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Favorite Peanut Butter (and where to get it)

  • PaulF Dec 20, 2006 05:56 PM
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Did a search and as far as I can tell, the last "best peanut butter" survey was over two years ago, so I feel OK in starting another ...

I buy two different peanut butter brands and we like them both a lot. (My older son is a vegetarian and eats peanut butter and real fruit spread for lunch and breakfast all week long).

The best I get in a regular super market is the Laura Scudder's brand. It's 100% peanuts (and salt). We eat the smooth, but the crunchy tastes great, too.

LS has an organic variety as well, but it's so expensive, we never buy it.

I/we actually like Trader Joe's peanut butter better than LS, but I'm in TJs less often and when we need peanut butter, we need peanut butter, so I get what is convenient.

One of the great things about the TJs brand is that even though it is also 100% nuts (and salt) it doesn't need that same stirring and mixing that the LS pb does. The Scudder really has to be mixed up to keep it evenly moist.

I've no doubt there are other, maybe better, brands out there. Maybe some regional brands. Peanut butter is the type of thing that will ship, so maybe some of those brands can be ordered online if I can't find them where I live (Culver City, California).

So, with that in mind, anyone have a favorite peanut butter?

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  1. The Whole Foods grind your own w/ the honey roasted peanuts. MMMMMMM!

    4 Replies
    1. re: LAcupcake

      This is definitely the best. I won't eat any other kind of peanut butter anymore.

      1. re: LAcupcake

        That is really terrific. We can get it at FAIRWAY here, which I loke a whole lot better with no smug attitude.
        You can also make it easily at home in the Cuisinart. Just put your honey roasted peanuts ( I like Planter's) in the the bowl and pulse until it is the consistency you like.

        1. re: Fleur

          If you want to get really obsessive, you can use raw peanuts and roast them yourself. (Alas, it's a circular problem because the place where I found really beautiful raw Virginia peanuts was ... Whole Foods.)

        2. re: LAcupcake

          Yes! I am now a peanut butter lover because of Whole Foods.

        3. Call me a heathen and uncultured, but I cannot do without my tub of Jif PB.

          11 Replies
          1. re: ipsedixit

            I'm right there with ya, ipsedixit. I go through Jif like there's no tomorrow.

            1. re: duckduck

              My staple is the "regular" Jif PB.

              But have been meaning to try the "Simply Jif PB" and the "Jif PB with Honey" ... Have you tried either?

              1. re: ipsedixit

                I like Simply Jiff. Less salt and sugar, more peanut flavor.

                1. re: lvecch

                  Simply Jif is it! Once you eat it for awhile and try the regular, the regular will taste too sweet.

                  1. re: emilief

                    I would never call anyone a heathen for eating Jif -- we'll even buy it once in a while because our local Top Value grocery doesn't carry anything else but that and Skippy.

                    I just personally find the pbs with sugar taste too sweet. If Simply Jif makes regular Jif seem too sweet, think about what regular Jif tastes like next to a peanut/salt only brand.

                    Jif is good for baking, though ...

                    1. re: PaulF

                      Sometimes a little sugar is not a bad thing - it enhances the flavor. You just don't want too much. I think Simply Jif has a nice taste.

                      1. re: PaulF

                        I sort of like my PB to be a bit sweet ...

                    2. re: lvecch

                      I agree but I don't balk at the "regular" Jif either when the Simply Jif is not on the shelf and I go through a fair amount even at my "age".

                    3. re: ipsedixit

                      Simply Jif is excellent. If you;re used to their regular, when you first try it it's noticeably less sweet - but that's not a bad thing! I spent my hippie years long ago eating the hand-ground organic stuff, but hey, this is comfort food we're talking about, and Jif hits the spot!

                      1. re: BobB

                        Good to know - thanks to both Ivecch and BobB.

                      2. re: ipsedixit

                        Went and bought the simply Jif out of curiousity. It had a bitter taste to it that no one in my house cared for.

                  2. At one of my old jobs, a former employee left a jar of Whole Foods Crunchy Organic in the fridge. I had some and thought it was the best pb I'd ever tasted. A couple of years later, the 365 brand bought the Whole Foods line and called it 365 Everyday Organic. That pb tasted just like the stuff I'd had at work, until last year, when for a time they stopped using Valencia peanuts (crop failure?). I'm not sure what the deal is now, but I believe Valencia peanuts are key to pb deliciousness.

                    Having said all that, I still love Skippy Creamy!

                    1. How is 100% nuts (and salt) peanut butter any different than what you can make in your food processer? Does it have emulsifiers or something to keep it from separating, or when they say "100% nuts" do they really mean it?

                      2 Replies
                      1. re: Covert Ops

                        They are different because 1.) usually manufacturers have better commercial grinders than you, so they can get a truly smooth texture without burning out the engine on your home food processor 2.) they also usually have nice tumbling roasters, which will produce better roasted peanuts than you (re-roasting store bought nuts is not the same) 3.) Almost all food items can have trace elements of other stuff and still call themselves 100& percent something. Like most 100% ground coffee has trace elements of twigs and stuff. If they added a very small amount of emulsion stablizers, they could still call it 100% and get away with it...but more than likely it has to do with how fine they are able to grind the peanuts that cause them to seperate less.

                        1. re: InmanSQ Girl

                          Ah, makes a lot of sense. Thanks for the info InmanSQ Girl!

                      2. I like TJ's PB, but when we used to live in Upstate NY there's a Wegman supermarket there that sells fresh grounded PB. Nothing beats that!

                        1. I like LS; hubby likes Skippy.

                          1. I like Maranatha. I used to be able to get a two pack at Costco but they don't have it anymore and I get it from Whole Foods. Crazy Richards is pretty good, too, and I can get it from the local grocery store.

                            3 Replies
                            1. re: chowser

                              Another vote for Maranatha. We get it from our local natural foods co-op, or my sister ships it to me from Ashland, where their factory is. It's the texture.

                              1. re: chowser

                                yknow, i cant find crazy richards here in brooklyn, but i have it when i visit a friend who lives near philly. stuff is sick-good. i love it. best stuff.

                                1. re: ben61820

                                  You're totally right, ben. I'm a PB connoisseur, and CR's is the ONLY kind where I could sit down and eat the whole jar in one sitting. Not that I do that, but I certainly could. I'm surprised more people haven't heard of it. Far better than TJ's or even Natural Skippy.

                              2. My husband will only eat Teddie's unhomogenized, no-trans fat, no-salt, no-sugar peanut butter. It's probably too austere for anyone used to the sugared, transfat variety but it's the closest to making it yourself.

                                Edit: I forgot to mention that it's manufactured in the Boston area where we live. They don't seem to advertise at all, and I have no idea how widely it's distributed.

                                2 Replies
                                1. re: cheryl_h

                                  Yup, I'm a recent covert to Teddie's. I loved T. J.'s unsalted, but within the last year or so it seems to have changed. Can't put my finger on the difference, but it's not as appealing to me.

                                  1. re: cheryl_h

                                    I only get Teddie's these days. I've tried the trader Joe's and the Smucker's natural, but I think they were both too runny/liquidy for me. The Teddie's is a little bit thicker (more solid) and I like that. And it's smoother than the peanut butters that I see go through the machines at grocery stores.

                                  2. I grew up with Jif and have moved to Skippy when Costco started selling the two biggies. DW makes me eat Natural Skippy which is pretty good but not as good a Jif. Goes well on toasted english muffins, but not the same in a sandwich.

                                    When she falls asleep in front of the TV I still sneak the real stuff.

                                    1. The pride of New England; Teddie's unsalted, all natural super chunky, please. Oh, BTW, we like stirring that great peanut oil! Trust me, your mom couldn't make it this good.

                                      1 Reply
                                      1. re: Harp00n

                                        That's the stuff. The nasty artificial types don't even stick to the roof of your mouth like peanut butter should. Most other natural brands have either a funny texture or a funny flavor. Teddy's is peanut butter perfection. (And I don't store it in the fridge, which has never caused me trouble in 35 years of always having peanut butter in the house.)

                                      2. I grew up with "defatted Scudder," which essentially meant that my mom bought a jar, then stuck a paper towel in the jar to soak up the oil, leaving the jar to sit upside down in the cupboard. Once the paper towel was sufficiently soaked, she'd start again with a new towel. Continue said process until peanut butter is basically a solid, biteable entity, with little spreadable quality. It was however good by the chunkful.

                                        That said, I'm a horrible person who likes Skippy Creamy.

                                        I do also like Trader Joe's brand Creamy, and though I hate to admit it, I have "defatted" this one as well... Their PB is in fact good both ways.

                                        1. Whatever happened to the once-fantastic organic "Deaf Smith" (Texas) brand?

                                          I believe it was sold only in health food stores, but had a deep earthly flavor, perfect texture and was speckled with ground red skins.

                                          On a regular basis, "Smucker's" creamy wins.

                                          2 Replies
                                          1. re: Mike R.

                                            Deaf Smith was the brand I grew up with (in the 70s).

                                            1. re: Caitlin McGrath

                                              Deaf Smith was made by Arrowhead mills. I don't know the story on discontinuation, but at least today they still produce a peanut butter. It may be the same thing, with a simpler name.

                                              http://www.arrowheadmills.com//produc...

                                              "The Deaf Smith Country Cookbook: Natural Foods for Family Kitchens" was a classic of the 70's. Still available used.
                                              http://www.biblio.com/books/1235559.html

                                          2. There's a boutique brand called PB Loco that does some of the best peanut butter I've had anywhere. They do a bunch of different flavors, and have stores that sell gourmet peanut butter sandwiches. Sun-dried tomato PB with cream cheese, lettuce, and bacon anyone? The price for their peanut butter is ridiculously steep at close to 7 bucks a jar, but oh MAN is it ever good stuff!

                                            5 Replies
                                            1. re: JK Grence the Cosmic Jester

                                              Oh my!! The PB Loco with the sundried apricots in it!!?!? Fantastic! I would knock down old ladies to get me a jar.

                                              1. re: cooknKate

                                                Where are you and where did you buy this stuff?

                                                (A generic reply I could add to too many posts on this board.....)

                                                1. re: Scrapironchef

                                                  LOL. There should be a button on this site that you click, and it adds, Where are you and where did you buy this stuff...

                                                  1. re: Scrapironchef

                                                    I'm in the Phoenix area, I got it at our local PB Loco shop in Scottsdale Fashion Square mall. You may have one in a mall near you, but if you don't fear not, you can go to www.pbloco.com and get all the peanut buttery goodness you want.

                                                    1. re: Scrapironchef

                                                      PB Loco is at the Mall of America in Bloomington, MN but you can see it online at pbloco.com

                                                2. My favorite is a brand called "Real" PB, which comes refrigerated, and is just peanuts and salt. If I can't get this, I buy Smucker's Natural, or maybe Whole Foods 365. I really love unadulterated peanut butter, so much more peanut flavor than more commercial brands. Also, WF Almond Butter (chunky) is very good for breakfast.

                                                  Mike, your post about Deaf Smith is ringing a faint bell-- I think I used to buy this decades ago. I loved the skins in it, good flavor and texture. I was introduced to 100% peanut butter by friends in the early 70s; they would buy 7 pound tins from a wholesale nut store that made it to sell wholesale.

                                                  1 Reply
                                                  1. re: Anne H

                                                    I am a 'Real' pb eater too, have been ever since I can recall. I can't stomach the Jif or Skippy because I taste the sugar and it feels like glue on my tongue. My apologies to those who adore it, to each their own.

                                                    I have made my own too, and it's heavenly. Expensive, but heavenly.

                                                  2. Thanks for all the great recs, everyone ...

                                                    1. Smuckers All Natural is awesome, though I am tempted to try the Whole Foods grind-your-own honey-roasted recommended above. We go through so much Smuckers it's almost obscene. For some reason now I can't really stomach the Jif-- seems (and is, I think) reconstituted (isn't it made from peanut flour?).

                                                      3 Replies
                                                      1. re: Procrastibaker

                                                        Procrastibaker, I also grew up eating Smuckers all natural PB, but I am wondering if some of the recipes will be merged with Jif since Smuckers purchased Jif brands a year ago.

                                                        1. re: Kelli2006

                                                          I agree with the Smucker's all natural (not unsalted) great peanut flavor and spreadabilty. My son eats it EVERYDAY on whole wheat for lunch.

                                                        2. re: Procrastibaker

                                                          I had the same problem with not stomaching Jif - turned out to be stress related but eating Jif literally ended up with me in severe pain every time and even in the ER twice thinking I had an alien attacking me from the inside out. (I was testing and I think I failed.) Now, the stress is better managed and/or gone and I can eat it again but I switched to Smucker's Natural and Publix Brand Natural Chunky and Smooth.
                                                          I ended up giving away the Jif because I just couldn't get back into eating it - it was too sweet.

                                                        3. Reese's peanut butter. Potato bread and Welch's grape jam.

                                                          1. Trader Joe's organic, followed by Trader Joe's non-organic. I prefer crunchy, but smooth is good too. Way better than lots of other peanut butters. (By the way, read the ingredients label - some peanut butters have the peanut oil taken out and replaced with soy, or worse.)

                                                            1. We like the TJ's crunchy salted peanut butter. I eat it in some way at some meal every day. I have to agree with a previous poster who said there was a slight change in the TJ formula recently. I think the change in the chunky peanut butter was that the chunks got bigger. I still keep Skippy on the shelf for the peanut butter cookies and sesame noodles. For our little visitors I keep a jar of a natural creamy peanut butter.

                                                              1. I don't eat peanut butter that often -- for all that I love it, I forget about it, too. I like Skippy extra crunchy, but a new favorite is Peanut Butter & Co.'s Crunch Time, which is all-natural, peanuts and a little salt only. http://www.ilovepeanutbutter.com/ I've seen this at Whole Foods and also at my local (Giant) grocery store.

                                                                5 Replies
                                                                1. re: Chocolatechipkt

                                                                  Purist might not like this, but they have a great line of flavored PB. Their cinnamon raisin PB is so great on a toasted english muffin, their white chocolate PB is also a decadent treat. Also, their "Heat is On" PB gives a lot of things a nice bite...good to cook with.

                                                                  1. re: Jacey

                                                                    Spoonfuls of the cinnamon raisin, refrigerated, taste like cookie dough. It's great.

                                                                    1. re: lvecch

                                                                      You said it! I can't have the Cinn Rasin PB in the house because that's exactly what it tastes like and I can't get enough! :)

                                                                      1. re: lvecch

                                                                        Agreed. The cinnamon-raisin PB is awesome.

                                                                        That store has been on my NYC "must-visit" list since I started college, all those years ago. I always get the sampler and a coffee shake with PB.

                                                                        It's now available throughout most of the country, I think. The site has a list of stores (specialty and normal-grocery) that carry their products.

                                                                      2. re: Jacey

                                                                        I miss... Koogle!!

                                                                    2. I like the Laura Scudder's too -- the stir-it-up-youself crunch kind, even though the stirring is a PIA. But a while ago I found that Ralph's generic PB (also stir/crunchy) is even better, and much cheaper! That's all I eat now.

                                                                      My wife favors creamy Jif. I use that in my chili, but that's another thing.

                                                                      1. Anyone who hasn't tried almond butter really should, however, there is only one brand that really cuts the mustard.

                                                                        Maranatha Raw Organic Almond Butter is so tasty and smooth, I think it tastes way better than any peanut butter. Try spreading it on anything!

                                                                        Tip: be sure to mix in ALL the oil in the jar, do not discard any and you'll be guaranteed yummy, moist (not dry) butter (since you should refrigerate after opening).

                                                                        1. i want to like the "natural" brands but i hate having to store an opened jar in the fridge. cold pb just ain't right on a sammich, it's gotta be at room temperature (if nothing other than for spreadability). i must admit i'm not wild about having to mix the oil in each time either, but that's the least of it.

                                                                          7 Replies
                                                                          1. re: spinach

                                                                            I put the Whole Foods pb in the microwave for about twenty seconds, brings it up to room temp, makes it spreadable. Drives the dog wild!

                                                                            1. re: spinach

                                                                              i started buying arrowhead mills for my dog (no salt or sugar added, just ground, roasted, unblanched valencia peanuts) about two years back. i'd never really liked peanut butter at all, but this made a convert out of me. it is a bit of a pain having to stir the oil each time, but i never refrigerate my PB and it actually keeps pretty well. i think it was about six months before my last open jar started developing slightly rancid odors.

                                                                              1. re: cimui

                                                                                What lucky dog is this? When you ask him what part of his mouth it sticks to, does he say 'roof'?

                                                                                (Sorry.)

                                                                                1. re: Cinnamon

                                                                                  My 20 lb. Sonny-Boy would say what part of the meowth!

                                                                                  (not sorry, just shameless)

                                                                                  Harp

                                                                                  1. re: Harp00n

                                                                                    aaagh

                                                                                    1. re: Cinnamon

                                                                                      Absolutely

                                                                                  2. re: Cinnamon

                                                                                    =P

                                                                                    cinnamon and harp, you crack me up! actually, he just says "bark, more arrowhead mills peanut butter, please, bark." i'm not really clear what he means by this noisemaking, but i'm pretty sure it means something. "roof" and "meowth" are as good interpretations as any.

                                                                              2. I like President's Choice organic crunchy "Just Peanuts" PB. The ingredients list says something like: peanuts, that's it.

                                                                                1. Another vote for Peanut Butter Company...out of Greenwich Village in NYC. The flavors and textures are wonderful. Although there is a layer of oil at the top of the jar. They have white chocolate flavor and cinnamon raisin flavor that I didn't particularly care for.

                                                                                  1. I generally like the peanuts'n'salt varieties. Am I the only person who hates Valencia peanuts? Most of the organic or boutique brands use them.

                                                                                    1. Another vote for Whole Foods. I like the plain old peanut kind. I can't imagine why anyone would eat anything else if they could get authentic, freshly ground peanut butter. Great on wheat toast with bananas and honey.

                                                                                      1. Peanut butter ices--Corona Ices King, Corona, Queens

                                                                                        1 Reply
                                                                                        1. re: abu applesauce

                                                                                          Oh, man, that's their best flavor!

                                                                                        2. Wysong Peanut Butter for me.