New Looks, Tastes to Sandwich Favorite Peanut Butter and Jelly

October 08, 2013

Knox College Peanut Butter and Jelly Cook-Off

Knox College students gave a new look and taste to every kid's favorite meal -- the peanut butter and jelly sandwich -- in the first ever Peanut Butter and Jelly Cook-Off. The contest, sponsored by the Knox College Union Board, drew ten teams on Saturday, Oct. 5, as part of Knox's Family and Friends Weekend.

A faculty-staff panel -- Travis Greenlee of the Campus Life office; Laura Schnack, associate dean of students; and Andrew Civettini, associate professor of political science -- judged the entries.

Contestants were able to browse and select ingredients -- several kinds of peanut butter, jellies, breads, fruits and spices -- then had 15 minutes to assemble their creations.

The overall winner, sophomore Derinn Wallace, said she designed a "sweet sandwich" that featured, among other ingredients, Nutella, almonds, strawberries, raspberries, and Biscoff cookies.

While some teams sculpted their entries to look like sushi or sea creatures, the opposite approach appealed to Warren Pierce, who entered with his daughter Dana, a senior. Their entry -- an unadulterated peanut butter and jelly sandwich.

"Other people were adding [extra ingredients such as] Nutella [which contains milk], and as a vegan, that eliminates the vegans," said Pierce, whose son Nathan also attended Knox, graduating in 2007. "It was a peanut butter and jelly contest. I went for the traditional. I made what I thought would taste the best, and everyone could eat."

Sophomore Kathryn Lanute won the award for "best presentation," relying on some background. "My father worked in a pastry shop," Lanute says, "I learned a lot from him about professional presentation."

Other prizes awarded were for "most creative" and "people's choice," which both went to the team that dressed their entry to look like sushi; and "best description," awarded to the team that gave the most engaging explanation of what is, apparently, much more than just a college student's stand-by sandwich.

In Pictures: The First-Ever Peanut Butter and Jelly Cook-Off, at Knox College Family and Friends Weekend 2013