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Peanut butter taste tests; PB devotees: what's your favourite?

It is fascinating how much people's tastes can vary. I suppose that that is how so many different brands can survive. My opinion of the Kraft smooth PB is that it is the worst of the ones available here - too sweet and way too smooth for my taste - no texture, more like jelly or custard. I don't recall seeing the 'extra creamy' here, but would have avoided it for the same reason, Here in NS, Loblaw's PC Blue Label Just Peanuts is still my favorite, although it seems to be more finely ground than 2-3 years ago. Although not as sloppy as the over-oiled Kraft all-natural one, it does mix more easily than it used to, and stays that way with little or no re-mixing, although there are no emulsifiers or other additives.
Oh well, chacun à son goût!.

Jan 23, 2013
WayneN in General Topics

Peanut butter taste tests; PB devotees: what's your favourite?

The President's Choice Blue Label Just Peanuts is the best currently available in local stores here in Nova Scotia. I was pleasantly surprised by it because store brands usually are not that good. I do not like any of the ones with sugar or other additives, so usually get the 'natural' ones, although they tend to be more expensive. The new PC Just Peanuts seems to have had some input from someone who likes and actually uses peanut butter, unlike Skippy, Kraft, etc, The wider, shorter jar makes it easier to mix than the other natural ones, although I would have preferred a 1kg jar rather the 750g one. The big advantage over the others, though, is the texture, which, as you note, is a little more granular - the grind of most 'smooth' peanut butters is so fine that they are like custards, while the 'crunchy' ones have the same fine grind with pieces of peanuts scattered through it. Personally, I like a little coarser grind than the PC one, but it is now the best of the bunch.

Someone mentioned Barbour's, which is still excellent, and used to be the gold standard for bottled peanut butters (to my taste). Unfortunately, it is available here only in the 500g size, which is bought mainly by people who do not like peanut butter, but want to have some on hand. I would have trouble making a bottle that size last for a week. Barbour's used to have the good texture of a coarser grind and a delicious, distinctive, flavour that I would guess came from roasting the peanuts a little longer - not quite burned but tending that way. Unfortunately, since I returned to the Maritimes in 2005, it has been changed to be more like the big brands.

Generally, it is pretty hard to ruin any 100% peanuts pb, and their flavour is pretty consistent, although Kraft (which should have stuck to cheese) puts so much oil in theirs that it is like spreading a thick soup on bread. A few others do not have enough oil, but, even though I prefer the texture of the PC one, I usually get whichever has the best price in a given week.

I had to smile at the suggestion of keeping it refrigerated. Like many fats, it remains good for many weeks at room temperature. I leave mine on the counter, and the onty one to ever last long enough to go rancid (over a year) was a low-fat one almost totally lacking in flavour that I was saving for mouse-trap bait! (Also PC if I remember correctly).

It is great to hear from so many peanut butter lovers! Thanks Whats, for getting it started.

Jan 19, 2011
WayneN in General Topics