- Photo by Corleto Peanut butter on Unsplash

Your foodie travel memories: I wanna tell you a story about peanut butter

America's super-sweet flagship spread

30w ago

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We're all familiar with peanut butter. Even if you've never actually tried it, peanut butter has somehow reached your life because you've seen it a thousand times in Hollywood movies and American TV Shows from when we were young. You heard about it. Peanut butter is the Ford Mustang of spreads. If it were a TV show, it would be Seinfeld. If it were a sneaker, it would be a pair of Adidas Stan Smiths.

Photo by Olia Nayda on Unsplash

Photo by Olia Nayda on Unsplash

Back in my school days there was this Italian-American girl who wouldn't shut up about her American dad. All day, every day, she would rave about her trips to the U.S., and college and the highways and football and fast food joints we'd never heard of because "it's not McDonald's, you know". We all kinda liked her. Actually, if we're honest I think we all felt sorry for her because she was alone all the time. Her parents were divorced and her American dad, well, he was always in America. Long story short, one day we were having a party at her place, and all of a sudden she shows up with a peanut butter jar. We're talking about twenty years ago, remember, and peanut butter wasn't readily available in supermarkets in my country. I tried it, and I seem to recall I didn't like it very much.

Photo by @plqml // felipe pelaquim on Unsplash

Photo by @plqml // felipe pelaquim on Unsplash

Years later, it feels like a lifetime, I'm in Los Angeles, sharing a home with seven or eight people I didn't know before. Every day, like clockwork, I wake up, toast some bread and spread peanut butter on it. For about a month, that was my daily breakfast and the start of my daily routine even though there was no routine because every day was different. Sometimes it rains in L.A.

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I filmed this with my phone in the patio on an exceptionally rainy day. It was around 7 AM in November 2018 in L.A.

I'd wake up in the morning and go to Little Tokyo or Long Beach or Koreatown or Downtown. I even went to Compton a couple of times. Some days were uneventful, some days were packed with stuff to do. Some days I'd meet people, some days I'd be on my own. But the peanut butter breakfast never changed and I grew accustomed to it. It was my ticking clock, my metronome. Los Angeles is a wonderful city, probably more so if you're a visitor and not a resident. My favourite writer once said that L.A. is "a suburb in search of a city". It is also, more to the point, a standalone universe that tries to pass itself off as a big town. But it isn't just a big town. There are thousands of different versions of L.A. and they're not necessarily intertwined with one another. Sometimes I even smile in L.A.

Taken in West Hollywood, November 2019

Taken in West Hollywood, November 2019

Now, like most people, I'm stuck where I am. I can't move and I don't know when I'll be able to travel again. I don't particularly miss peanut butter and even if I did miss it, it wouldn't be a big deal because every supermarket has it these days. But I do miss L.A., and I do miss travelling. Which is actually the whole point. I want to travel again. Damn, I'm sad now. I'm gonna have to drown my sorrows in peanut butter.

What are your food-related travel memories? Let me know in the comments

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Comments (10)

  • Looking at the roof tiles in some of your posts Iโ€™ll guess youโ€™re now in Italy? I spent 3 mths in LA in 1996... although I did travel as far south as San Diego and north to San Francisco then back to LA through Yosemite national park. Fave place? Santa Barbara. If I ever win the lottery Iโ€™m movin๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿป

      6 months ago
    • Indeed I am. San Diego is a different world, I'd tell anybody to go there if they can. Haven't actually been to Santa Barbara or San Francisco, but I did visit Vegas and... Barstow (go figure). Where are you based?

        6 months ago
    • Yep I done Vegas and Barstow but I think back then Barstow was just an outlet mall stop off on the way to the neon kingdom! Iโ€™m in the very quiet ๐Ÿ‡ฌ๐Ÿ‡ง Iโ€™d do anything for a road trip right now #lockdown

        6 months ago
  • Thank you, now I'm sad too!! I'm not a big traveler (sadly) but every place I visited, be sure I recall something delicious I've eaten, and I know it's stupid but sometimes I would just come back there to eat again that special thing I had. When I've been in Berlin many years ago, bretzel were my sort of "peanut butter" for example. And now I'd really fancy some Canelรฉs, a tipycal pastry of Bordeaux, and a French bottle of red wine to share with one of my dearest friend! Argh!

      6 months ago
    • they say it usually gets worse before it gets better and it gets darker before dawn so I guess this is a case of "you gotta be sad before you're happy". Don't be sad. Eat peanut butter, Sergio would approve

        6 months ago
    • I have to check if the jar of peanut butter in my cupboard has not expired, otherwise instead od cheering me it will make me sick, I should give some to Sergio as well ๐Ÿ˜‚

        6 months ago
  • let me tell you a story about peanut butter @tribe

      6 months ago
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