Sandwichettes and bits of Butterfinger

graham slam

Welch’s strikes back

It took 14 years for jelly titan Welch’s to come up with a competitor for the Uncrustables frozen sandwichettes from jelly colossus Smucker’s. (If Mr. Tidbit had any decency, he wouldn’t speculate that there might be a jealousy aspect to the two firms’ competition – that perhaps they are jelly green giants. But he has no decency.)

Here, in paraphrase, is how Mr. Tidbit described Uncrustables when they appeared in 2002.

They’re frozen undersized (3 1/2 inch) peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, crimped all around into crustless circles. Each weighs 2 ounces. You don’t microwave them; you let them thaw for 30 to 60 minutes. The miracle that they accomplish is sparing you the complex process of making a very cold sandwich yourself. Mr. Tidbit estimated that the Uncrustables sandwich costs about 2 1/2 times more than an actual sandwich.

Enter Welch’s new Graham Slam! (The exclamation point is part of the name, not an indication of enthusiasm on the part of Mr. Tidbit.) The Graham Slam! is a 2.2-ounce rectangular frozen peanut butter and jelly sandwich in which the bread is replaced by graham crackers. The box proclaims that you can eat them frozen or thawed.

Although the difference between bread and graham crackers is significant, the biggest difference between the two products, at least to Mr. Tidbit, is that there’s a much higher jelly-to-PB ratio in the Uncrustables than in the Graham Slam!, making it easier to eat.


Down to the crunch

Mr. Tidbit bought Nestle’s new Butterfinger Baking Bits without even the most cursory examination of the bag. Had he done any more than glance at it (while cursing), he would have seen that the illustration reveals contents to be little miscellaneous crumbles of Butterfinger bars – some are just Butterfinger innards, some have bits of chocolate coating.

He assumed, when he first heard of them, that Butterfinger Baking Bits would be little crumbles of Butterfinger innards covered in chocolate – like chocolate chips. And he hoped that if they were added to chocolate chip cookies, an experiment he later performed, they would retain the Butterfinger bar’s copyrighted “crispety, crunchety, peanut buttery” texture.

No, they don’t. They pretty-much melt into the cookie, giving it a “peanut buttery” flavor, but a texture lacking in “crispety.” To say nothing of “crunchety.” There is a little of Butterfingers’ “stick-in-your-teethetiness.”


Al Sicherman