Welcome to the 16th installment of the peanut butter reviews here at Peanut Butter Boy. This time I take an exclusive look at foreign (non-U.S.) peanut butter. Can the rest of the world live up to the U.S., the powerhouse producer of peanut butter? Frankly, no, they can’t. While we’re not #1 at everything, the United States can’t be beat in the world of peanut butter. But that doesn’t stop the rest of the world from trying, and there are some close contenders. Whether you’re from North America or abroad, what is your favorite peanut butter where you’re from?


Kelkin Crunchy (Ireland)

= 60%
I did a brief review of Kelkin Creamy upon my return from Ireland. This crunchy variety is nearly identical but with the addition of, you guessed it, chunks. The ingredient list is simple and enticing (peanuts, palm oil and sea salt), but the peanut butter has a major lack of flavor. It seems the peanuts were hardly roasted at all before mashing them into a jar. After trying this crunchy variety, I now question my positive feelings towards the creamy one. The texture is still very thick (in a good way) and the oil doesn’t separate, but the only way I can imagine enjoying this brand to begin with was due to my excitement of finding peanut butter in my homeland. The concept is good, but it needs some work. Uses: Oatmeal, Oatmeal and Oatmeal.

Calvé Crunchy (The Netherlands)

= 65%
If you compare the Calvé and Kelkin peanut butter in the above photo, you’ll notice a big difference in color. This is partly due to Calvé using unblanched (skin on) peanuts which adds an extra depth of flavor, similar to Trader Joe’s peanut butter. But it’s also because Calvé roasts their peanuts more before mashing them into a jar. Appearance alone, Calvé wins. However, the ingredients are a little strange: Peanuts, Vegetable Oil, Fat, Salt. What exactly is “Fat”? If you chalk that up to mistranslation and don’t ask any more questions about it, this peanut butter isn’t bad. It’s got a good flavor, nice thickness, and good amount of salt. As I recall, is was a little bit sweet too, but I’m not sure why. Maybe the “Fat”? Uses: PB&J Pork Roast and Spicy PB Marinade.

Ceres Organics Crunchy (New Zealand)

= 70%
Sail across the ocean to the home of the Kiwis and you’ll find Ceres Organics. This crunchy variety has only 2 ingredients: Peanuts and Sea Salt. Like many foreign brands of peanut butter, Ceres Organics doesn’t roast their peanuts enough, but it’s still better than most. The chunks are nice and the sea salt is a great addition, but there isn’t quite enough. Add a few dashes of extra sea salt and we’re in business! This is definitely one of the better foreign peanut butters I’ve tried. Uses: Peanut Butter Cereal, on a banana.

Eta Seriously Smooth (New Zealand)

= 35%
As far as New Zealand goes, Eta is on the opposite side of the spectrum from Ceres Organics. Ingredients here consist of: Peanuts, Vegetable Oil, Salt. Good start, but it only goes downhill from here. Once again, this peanut butter is about as UN-roasted as you can get, and the texture is a thick, glue-like paste. It has almost no flavor and certainly doesn’t make me proud to have the name Peanut Butter Boy. Uses: Trapping Vermin.

Filed in Peanut Butter, Reviews

27 Responses / Leave a comment »

  1. Fathima says:

    Great review. I am currently residing in Doha Qatar and they don’t make any PB’s locally here. However we do find the usual brands like Skippy, Peter pan(my fav) Jif etc
    I’ve seen Calve too and will give it a try sometime. I recently tried the Marks and Spencer Smooth and didn’t like it!

    • Nick says:

      Marks and Spencer? Never heard of it, where is it made? Doha Qatar – now that’s an exotic place, I’m glad you can find ANY peanut butter! You could also try making your own if you have a good blender or food processor.

      • Fathima says:

        It’s made in the Netherlands. Oh Qatar’s got all kinda imported goods to feed it’s multinational population of expats.There’s even this South African brand called “Yum yum” that’s quite decent. However where I am from originally, Sri Lanka,we have this brand called “Natural Sequences” that sells freshly made natural PB which was quite good.
        I must try makin my own sometime. Specially your dark choc recipe..looks mouthwateringly good!

  2. Curious as to what your views are on the “all natural” peanut butters on the market here in the US that use palm oil to avoid having to stir them up. Should we just go for the palm oil free?

    • Nick says:

      Good question. Generally I enjoy natural peanut butter the best, but the ones with added palm oil are a nice throwback to classic peanut butter in a “healthier” sense.

      The way I look at it, the amount of hydrogenated fats traditional peanut butter (Skippy, Jif, etc…) is so low, that it is truly negligible, being only 1-2% of the total content. That being said, I agree that the less processed, the better. So now we have peanut butter that uses natural palm oil instead, and the amounts are still negligible (1-2%), so I say go for it! Sometimes, the creaminess of the palm oil varieties are just too good to pass up. Of course, they still have added sugar, so keep your eyes out for a new brand without added sugar =)

  3. Debbie says:

    PBB – As always, great reviews for reading! No one can dissect a spoonful of PB (my favorite food all time) like you can into so many different criteria! :-D

    I will be going to Italy soon. Have I missed the review that you did on any Italian brand? Also, what do you think of the grind-your-own Honey Roast PB in Central Market?

    • Nick says:

      Haha, thanks Debbie!

      You know, I recently went to Florence recently and searched high and low for peanut butter. The only brands I could find were Calve (above) and PCD (not reviewed yet). I found them in the indoor Florence market (you must go if you’re going to Florence). I would recommend them both only because they’re very unique, but PCD was probably a little better in my opinion. Click this link to see what it looks like: PCD Peanut Butter.

      GYO Honey Roast in Central Market? What Central Market? I know about the Whole Foods GYO Honey Roast which is fantastic!

      • Debbie says:

        The Central Markets in Texas have the GYO Honey Roast. I’m near the San Antonio area.

        Also, any HEB Plus (a common grocery store chain here in Texas) have that as well as the plain peanut GYO and Almond Butter GYO.

        Not sure ANY other PB in my eyes will EVER match the superiority of that Honey Roast GYO… but like you… I will keep testing!

        • Nick says:

          Ahh, too bad, I’m VERY far away from there =). Never heard of HEB either, but we have similar things in health food stores and Whole Foods.

          GYO Honey is the best, but keep searching! You never know!

  4. Wow, it’s funny how many different brands of peanut butter there is out there. I’ve never heard of any of these, which is not surprising considering we live in different countries. My favorite all-time brand is shockingly, the organic generic brand from one our local grocery stores. It tastes exactly like Maranatha’s roasted peanut butter but is half the price. Definitely awesome in my book!

    • Nick says:

      It really is astounding, I never would have thought so many existed! What country are you living in?

      You know, some of the best brands are the store brands. 2 of my all-time favorite peanut butters are Whole Foods 365 Brand (Creamy or Crunchy) and Trader Joe’s Creamy. They are also the 2 cheapest peanut butters you can find anywhere here in the states!

  5. nzchicago says:

    Hilarious! I live 50/50 New Zealand/USA. And have used ETA to bait mouse traps! Btw, the “vegetable oil” is something nasty like cottonsead oil. I buy the organic brand when I can afford it, but lately I just make my own, since raw peanuts are so cheap in NZ (why do they seem so expensive in the USA?). I roast them and grind in the food processor. So easy, and there’s nothing like fresh peanut butter.

    • Nick says:

      Haha yea, I wrote this review a while ago and forgot all about ETA. I can’t imagine using it for anything than exactly that – baiting mouse traps!

      How much do peanuts cost per pound in NZ? Or kg, or whatever unit of measure you guys use…

      • nzchicago says:

        Sometimes even the mice won’t touch it…

        Hmmm, I think I pay about US$2 per pound for shelled peanuts. Of course, they’re from China…

        • Nick says:

          Yea $2/lb for shelled peanuts is about the cheapest you can possibly find in the US, but usually at least $3-4.

          From China though, that explains it. Still, if you roast them enough I’m sure they’re not bad at all!

  6. nzchicago says:

    Yep, in NZ it’s much cheaper to make your own, especially if you want to have a product without sugar or crappy-quality oils, but in the US it just doesn’t seem to be worth it – you can get good quality peanut butter, and it’s actually cheaper than making it yourself.

    I don’t personally buy peanut butter with palm kernel oil because it’s not really something I want to be eating, and also it’s mostly grown in Indonesia and Malaysia, where they cut down the rainforest to put in palm plantations.

    • Nick says:

      Yes it is.

      I’m not a huge fan of any added ingredients in peanut butter, but if the palm oil is sustainably sourced, then I think it’s a great way to achieve the “no-stir” effect. In fact, within the next year I’m hoping to have my own natural no-stir brand released using exactly this kind of palm oil.

  7. Gary Nadolski says:

    In France the brand Bon Mafé 97% peanuts has become my favorite; but I never see your referenced names. How is it rated? I thought it used to be the best worldwide!

  8. Nick says:

    Bon Mafé? I’ve never heard of it! I can’t seem to find it on Google either. I’d love to try it and review it, but I doubt I’ll ever find it here in the US! I’ll have to go to France!

  9. Mike says:

    You must try Dutch Peanut butter of the supermarket called ‘Albert Heijn’. The name is “Pindakaas”

    It’s very popular and tastes better than most other peanut-butter in the world!

    For Example: https://www.yummydutch.com/products/albert-heijn/peanut-butter/585-peanut-butter.html

  10. SwissBlue says:

    The Calve peanut Butter is sweeter, because they use skinned peanuts. The skins give a bitter taste if not removed

  11. Blake says:

    Here in the UK we get Whole Earth peanut butter. It is awesome and frankly puts most other butters to shame with how much flavour it has.
    For those interested: http://wholeearthfoods.com/

  12. Smoothiemc says:

    I live in England, UK and live off Meridian Peanut butter, Almond butter and Cashew butter. They do offer some salted variants within their range although all of the products are generally 100% i.e. nothing else added. This does mean you get some oil separation but once you stir it back in you realise you don’t need the added oils and they really do taste great. All products are roasted with the skins so you get that deep flavour. Great on toast and crackers but also in smoothies! :)


    • Nick says:

      Meridian is probably my favorite non-USA brand. I love that they keep the skins on – that’s what we do with our brand! We’re one of the few brands that do that here in the US. However, we add the perfect amount of sea salt to complement the deep roasted flavor of the peanut.

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