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Peanut Butter Reviews – Part 06

From the archives
It’s time for another round of peanut butter reviews. Two of these jars are thanks to the Peanut Butter of the Month Club, the other two jars were purchased out of my own curiosity and never-ending quest for the ultimate peanut butter. I’ve mostly moved away from flavored peanut butter – I enjoy the textures and flavors of plain peanut butter as a result of different processes such as roasting levels, peanut variety and amounts of salt. Each brand has their own unqiue process, and similar to wine tasting, I like to distinguish them. For this round of peanut butter tasting I present a few lesser known brands and varieties, one in particular that is unlike anything I’ve had before.


P.B. Loco Sumatra Cinnamon & Raisin

= 80%
The first jar from the club has been reviewed here before but this time around I’ve got a whole jar to contend with. If I had to choose amongst the assortment of peanut butter flavors out there, cinnamon raisin is my favorite but despite trying many commercial versions, I still prefer homemade. The commercial varieties tend to be overly sweet, especially the Peanut Better brand. It’s still a great peanut butter and a spoonful makes for a great dessert. My favorite use for this is in a Linda Delite or Peanut Butter Hot Dog. The bottom line: make your own.

Maranatha No Stir Crunchy

= 75%
This peanut butter uses palm oil in place of hydrogenated oils to achieve a no stir, shelf stable product and is one of the best products to do so. Similar to Skippy or Jif this peanut butter has added salt and sugar, the difference is that Maranatha uses all organic ingredients and also tastes more like actual peanuts. The chunks are crunchy and the peanut butter between the chunks is creamy but is a bit pastey and reminds me too much of Skippy, although I think that’s the point. At first, the pale color was a turn off but it doesn’t seem to affect the flavor. I enjoy natural peanut butter better, but this is perfect for those who miss their Skippy.

Appomattox Creamy

= 90%
First of all I love the label on this one, it’s crooked, wrinkled and gives a certain home-made feel to the peanut butter. And as I expected, this peanut butter is fantastic, it’s unlike anything I’ve ever had. The grind is coarse which makes for a gritty texture that I really enjoy. Somehow the peanut butter still manages to be fairly runny and easy to mix despite the oil separation. The most unique aspect is the texture of the chunks. Now there aren’t really chunks in this peanut butter but it is a very coarse grind – the closest thing I can compare it to is wet cement. Each of those little chunks are so crunchy that I’m waiting for a response from the company to find out what makes it so crunchy and different. On top of that, the flavor is different than normal peanut butter, a little earthier. My guess is that they use a different variety of peanut to make this peanut butter, one that is generally considered an “eating peanut”. Since they sell “extra crunchy” peanuts on their website I’m almost convinced those are the ones sacrificed for this glorious peanut butter. By the way, if you’ve never had “extra crunchy” peanuts before, you’re missing out. This is what the PB of the month club is all about – gourmet, small batch, local peanut butter that you would otherwise never experience.

Peter Pan Whipped Creamy

= 80%
At one time (and possibly still) this was a rare find in stores. From what I can tell, it’s the same as regular Peter Pan only whipped. The flavor is nutty and a little salty but what won me over is the texture. It’s very airy as you would expect but as a result, it’s not as dense or as sticky. Similar to Bazzini Creamy, it has the consistency of a light and fluffy cake frosting, only moreso. It’s actually dangerous because it is very easy to eat straight from the jar. It’s not all natural, which I tend to go for, but the texture is like nothing I’ve ever had. On the plus side, it is very easy to spread and contains less calories since it is about 20% air. On the downside, once you spread it the airyness mostly disappears although it’s probably still a little thinner than normal. For such a unique product at only $1.88 a jar, you really can’t beat it.