GBBO viewers confused after judges question peanut butter and fruit pairing: ‘It’s kind of a big deal’

American viewers of the Great British Bake Off have shared their frustrations with the latest episode, after the judges described the iconic pairing of peanut butter and fruit jelly as “quite strange”.

During the semi-finals of the show, which saw the remaining bakers compete in Patisserie Week, the contestants were first tasked with creating mini charlottes, a dessert composed of small sponge cakes filled with mousse.

For Syabira’s attempt at the dessert, she decided to pair berries with peanut butter-cheesecake mousse, a pairing that judges Prue Leith and Paul Hollywood were shocked to hear her describe.

“It’s going to have peanut butter and berries,” Syabira told the judges, to which Hollywood replied: “Peanut and fruit. You wouldn’t normally put them together.”

Leith also expressed doubt that the concoction would work, as she noted that peanuts and jelly sounded “quite strange”. Later on in the episode, Leith again shared her concern over the pairing, as she claimed peanut butter and fruit “doesn’t sound like my favourite thing”.

Despite the initial uncertainty, the judges were pleasantly surprised by the pairing, with Leith telling Syabira her dessert had “really excellent flavours,” despite being “unusual”.

“I would never have thought of that combination, and it really works,” she added.

On social media, the confusion around the pairing during the latest episode of The Great British Baking Show has been met with shock from viewers in the US, who have taken to social media to express their disbelief over the judges’ reactions.

“My American mind is being blown by the judges on #GBBO not knowing about peanut butter and jelly. ‘Peanut butter and FRUIT? How unusual,’” one person tweeted.

Another said: “Syabira (my queen) basically makes a peanut butter and jelly dessert and the judges lose their mind at the unusual flavour combination. They can’t believe it works! Every five-year-old in the US knows about this.”

“Watching GBBO and Prue is really calling peanut butter and berries an ‘unusual combination’. Do peanut butter and jelly sandwiches not exist in England??? Or is she just too posh?” someone else asked.

Others revealed their amusement over the episode, and the realisation that “Paul and Prue apparently have never encountered the exotic wonder that is a peanut butter and jelly sandwich on wonder bread”.

“Apparently Syabira just introduced the British to peanut butter and jelly,” someone else joked, while another admitted that they’d been thinking about the judges’ reaction to the peanut butter and fruit pairing for an “entire day”.

The confusion among American viewers also made its way to TikTok, where a user by the username @marietjehauprich noted that peanut butter and jelly is a “classic combination” as she filmed her bewildered reaction to the latest episode.

This is not the first time that GBBO’s judges have expressed doubts over a combination of the two flavours, as Hollywood previously questioned the pairing during the fifth episode of season six, after contestant Ugne revealed her plan to pair peanut butter ice cream with concord grape jelly, according to Eater.

The divide over the show’s latest episode comes after GBBO also found itself embroiled in controversy over its Mexico Week episode, which viewers branded “racist” and “tacky”. In addition to criticism over the theme of the episode, viewers also condemned an avocado-peeling technique used by contestant Carole, after she attempted to peel the fruit with a knife, similarly to the way one would peel a potato.

American viewers of the show were also critical of the recent Halloween Week challenge, which saw fans accuse the contestants and judges of ruining classic s’mores, a popular campsite treat in the US and Canada.

The winner of this season’s GBBO will be named on Tuesday 15 November during the series finale, as Sandro, Syabira and Abdul battle to be named winner. You can follow along with our coverage of the competition as it happens here.