Like most Americans, I grew up with peanut butter as a staple food item. I still eat peanut butter today (though now I consume peanut butter made only from peanuts, such as the Krema brand).
But unlike most Americans, the peanut butter-and-jelly sandwiches I enjoyed as a child — and still enjoy today — have more than just peanut butter and jelly between the slices of bread.
My father preferred his peanut butter-and-jelly sandwiches with lettuce and a slice of tomato, and certainly by the time I was a teenager, my preference included not only lettuce and tomato, but a slice of onion as well. And not the bland, sweet onions that are ubiquitous nowadays. Rather, the slice should be from a sharp onion, whether yellow, white or red.
I realized even in younger days that this style of peanut butter-and-jelly sandwich was atypical, and my friends in school claimed the mere sight of my onion-and-tomato filled sandwich made them nauseous. But I find the tartness of the tomato and onion temper the clingy sweetness of the peanut butter and jelly, creating a more balanced taste, even if that taste is not for everyone.