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A Peanut Buttery Christmas

Posted By Nick On January 11, 2009 @ 11:03 pm In Other,Peanut Butter,Reviews | 46 Comments

Santa was kind to the Peanut Butter Boy. Other the my shiny new camera I mostly received food – the perfect, neverlasting gift. That there is PB Loco’s wonderful gift pack, complete with 2 containers of 9 different flavored peanut butter. So not only do I get to taste test all of these flavors but those little jars are reusable and perfect for mobilizing my peanut butter! Peanut Butter Boy must have been quite good indeed because Santa didn’t stop there. Read on for details, taste-tests and uses…

Another gift bestowed upon me was Trader Joe’s 8-pack of single-origin dark chocolate ranging from 60-73% cocoa. Each bar contains beans from only one cocoa-producing nation and the differences between regions are quite noticeable. To top it all off, I received the third shipment from the Peanut Butter of the Month Club. I am literally swimming in a sea of peanut butter and dark chocolate and I love it! This month included the following two peanut butters (Peanut Better brand on the left, Woodstock Farms on the right):

Peanut Butter Flavors:

Woodstock Farms Crunchy Organic

= 65%
A nice fresh roasted peanut taste, a medium-thick consistency and a touch of salt. A little bland in my opinion and not quite up to par with Whole Foods 365 Crunchy but a good solid peanut butter. Use as you would normal peanut butter.

Peanut Better Cinnamon Currant

= 60%
Cinnamon currant is my favorite flavor of peanut butter so I was excited to try this one. The texture is very creamy and the currants are chopped up so it spreads easily. The flavor is a little bland yet the sweetness is too high and the cinnamon is barely noticeable. I prefer homemade cinnamon currant peanut butter. Perfect for a peanut butter parfait to add some sweetness to plain yogurt.

P.B. Loco Dreamy Creamy

= 75%
This flavor most reminds me of America’s Choice peanut butter. America’s Choice is a store brand sold in some markets on the east coast, it’s non-natural but contains only a tiny bit of fully hydrogenated oil which is trans-fat free. When you stir it really well in the jar it becomes perfectly creamy and is one of my favorite peanut butters. “Dreamy Creamy” is very similar in consistency right out of the jar but a little bit sweeter. The texture is excellent but I prefer peanut butter with a touch of salt instead of sugar. This flavor is great on a traditional pb&j, and a reduced sugar preserves will work just fine.

P.B. Loco Munchy Crunchy

= 75%
Very similar in consistency to the “Dreamy Creamy” but with lots of small peanut chunks and not quite as sweet. I prefer this flavor to Dreamy Creamy because of the crunch and lower sweetness. This flavor is perfect for a peanut butter and banana sandwich.

P.B. Loco CocoBanana

= 70%
I still have a full-sized jar of this flavor that I reviewed earlier. Tthis flavor is sweet, but that is expected. The chocolate flavor is pronounced immediately while the banana flavor comes through at the end in little banana-flavored crystals spread throughout the mix. A great flavor but it’s uses are limited. The flavor is too distinct and lost when used on a sandwich or with fruit. I recommend spreading this on banana pancakes with just a touch of maple syrup.

P.B. Loco Jungle Banana

= 65%
Very similar to the CocoBanana except the banana flavor comes through right away in this variety. Since there aren’t too many flavor combinations in works here, this flavor works great in ice cream / smoothies to bring out a strong banana flavor. Of course it still works great on top of some pancakes.

P.B. Loco Dark Chocolate Duo

= 70%
This creamy peanut butter contains tiny dark chocolate chips. I like the presentation but there is something much more enticing about Peanut Butter & Co’s version where the peanut butter and chocolate is mixed and boasts a rich, black color. However, I prefer this version because it is less sweet. Perfect on toast.

P.B. Loco Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough

= 75%
Who doesn’t love the taste of raw cookie dough? This peanut butter does a wonderful job of recreating that flavor. The only problem is that the taste of peanut butter is almost completely absent. There is an overwhelming sweetness that can only be described as cookie-level sweetness. A great peanut butter on it’s own in small quantities and perhaps good for cookies but that might defeat the purpose of that raw flavor.

P.B. Loco Raspberry White Chocolate

= 65%
I used to love white chocolate. That was before I switched to dark chocolate. Nowadays white chocolate is too sweet for me and this peanut butter follows suit. The raspberry taste is much better than Sunland’s raspberry flavor and the combination here is unique but I can’t think of many uses for it. Best enjoyed solo in nibbles.

P.B. Loco Asian Curry Spice

= 75%
This is the most interesting peanut butter of the lot. This peanut butter is bright yellow and has the perfect amount of curry flavor. It’s great as a standalone dipping sauce for chicken sate or as a base for homemade peanut sauce. I love how unique this flavor is, and while I wouldn’t eat it on its own, it is the perfect bread spread (mayo replacement) for a roasted turkey, lettuce, onion and tomato sandwich.

P.B. Loco Sumatra Cinnamon and Raisin

= 80%
Again, cinnamon currant/raisin is my favorite peanut butter flavor. This one falls between Peanut Better’s and my homemade version. It’s less sweet than Peanut Better and has more cinnamon flavor. For the best cinnamon raisin peanut butter make your own, it’s cheap and lets you control the sugar/cinnamon levels. But if you must buy it then I recommend Peanut Butter & Co’s cinnamon raisin peanut butter over both P.B. Loco and Peanut Better’s versions. Again, great in a peanut butter parfait.

Chocolate Flavors:

The booklet that comes with the chocolate pack has a small description for each bar and does a very good job and pinpointing the flavor and texture. It also suggests a unique beverage pairing for each bar, ranging from unsweetened cappuccino to Cabernet Sauvignon. I highly recommend you stop by your local Trader Joe’s store and pick up this pack for $9.99.

Additional Info:

These photos were taken with my new Canon Rebel XSi camera. I can see a marked improvement over some of my previous photos. However, I have only used the automatic settings as I am awaiting my new companion book to guide me through the camera and DSLR photography in general. The pictures should improve dramatically from here. Stay tuned!

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