We Tried It: Channing Tatum's Peanut Butter, Jelly and Cheetos Sandwich
WHO TRIED IT: Julia Emmanuele, Writer/Reporter at PEOPLE.com
WHY WE DID IT: It might just be the closest we ever get to eating dinner with Tatum himself
“That sandwich seems like it would either be amazing or absolutely disgusting. Someone should really eat it and find out.”
That was my thought process as I read through Channing Tatum’s Reddit AMA for the fifth or sixth time on Thursday morning. While the rest of the Internet was in a frenzy over some of his other colorful answers — ahem, Gilbert — I couldn’t seem to stop thinking about the recipe he had given for his perfect sandwich.
After all, peanut butter, jelly and Cheetos is a bold combination. Separately, all of those ingredients are delicious, and peanut butter and jelly sandwiches make up a significant part of my daily diet, but once Cheetos are added into the mix, it seems to just be a recipe for disaster. And yet, there was a small part of me that wondered if perhaps Tatum was on to something. Chefs have been combining savory and sweet flavors for years with great success; maybe he had just stumbled onto culinary genius.
It was that last, niggling thought that made me determined to try Tatum’s sandwich for myself. I simply needed to know if this had been the magical sandwich combination we had been waiting for our whole lives.
In order to give Tatum’s sandwich its best shot at success, I decided to follow the instructions he gave in the thread exactly. In the interest of true objectivity, I also recruited my brother to accompany me on this culinary adventure as, in addition to being the biggest fan of Tatum’s work that I know, he’ll also eat just about anything.
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First up, the ingredients: According to Tatum’s instructions, the bread must be white, the jelly must be grape-flavored and the peanut butter must be creamy. (The necessary sense of adventure was simply implied.)
Spread the peanut butter on the bread as you normally would, but when it comes to the jelly, Tatum specifies that you need a “double portion, more than you think should actually fit on a piece of white bread.” This is where my hesitations started. See, I’m not a fan of grape jelly. I grew up in a strawberry jelly household, and seeing that mountain of purple goo made me very apprehensive.
Still, I trust Tatum, so I continued on to the next step: the Cheetos. He didn’t say how many Cheetos to add to the sandwich, or which side of the bread to put them on, so I took a few risks and added a reasonable amount on top the jelly, and closed up the sandwich.
I hoped that the strange flavor combination would result in something magical. I worried that it would be disgusting and inedible, and I would regret ever suggesting this taste test in the first place. What I got was actually, surprisingly disappointing.
It just tasted like a regular peanut butter and jelly sandwich, but with a little more crunch in the middle.
Using a double portion of jelly, as Tatum recommends, means that the grape flavor just overwhelms everything else. Sure, you get a little bit of a cheesy aftertaste that’s not entirely pleasant, but for the most part, it was pretty much your standard PB&J. I didn’t dislike the experience — in fact, if I were ever particularly bored one day, I might even try it again. I just had hoped for something more.
(My brother, it should be noted, finished his half of the sandwich, and then promptly declared it to be “Fine.”)
Despite my disappointment, I feel like eating Tatum’s PB&J&C brought me just a little bit closer to one of my favorite actors. But if he ever offers to make me a sandwich, I’m going to have to politely decline … at least until he learns to appreciate strawberry jelly a bit more.