The Classic Sandwich Ina Garten Didn't Try Until The Pandemic

We have all spent a little bit more time in the kitchen over the past year thanks to the coronavirus pandemic. We have whipped up some of our favorite comfort foods and tried out some new dishes, like the feta pasta and Dalogna coffee that were both made wildly popular through TikTok. Even some of our favorite celebrity chefs got a little creative, like Alton Brown, who realized that he was out of rice while making curry for dinner once last year and decided to substitute it with oatmeal (via Variety).

Ina Garten used her extra time to get adventurous with her cooking, eating, and drinking, though the Food Network star's pandemic indulgence likely isn't going to go viral anytime soon. She admitted during an appearance on CNN's "Anderson Cooper Full Circle" back in December that the meal she turned to for both herself and her husband, Jeffrey, at the beginning of quarantine was a simple peanut butter and jelly sandwich.

Of course, this isn't exactly a strange thing to eat, even for the Barefoot Contessa — her favorite meal is a bowl of oatmeal, after all. What may come as a surprise, however, is the second revelation Garten made during her appearance on the CNN program: She had never actually eaten a PB&J before last year.

Ina Garten puts a unique twist on her PB&Js

What you read before was true. Ina Garten only recently started enjoying the goodness that is a peanut butter and jelly sandwich — something we have all likely pulled out of our lunchboxes at least once in our lives — and all it took was a global pandemic to make it happen. But, while the chef has been vocal in the past with her sandwich opinions, once saying that European deli subs are superior to the American version (via Showbiz CheatSheet), her reasoning for just now getting in on this classic pairing isn't quite as controversial.

"My mother never made them," she explained to Anderson Cooper (via CNN), who also has an affinity for the snack. "And we were just like, this is great." The celebrity chef even developed a recipe for peanut butter and jelly bars from her pandemic diet staple (via SheKnows).

Though Garten told Cooper that PB&J's were her go-to at the beginning of the pandemic, she still seems to be indulging in the snack in 2021. Back in February, the Barefoot Contessa whipped up a set of sandwiches for a lunch date with her husband, during which they went down to the beach and listened to a podcast in the car. The social media-savvy 73-year-old took to her Instagram to share a few snaps from the date, including one of her peanut butter and jelly sandwich that featured toasted bread — a unique twist that EatingWell noted had her fans reeling.