One of the goals of Peace Corps (Goal 2) is to improve the understanding of the U.S. on the part of the host country, in this case Perú. In laymans terms, help Peruvians understand U.S. culture. Therefore, what better way to share U.S. culture than by sharing one of our greatest creations, the glorious spread known as Peanut Butter. When I left for Perú, I of course packed clothes, shoes, books, etc, but more importantly I made sure to back a good old jar of Jif Peanut Butter. A few weeks ago, after talking about Peanut Butter with one of my Peruvian friends here in Caraz, I decided it was finally time to crack open my personal Ark of the Covenant, so to speak, and share the glory that is Peanut Butter with my colleagues in the municipality.
Perú has peanuts (maní), and Perú has butter, but for some reason, Perú doesn’t have much peanut butter. Desserts here either contain chocolate, a milk-based cream called manjar, fruit, or a nasty pez-like icing, but as of yet, I have been completely unable to find any sort of dessert containing Peanut Butter, let alone Peanut Butter and Chocolate in any sort of combination (alright, technically the chocolate bars called Princesa are peanut butter/chocolate, but they have nothing on Reese’s). Consequently, I knew that they were in for a treat.
My stash of Jif, which was spread onto apples and crackers galore, was a hit among the entire office, leaving smiles all around. If the only legacy I leave behind after I complete my service is that of making my colleagues love Peanut Butter, I will deem my service an overwhelming success (I’m only partially joking).
With time, I’m hoping to actually make some Peanut Butter with some Peruvians and of course share other American Classics like S’mores.
Feel free to send me Peanut Butter Cups,