Hi- does any one know of the peanut butter restaurant
in NYC speializing in what els- PB&J???
I'd love to find out where it is- Bev
Yah--it's called Peanut Butter & Co, and it's located at 240 Sullivan St (677-3995) and nearly everything there is made with peanut butter, including appetizers, main courses and desserts. I have a jar of there peanut butter and it's good, but then so is nearly every other peanut butter. It's a hard field to be distinguished in.
re: Robert Sietsema
"I have a jar of there peanut butter and it's good,
but then so is nearly every other peanut butter. It's
a hard field to be distinguished in."
Oh I beg to differ and am very surprised to hear you
say that! There are wildly different styles and
qualities of peanut butter available and they are not
all good. That's like saying all regular butter
available is basically the same and basically all good.
Skippy is creamy and sticky and way too sweet, but
essential for a nostalgia sandwich.
Freshly ground PB (.e.g. from Commodities, Healthy
Pleasures, Fairway, etc) varies widely depending on
the quality, freshness, coarseness/smoothness setting
of machine, CLEANLINESS of machine, and type of
peanuts being ground. Commodities, for example,
usually has delicious, fresh organic nuts in the
machine and the grind is a nice coarse texture. Sneak
a little dab off the end of the nozzle for a taste
first though, because I went home with rancid butter
once, assuming it would be fresh because it was in the
past. Use a spoon.)
A company called Once Again Nut Butters produces
excellent PB. They make organic and non-organic and
they are actually pretty different. The texture of
Crunchy is great and the butter has a delicious toasty
flavor. The organic a little more so and it is also a
little darker. Their Smooth has a chewy texture I
don't care for. This can be hard to find, but Zabar's
usually has it and health food stores do too
sometimes. (They also make almond, cashew, hazelnut
etc, but I've never tried them.)
A commercial brand available in many supermarkets
called Crazy Richard's is also excellent. The Crunchy
is very, and the flavor is super-peanutty and fresh.
There's a lot of oil on top. I usually pour some of
it off (Making it "low-calorie!" Ha.) and thoroughly
stir the rest in. If you pour it all off the PB will
be like mortar. It benefits from the tiniest dashes
of salt and sugar sometimes.
Jif and Peter Pan are probably a lot like Skippy, but
you usually stick to what you were fed as a kid and I
was a Skippy girl.
There is also a bit of a cult following for a producer
who packages for many supermarkets under the market's
own label. The producer is called Red Wing and the
New Yorker did a fascinating article on them years
ago, pre-Tina, when the NYer would actually publish
something like an 8-page article on peanut butter...
In any case, there is a raised RW on the underside of
the jar and the PB was basically a better quality
Skippy-type butter. Still with salt & sugar and added
hydrogenated oil (...whatever that is, anyway) I
haven't checked this out in a while so don't know if
they still exist.
As for the "Reduced Fat" PBs on the market - an
oxymoron and a yucky idea. Just smooth on some full-
up PB and enjoy. 2 tablespoons is about 200 calories
and is a good source of protein and it ain't gonna
kill you once in a while! (I get a vicarious thrill
out of making a PB sandwich for my husband. I slather
on what must be a quarter-cup of the stuff with wild
abandon for him and then painstakingly eke approx 2
tablespoonfuls across the bread for myself. I prefer
crunchy and it's a lot harder to get adequate coverage
out of a limited amt than with smooth!)
"If I am to try to make it myself, what kind of peanut
would you or anyone recommend? Toasted, raw, etc.?"
If you're making it yourself, you can use either,
depending on your taste. Maybe you like the crunch of
roasted peanuts, or the purity of raw. When I make
peanut butter, I rarely restrict it to peanuts: I add
cashews, almonds, pecans, and even pignolias.
(Actually, I don't usually put peanuts in my peanut
butter; I prefer almond butter.)
"And what kind of oil should I use? Vegetable?"
If I need to use a little oil, I use vegetable, usually
canola. Go easy on the oil, though.
"What other ingredients I should include?"
Of course you can add a little sugar or honey if you
like it sweet, or you can add a little salt if you
wish. You're in the driver's seat here: if you want to
add cocoa powder or coconut, no one's stopping you.
re: Frank Language
I myself prefer Smucker's all-natural chunky peanut
butter to any other variety (including Fairway's;
Healthy Pleasures; and my grandfather's homemade). On
the West Coast it's called Laura Scudder's and it's
just as good. By the way, I never eat Smucker's jams,
jellies, or preserves -- so it's not a childhood-is-
best fixation. Any peanut butter without oil on top
is not worth the time. Once, however, I had a
boyfriend with access to this government surplus
peanut butter that came in big ugly tins and I must
say it made great peanut butter cookies.
re: Pam Sommers
"Jif and Peter Pan are probably a lot like Skippy, but
you usually stick to what you were fed as a kid and I
was a Skippy girl."
Well, I don't know about that; when I was a kid I liked
Peter Pan the best and it's dawned of me of late it was
just because Peter Pan has the most sugar of the three.
Jif is just gross - never mind what they say about
"choosy mothers" - they add too much oil to it. So I
have to say Skippy makes the best Fluffernutter.
I like the fresh-ground PB at Prana Foods the best; the
peanuts are always fresh - because they have a high
turnover - and it's typically less than $2.00 a pound.
And no, I don't worry about the fat at all; if you do,
just sprinkle some flaxseed on your sandwich.
For more detailed info, check out the following site:
Go to www.nytoday.com and click on Restaurants, then
look down under News & Reviews to an article entitled
"Paen to Peanut Butter." Click on that and you will
find Monte Williams' 6/20 article all about Peanut
Butter & Co. Also, at the top right-hand corner of
that article is a link to Related Details, which will
take you to another link for Eric Asimov's full review.
Good luck. Sounds like a fun place to try once if
you're really a peanut butter fanatic (and sure that
you're not allergic!)