalted ones. Then just blend and add a little vegetable oil and salt and its pure peanut butter joy. Also guaranteed to be unadulterated with hydrogenated who knows what. That was my alternative of choice rather than schlepping peanut butter from the USA.

      Cheers!

      • May 14, 2015 2:16 pm

        I have indeed tried/loved the La Salamandra ddl, and also heard the rumour it is out of business 😦
        Good idea about the food blender- sounds like the perfect solution for peanut-butter-starved-expats! Thanks!

      • May 14, 2015 2:45 pm

        Oh, one more thing. If you ever make it over to Uruguay, you should try the Conaprole brand of dulce de leche. That one is my favorite. The packaging is old, tired, uninspiring, but what’s inside is what counts.

    • May 14, 2015 2:43 pm

      Making your own is a good choice, but just in case you don’t want to, you now have another alternative. There is another expat who is making natural peanut butter. Check it out: http://mantecademani.com/

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