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Favorite Peanut Butter (and where to get it)

PaulF Dec 20, 2006 05:56 PM

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?

  1. bigmackdaddy Mar 2, 2007 02:37 PM

    Wysong Peanut Butter for me.

    1. abu applesauce Jan 3, 2007 06:38 PM

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

      1 Reply
      1. re: abu applesauce
        lvecch Jan 5, 2007 07:09 PM

        Oh, man, that's their best flavor!

      2. j
        Judith Jan 3, 2007 05:17 PM

        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. a
          aynrandgirl Dec 28, 2006 03:14 AM

          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. b
            BellaDonna Dec 28, 2006 02:59 AM

            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. p
              piccola Dec 27, 2006 12:27 AM

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

              1. spinach Dec 26, 2006 06:51 AM

                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
                  Judith Jan 3, 2007 08:20 PM

                  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
                    cimui May 30, 2009 10:21 PM

                    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
                      Cinnamon May 31, 2009 08:23 AM

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


                      1. re: Cinnamon
                        Harp00n May 31, 2009 04:08 PM

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

                        (not sorry, just shameless)


                        1. re: Harp00n
                          Cinnamon May 31, 2009 04:16 PM


                          1. re: Cinnamon
                            Harp00n May 31, 2009 07:10 PM


                        2. re: Cinnamon
                          cimui May 31, 2009 08:52 PM


                          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. g
                      GK in SO Dec 26, 2006 06:41 AM

                      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. t
                        Tony Miller Dec 24, 2006 08:46 PM

                        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. Chocolatechipkt Dec 24, 2006 05:00 AM

                          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
                            Jacey Dec 24, 2006 03:41 PM

                            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
                              lvecch Dec 26, 2006 11:39 PM

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

                              1. re: lvecch
                                Sra. Swanky Dec 30, 2006 07:27 PM

                                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
                                  PseudoNerd Jan 4, 2007 05:09 AM

                                  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
                                  Cinnamon May 30, 2009 10:09 PM

                                  I miss... Koogle!!

                              2. l
                                lucyis Dec 22, 2006 09:10 PM

                                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. c
                                  Cinnamon Dec 22, 2006 01:28 AM

                                  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. t
                                    tomishungry Dec 22, 2006 01:23 AM

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

                                    1. p
                                      Procrastibaker Dec 21, 2006 02:38 PM

                                      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
                                        Kelli2006 Dec 23, 2006 06:16 PM

                                        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
                                          momof3 Dec 29, 2006 07:58 PM

                                          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
                                          TampaAurora May 31, 2009 09:56 PM

                                          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. PaulF Dec 21, 2006 02:23 PM

                                          Thanks for all the great recs, everyone ...

                                          1. a
                                            Anne H Dec 21, 2006 02:19 PM

                                            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
                                              cooknKate Dec 21, 2006 09:44 PM

                                              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. JK Grence the Cosmic Jester Dec 21, 2006 05:33 AM

                                              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
                                                cooknKate Dec 21, 2006 09:42 PM

                                                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
                                                  Scrapironchef Dec 21, 2006 11:25 PM

                                                  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
                                                    Anne H Dec 21, 2006 11:35 PM

                                                    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
                                                      JK Grence the Cosmic Jester Dec 22, 2006 08:31 AM

                                                      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
                                                        cooknKate Dec 24, 2006 01:51 PM

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

                                                  2. m
                                                    Mike R. Dec 21, 2006 03:28 AM

                                                    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.
                                                      Caitlin McGrath Dec 22, 2006 06:37 AM

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

                                                      1. re: Caitlin McGrath
                                                        FoodFuser Dec 23, 2006 09:41 AM

                                                        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.


                                                        "The Deaf Smith Country Cookbook: Natural Foods for Family Kitchens" was a classic of the 70's. Still available used.

                                                    2. Emme Dec 21, 2006 02:08 AM

                                                      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. Harp00n Dec 21, 2006 01:40 AM

                                                        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
                                                          curiousbaker Jan 3, 2007 07:35 PM

                                                          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. jfood Dec 20, 2006 10:52 PM

                                                          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. c
                                                            cheryl_h Dec 20, 2006 08:16 PM

                                                            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
                                                              Pat Hammond Dec 22, 2006 02:15 AM

                                                              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
                                                                puppymomma Mar 2, 2007 02:25 PM

                                                                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. chowser Dec 20, 2006 07:55 PM

                                                                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
                                                                  bdinah Dec 22, 2006 11:24 PM

                                                                  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
                                                                    ben61820 Mar 2, 2007 02:15 PM

                                                                    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
                                                                      TesterDave May 30, 2009 09:41 PM

                                                                      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. OCAnn Dec 20, 2006 07:35 PM

                                                                    I like LS; hubby likes Skippy.

                                                                    1. notmartha Dec 20, 2006 07:11 PM

                                                                      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. Covert Ops Dec 20, 2006 06:21 PM

                                                                        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
                                                                          InmanSQ Girl Dec 20, 2006 08:31 PM

                                                                          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
                                                                            Covert Ops Dec 21, 2006 04:06 PM

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

                                                                        2. l
                                                                          lvecch Dec 20, 2006 06:15 PM

                                                                          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. ipsedixit Dec 20, 2006 06:03 PM

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

                                                                            11 Replies
                                                                            1. re: ipsedixit
                                                                              duckduck Dec 20, 2006 07:19 PM

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

                                                                              1. re: duckduck
                                                                                ipsedixit Dec 20, 2006 07:24 PM

                                                                                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
                                                                                  lvecch Dec 20, 2006 07:29 PM

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

                                                                                  1. re: lvecch
                                                                                    emilief Dec 20, 2006 08:53 PM

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

                                                                                    1. re: emilief
                                                                                      PaulF Dec 20, 2006 09:02 PM

                                                                                      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
                                                                                        lvecch Dec 20, 2006 10:00 PM

                                                                                        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
                                                                                          ipsedixit Dec 21, 2006 05:43 PM

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

                                                                                      2. re: lvecch
                                                                                        feelinpeckish Dec 21, 2006 01:19 PM

                                                                                        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
                                                                                        BobB Dec 20, 2006 07:32 PM

                                                                                        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
                                                                                          ipsedixit Dec 20, 2006 07:43 PM

                                                                                          Good to know - thanks to both Ivecch and BobB.

                                                                                        2. re: ipsedixit
                                                                                          duckduck Jan 3, 2007 04:53 PM

                                                                                          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. LAcupcake Dec 20, 2006 05:58 PM

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

                                                                                      4 Replies
                                                                                      1. re: LAcupcake
                                                                                        coasterphil Dec 21, 2006 02:14 AM

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

                                                                                        1. re: LAcupcake
                                                                                          Fleur Dec 22, 2006 08:27 AM

                                                                                          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
                                                                                            Cinnamon May 30, 2009 10:08 PM

                                                                                            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
                                                                                            yumcha Dec 24, 2006 03:24 AM

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

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