In its scintillating miniseries No Crust, Just Truth: Story of the Modern Sandwich, the History Channel has dropped what is possibly the discovery of the century. Prepare yourselves: recent evidence indicates the ‘&’ in the classic PB&J was actually an homage to late wrestler Andre the Giant.
“When you think about it, there’s actually no grammatical reason for the ‘and’ to be there,” explained Dr. Patrick Claire, formerly a Yale University historian. “So once we figured out it was an abbreviation, Andre the Giant was the only word or phrase that fit.”
Prior to the rise of the famed pro wrestler, the sandwich—known as a “Sloppy Jelly” until 1983—was highly unpopular due to the perception that it was too small to qualify as a full meal. Recognizing its potential, savvy lunch vendors in New York renamed the dish “Peanut Butter, Andre the Giant, Jelly” in the hopes that the athlete’s gigantism would boost sales.
Did the plan work? Only beyond anyone’s wildest dreams.
The sandwich soon became a staple of school lunches and late night snacks everywhere. It was an instant classic—easy to make, nutritious, and shared a name with the star of The Princess Bride. So how did the sandwich manage to drop the name of the man who made it famous?
“There’s a lot of different theories out there about how ‘Andre the Giant’ got shortened,” said Claire. “The most likely explanation is just that it was the 1980s and nobody was really paying attention. But my personal theory is that it was either a secret Nazi or Alien conspiracy.”
So next time you’re at the deli counter, try ordering up a Peanut Butter, Andre the Giant, Jelly sandwich. You might just be saving a important piece of our past. Thanks, History Channel.