Peanut butter and banana sandwich

A Tale of Two Banana Sandwiches

Phyllis Lifestyle 56 Comments

The other evening, Neal and I were sharing the story of his banana sandwich with our friends. Now on the surface, a banana sandwich is a simple thing. Bread, mayo or peanut butter, banana—done!

NOT at our house. First, let’s talk about the sandwich itself. I am assuming a banana sandwich is a national favorite. At least it is here in the South. We are raised on them, so making banana sandwich is a ritual.

Neal and I had not been married long when I offered to make banana sandwiches for lunch. He is a peanut butter devotee, and I am mayonnaise, tried-and-true. Proceeding to make mine, I quickly slapped the mayo on the bread and then rapidly cut up my banana and presto—sandwich done!

When I looked up I saw this look of horror on his face as he exclaimed, “I will make mine!” Very interesting, I thought. What unfolded next was a true revelation for us! I watched as this grown man carefully covered every inch of the bread with evenly applied peanut butter. Next the man literally cut the bananas into slices that were precisely the same size. (By this time, I had already eaten half of my sandwich). He then proceeded to place each slice on the bread, nine slices evenly spaced and turned in the same direction. Oh my gosh, what a production. There were two little banana slices left over, which he ate, as putting them on the sandwich would make it unbalanced.

If I had known he was going to engineer his sandwich, I would have driven him really crazy and cut mine lengthwise instead of into little slices. But I really don’t think his heart could have taken it.

When he was finished he turned to me and said, “This is the proper way to make a banana sandwich!” Really? I actually took a photo of it, as this was a very interesting moment for me. I bet mine tasted the same. No, mine was probably better, because I just piled all my unevenly cut banana slices on the bread.

And if you look closely, he used a paper towel instead of a plate. To which I promptly said, “We use plates!” He was astonished and asked, “Now, why would I want to do that?” So, I ate my uneven banana sandwich on a blue calico plate, while he ate his precisely engineered work of art on a paper towel! This is the stuff fairy tales are made of!

So, are you a peanut butter or mayo banana sandwich eater, or both? (Combining the two was a favorite of my mother.)
What is your favorite sandwich?

Comments 56

  1. Just got to read about peanut banana sandwich story. My family made ours with mashed bananas mixed with the peanut butter and sometimes mixed some honey in to sweeten it more. Liked the one about mixing in the Nutella, too. Sounds good! I haven’t had one in a long time. Will have to try it soon!

    Thanks for sharing the story and reminding us of our childhood again!

  2. My high school friend and I loved banana sandwiches but we used both: salad dressing on one slice of bread and peanut butter on the other slice. We also cut our banana in oblong slices. Easy to eat without loosing any banana slices. The dressing kept the banana peanut butter side from sticking to the roof of the mouth. Easy for any age to enjoy!

  3. Phyllis, I enjoyed reading your post, it made me smile. I hail from Illinois and I grew up eating peanut butter and bananas sandwiches on white bread. I would guess my mother cut the bananas evenly. I never looked as I was too eager to eat it. As an adult I don’t bother cutting my bananas evenly but must have nine slices. Like your husband I have to eat the tail ends, they don’t go on the sandwich. I am not too particular as to how evenly my peanut butter goes on the bread either as long as it’s a heaping amount of it. I had no idea people actually ate peanut butter and mayo sandwiches. So enlightning 🙂 I must go now and have a peanut butter and banana sandwich.

  4. I’m with Susan and your mother!
    White sandwich bread
    Hellman’s mayo on one bread slice,
    Crunchy natural peanut butter on the other, and
    The whole banana, how sliced matters not.

  5. I love mine with mayo – Bama Mayo if any could be found. With Goldenflake plain salty potato chips. With uneven skices abd all of the babana on it. At the moment i am on weight watchers and will not buy unsweetened peanutbutter to make the WW approved version. I will just save my points for my planned ahead gourmet meal of banana sandwhich and chips. My favorite!

  6. I too was born and raised in Huntsville,AL. My husband has always engineered his banana sandwich also. I would have mine eaten before he finished his perfection sandwich!! I’m almost 70 but recently learned to put Nutella on the peanut butter then top it with banana on white bread -yummy!!!!

  7. Last night I had just made myself a peanut butter and banana sandwich on white bread. I had debated whether I wanted mayo or peanut butter. Never together. I chose the peanut butter. I evenly spread my peanut butter on both pieces of bread and then sliced 9 perfectly even circles of banana and placed them three rows of three on the bread. I topped the bananas with the second buttered bread slice and cut it diagonally. When I took it to the living room to enjoy in front of the evening news, I heard my phone ting that I had a new email. I opened it to find the picture of Neal’s sandwich, which looked exactly like the one I had just assembled. I read and enjoyed the many renditions of a banana sandwich. I’m with Neal; it has to be assembled perfectly. It’s all in the presentation.

  8. Hi Phyllis,
    I grew up a peanut butter and jelly girl. I have a variety of jams and jelly’s. Like
    strawberry jam, blackberry jam, raspberry jam, orange marinade, blueberry jam, and apricot and peach jams and apple butter. We learned how to make jams as a child and
    with an abundance of summer fruits we canned for the winter months. Yummy and fun.
    But right now in the heat of these 100 degree days I love my beefsteak tomato and sharp cheddar cheese sandwiches……thank you for bringing back some great memories and I
    love what all your fellow gals have to say. We’re all from different parts of our great America and we all share our great traditions……thanks for keeping us with happy and fond memories…YOU are appreciated! believe Me! Happy California Carmel

  9. I have been educated today in the fine art of eating…the southern way of sandwiches. I had no idea that mayonnaise could get anywhere near bananas…let alone the possibility that you could put peanut butter and mayonnaise together…and pineapple with mayonnaise, too.??? My…my…my! I guess I will try these…admittedly with some trepidation…and see what I have been missing all of these years. I’m from the south…well, the southwest corner of Missouri…and that must not be anywhere near south enough to have known about these combinations! :o)

    As always, I enjoy hearing from a true Southern Lady…thanks, Phyllis!

  10. I grew up in the South but there were some tastes and textures that our mother felt just didn’t go together. Therefore, I did not know about peanut butter and banana sandwiches until I got married. I couldn’t imagine such a thing! Many years later I tried a bite and was hooked and I make mine just like your husband does with extra think peanut butter spread to the very edge. I could never imagine mayo though!

    However, a great big thank you to Katherine! I dearly love white bread, Miracle Whip, American cheese and a slice of pineapple! When the stars align and I have all the ingredients I savor one of those sandwiches. My husband has yet to try a bite!

  11. Well, I’m from South GA and I guess we were too poor to slice our bananas. We covered our white bread in Blue Plate mayo and placed the whole banana on the bread like a hot dog :). You can eat it with peanut butter if you must but I’ve never had peanut butter and mayo on the same naner sandwich. Not sure I would like that at all.

  12. Wow that’s a great story, it really made me laugh. When my husband & I were first married & I was making his sandwich, he was appalled at the amount of Hellman’s mayo I put on his sandwich. Even worse – he told me I put too much ham on the bread. He only likes a small smear of mayo on both slices of bread and 2 slices of ham on one side of the bread. Ooo boy, I can’t be that exact, I just want it to taste good. He’s an engineer so everything is precise.

    I’m from NJ and have actually had banana sandwiches growing up, but just banana, no mayo and no peanut butter, so this story was something new for me. Thanks for the laughs Phyllis, please share more stories if you can.

  13. Our family is peanut butter and banana on white bread. We are a family of southerners, Virginia, Tennessee, Alabama, and Florida. We also eat peanut butter and sweet pickle (sliced lengthwise), peanut butter and apple butter, peanut butter with a slice of yellow american cheese, and of course the staple of peanut butter and jelly/jam.

  14. Dear Phyllis,
    You’re a woman after my own heart! I don’t know another soul that loves mayonnaise on their peanut butter as much as I do! But where we differ…….no banana for me.
    Just loved the story! It brought such a chuckle and a big smile!

  15. I’m sure every married woman has a story similar to yours!
    Mine came with making a grilled cheese–the first time I made them for our lunch, I did as I always did, putting butter on the outsides, letting the rich cheese melt on the inside. When my hubby took a bite, a strange look crossed his face and he almost shouted, “Where’s the mayonnaise?” Oh no, I’d failed as a bride!

    Now I knew mayonnaise was to be a staple, but I didn’t know how significant until a few years later when he went to make a sandwich for lunch–and horrors! we had NO mayonnaise! Mustard, catsup–would not do!

    I decided to address this marital crisis with humor! I made a foray into the supermarket and bought six quarts of mayonnaise (the 32 oz. quart–have you noticed that quart jars are now 30 oz.–except for Duke’s Mayo). I individually wrapped each jar, then placed them carefully in a box, gift wrapped the box–and smilingly presented it to him at dinner! We had a good laugh–and NEVER in 45 years have we been without mayonnaise,

    But I’ve neither made nor eaten mayonnaise and banana sandwiches! Smiles all around.

  16. Crunchy peanut butter and bananas, sliced longways, so there aren’t pieces that could escape! not brought up on mayo, also not butter on regular meat and cheese sandwiches or egg salad sandwiches… sorry, doesn’t even sound good.

  17. I love a good naner sandwich, mine has to have Dukes mayonnaise on either some really good white bread or natures own white wheat bread . I also must have some lays potato chips and a good cold Coca Cola!!! Yummy, can you tell I am a true Georgia girl????

  18. I love banana sandwiches – white bread, mayo or Miracle Whip and banana slices – always washed down with a glass of cold milk. Yum! True happiness.

  19. The best banana sandwich has Peter Pan crunchy peanut butter AND Dukes mayonnaise (a leaf of lettuce sometimes). Does not matter how you slice the banana! And chocolate milk for beverage!

  20. My husband loves banana sandwiches and hopes to have one every single day!
    He’s ok with it if it doesn’t happen- some days are impossible! But in 55 years, has never complained if a banana sandwich becomes a meal! Mostly, one side with
    mayo and the other with crunchy peanut butter. Sometimes, both with mayo.
    Also loves salted peanuts with his sandwich. To make it a meal, add a cup of soup!
    Yes, we eat a great variety of food at home and out! But I know, he’s always happy to have that banana sandwich!

  21. Grew up on smashed bananas with peanut butter. We thought very yummy. My very favorite peanut butter sandwich is made by putting apple slices and lettuce on top of peanut butter! Very crisp and delicious.

  22. This is too funny!!! What a cute couple you two are!!! Coming from NY, I never had nor heard of either one. I think us northerners are a deprived bunch… or at least I am! I am loving all these wonderful southern creations you all have and I’d love to hear more of these hilarious Neal and Phyllis stories!!!

  23. We always have peanut butter, Miracle Whip, and bananas. White bread is the best. Just not the same with some kind of whole grain.

  24. My husband likes peanut putter & dill pickle sandwiches. I like banana with peanut butter on wheat bread. I had not heard of mayo & banana sandwiches!

  25. I am from the South–a native Floridian. My favorite banana sandwich has mayo on it but I like a banana and peanut butter sandwich almost as much. I slice my banana lengthwise. It never crossed my mind to slice it crosswise. I will have to try it that way the next time I make a banana sandwich.

  26. Oh my gosh….he is exactly like my hubby!….it pains me to see him spread something on bread…slowly spreading the peanut butter so evenly on the bread…covering the slice, yet making sure the peanut butter does not take a dive over the edge. Bananas sliced with precision….sometimes I wonder if he is going to bring out the ruler….He takes pride in that he is eating the perfectly made sandwich!.. I just had a PB & B sandwich the other day…but I now slice my banana in half then vertically…I learned that while in Japan with my mother…they eat PB & B sandwiches too….and ever since then the banana is sliced vertically … no spaced between the small round slices anymore…all banana!….now have to ask…does your hubby fold his dirty clothes and neatly places them in the clothes hamper? Love your stories!

  27. Loved this note!!
    I can identify with Neal’s exactitude; but, of course you do realize that you are BOTH wrong as to the spread. Very fresh white bread (Mrs. Beard’s or in a pinch, Rainbow) sans peanut butter or – yuck! – mayonnaise is the base. Next, perfectly sliced, exactly ripened bananas are precisely spaced on the bread base. (Note: They are only exactly at the correct stage of ripeness for about an hour!! ) Lastly, sprinkle the sandwitch with about a half teaspoon of granulated sugar. If everything is precisely correct, when the sugar comes into contact with the sliced bananas, a slight syrup will form. Top with a second slice of bread, place on your favorite plate and enjoy with a cold glass of whole milk. Yum!!

  28. I grew up eating peanut butter, banana and mayonnaise sandwiches. They need to be made with the freshest white bread possible. I still have one occasionally. Another sandwich we often enjoyed was fresh white bread, mayonnaise and pineapple. Oh my goodness they are both delicious with a glass of very cold milk.

  29. Nothing like a banana, sliced, piled up on soft white bread with mayo or miracle whip! Yummy! Love peanut butter just not with banana!

  30. I think I married Neil’s twin brother! Read your post to him and he totally backed up Neil! We had a good laugh,thank you for that.Marriage is a riot. Looking forward to the next post

  31. Phyllis, I am from south Louisiana (swamp people country) and I grew up peeling the banana and putting a glob of crunchy peanut butter on the end of the banana adding more globs as you ate it down. It was fabulous and still is!!! Fun to see all of the variations! Have to try Neal’s version.

  32. True southern! I just love you and Neal and your family stories.
    Greetings from the Birmingham area.
    Dukes is my favorite on peanut butter and banana sandwiches.

  33. My late husband used to say peanut butter and mayonnaise sandwiches (sans bananas) were a childhood favorite of his. YUCK! was all I could say to that. I do not especially care for “real mayonnaise” as it tastes too eggy for me. Give me good old Kraft’s Miracle Whip! I do like a piece of toast with peanut butter and crisp bacon. If I want peanut butter and a banana, I simply use a table knife to dab a bit of the former on the latter and bite it off. Repeat steps one and two until the banana is gone. Phyllis, I want to offer my sincere apology to you about the cancellation of the original Victoria. If I had half a brain I would have remembered it was Hearst publishing Company that introduced it. I had been an avid reader of their Country Living magazine since it’s beginning in the 1970’s.

  34. Peanut butter for me! While the mayo sounds intriguing, the banana sandwich is just an excuse for me to eat more peanut butter. I also used to put Kix cereal on my peanut butter sandwiches with a little honey drizzled on it. My dad would put bacon bits on his.

  35. I thought it was just an Elvis “thing”. I’m from the northwest, and poor. End of the month was creative, on good days we could have peanut butter and pickles, other days we had “nothing” sandwiches, bread, butter, and sugar.

  36. I have never eaten a banana sandwich. The idea of it is not appealing to me at all. I’m from the north. My mother lived in Florida for a time when she was young and I do remember her talking about a banana sandwich, but I never had one. Neither peanut butter or mayonnaise sound good with banana to me.

  37. I’m with you Phyllis, you should have cut the banana length wise. Hellmans for all mayo needs in this family, three generations.

  38. Lovely story! Well, I am not at all familiar with mayonnaise and banana sandwiches. I never hear of that! What this reminds me of is Elvis Presley’s favorite sandwich that his momma used to make for him, which was a fried peanut butter and banana sandwich. There were 2 versions, one had added in bacon to the mix. And his mom would mash the bananas (not slice) before spreading them on the sandwich and then frying it up in a hot pan with butter. Whatever you love, eat more bananas!

  39. Well, I’m going to add something different to the mix when I tell you the favorite way I want my banana sandwich! First, I’ll tell you I’m 78 years old and was born in Huntsville, AL, so true Southerner! My favorite banana sandwich must have Kraft Miracle Whip on white bread!! Yes, that tangy taste is wonderful for banana sandwiches, both sides of the bread. Also the little spaces in between the bananas must have a thin slice of banana over them! Yum!

    Please no booing and hissing! LOL! Try it!


    P.S. – Yes, I will eat a banana sandwich made with peanut butter and on whole wheat bread, healthier, but I do love the Miracle Whip better!

    Another P.S. – Another favorite sandwich (Southern) is: White bread, Miracle Whip, pineapple slices and a slice of American cheese. Anybody else ever have this?

    1. Hi Katherine, I’m a Great Lakes girl and we spread toasted bread with mayo or you can use your Miracle Whip just as well. Add sliced pineapple, a slice of American cheese, then top with partially cooked bacon. Pop under the broiler until the cheese melts!

  40. First take a couple tablespoons of soft real butter ( Kirkland salted sweet cream butter mix with two table spoons or(to your taste) (Bradshaw’s spun premium Honey ) this honey is excellent because it does not have a flavor , it is just good — then
    Mix with two table spoons of ADAMS (only no other will do) 100% natural peanut butter
    Crunchy is very good, Spread on bread top with bananas cut any way you like angle is very nice. That’s the way a really good treat is.

  41. I LOVE this story, but I have to admit, when I saw “mayo” I went back and read it twice to make sure I’d really read that. I’ve never heard of mayo and bananas, or, mayo, peanut butter and bananas! :-O
    We East Coasters we make it Neal’s way, except the PB goes on BOTH slices of bread (with those perfectly sliced and lined up bananas sandwiched between.) 😀

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