FLARE Magazine and Peanut Butter Cookies
The views and opinions expressed in this article are solely those of You Can't Eat That. Summer is always my time to cast away the heavy school reading material in favour of beach reads and magazines, and this summer has proven no different. Though I don't claim to know much about fashion, I do work part-time in retail and like to have some idea about what's trendy. What I didn't expect in the September issue of FLARE magazine, was that peanut butter cookies are now becoming, for lack of a better term, fashionable.
The article, written by Leanne Shapton, discusses her experience with finding the perfect peanut butter cookie and spending about 15 years trying to recreate the perfection that was the first time eating the perfect cookie.
This article, for me, was fairly unclear about the point that it was trying to make. It jumped around all over the place, was an anecdote as Shapton relived her experience finding this perfect cookie but the article is placed in a spread of pictures of models and products in what looks like an attempt to revive the old love of peanut butter and peanut butter cookies.
It is the line on the first page of the article that got to me: "And, with the alleged rise in peanut allergies and the ensuing school-wide bans, the baked goods that lived in the basement apartment of the edifice that is culinary culture have a new whiff of danger, controversy and, dare I say... exoticism!"
It's as if the food allergic community has been knocking down doors telling everyone to stop making peanut butter cookies, and those without food allergies are nostalgic and unhappy with the change. I don't think I've ever heard anyone with food allergies say, "hey, you need to stop making whatever you want in the comfort of your own home with your family of friends because I have food allergies." I feel like people are misinterpreting the fact that allergens can't be brought into schools as they have to stop using these products altogether. Not the case.
I'm at a bit of a loss as to the point of this article, it's a bit of a confusing memoir, food, fashion and trend piece. But what confuses me the most is why an article trying to relate peanut butter cookies to fashion was printed, yet a story about veganism or comfort food or different cookie recipes for the fall or even food allergies didn't make the cut; it is the food section of the magazine, after all. It's as if people are craving for different times, when food was simpler and food allergies were minimal, or minimally mainstream so it was easier to forget about them.
But that's not the way thing are anymore. And it will not get any better for the food allergic community if people don't stop trying to ignore these changes, or pretend that they aren't happening. While I understand that for some people, a peanut butter cookie is a sign of happy memories and childhood, for others it is a sign of sickness and fear.
If we don't become more sensitive to these issues, it's only going to increasingly isolate those who are never going to "fit in" because of how they have to eat. So make your peanut butter cookies at home and share them with your family and friends, we never told you that wasn't okay. Just don't bring them to school or the office, since sending someone to the hospital because they smelt a peanut butter cookie might taint your fond, loving childhood memories a little bit.