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

w
Whats_For_Dinner Jan 7, 2011 08:43 AM

So, I have this problem with peanut butter: I'm addicted to it. Only within the last year or so, though, have I really started to notice the differences between brands; it started when I ate a spoonful of Jif right after eating Kraft and was shocked that these two commercial, mas-produced brands could be so very different. Shouldn't have come as a surprise, really, but I guess I'd never thought about it before.

So for the past few months I've been collecting peanut butters in order to taste several of them side by side and compare directly. I decided to forego store brands as I've generally found them to be mediocre in the past (i.e. I didn't want to buy a whole jar of garbage, knowing full well that it was garbage, and then be stuck with it.)
Ended up with six brands: three the emulsified kind, and three "natural" (the type that tend to separate.)

Emulsified:
1. Picard's: This is a local product, Ontario peanuts, produced here. Dry-roasted peanuts, sugar, veg oil, salt.
2. Jif: Had to bring this in from Buffalo, as sadly it's no longer for sale up here. Roasted peanuts, sugar, molasses, rapeseed & soybean oils, mono and diglycerides, salt.
3. Skippy. Roasted peanuts, soybean oil, maltodextrin, icing sugar, salt, veg oil.
All three had similar amounts sugar and sodium as labelled: 65-70mg sodium/tbsp, and about 1.5g sugar/tbsp, except for Skippy at 1g/tbsp.
Protein, similar. Picard and Jif around 3g, Skippy weighing in at a measly 2.
All three were smooth; Jif smoother than Picard, and Skippy smoother and creamier than both.
Picard was "not too sweet" and a little "vegetal." I got a hint of olive-oil taste near the finish. Definite real peanut flavour.
Jif was "really smooth" with "in your face" peanut flavour, saltier and sweeter than Picard. If Picard was more vegetal, Jif was more fruity. Not fruity, really, and I don't want to use the word "candylike" because it's got negative implications... but the Jif was the closest to what I consider to be the ideal for a mass-produced, homogeneous, emulsified peanut butter.
Skippy... we said "Wow, it's definitely something-butter, but where's the peanut." Like the Cool Whip of peanut butter. Almost ethereally creamy compared to the other two, less peanut flavour, compensated for by more sugar and salt. Reminded me, texturally, of being a kid and sticking a finger into a bowl of creamed Crisco and sugar when my mom was making cookies.
Verdict: Jif > Picard, in terms of what a stereotypical peanut butter should be, but Picard tastes more like actual peanuts. Skippy a distant third (distant, like, the horse never left the starting gate.)

Naturals:
1. President's Choice Blue Menu Just Peanuts. Loblaws-chain house brand. Ingredients: Freshly roasted peanuts. Fair degree of separation in jar.
2. Smucker's Natural Creamy Peanut Butter. Also came from Buffalo, never seen it up here. Ingredients: Peanuts, salt.
3. Nuts To You Nut Butter: Valencia Peanut Butter. Local Ontario company making all kinds of expensive organic nut butters (peanut, cashew, macadamia, sunflower seed, et cetera...) Ingredients: Dry roasted Valencia peanuts.
Smucker's had 0.5g sugar/tbsp; the other two, 1g. PC and Nuts To You were free of sodium; Smucker's weighed in at about 50mg/tbsp. Protein-wise, PC rang in at 3g, Smucker's 3.5 and Nuts To You 4.
All three had some degree of separation, Nuts To You least of all (was just "runnier" on the top than the bottom, no layer of oil.) Smucker's was really difficult to stir together -- really didn't want to emulsify. I ended up taking some oily part and some solid part and mashing them together in a bowl. And this was at warm room temp.
PC was the most granular and the most discernibly oily, though not in a bad way. It tasted just exactly like a bag of real peanuts put in a food processor. Nothing more to it. Real good, real peanut taste. Not overly roasty, compared to the other two. Very fresh-tasting.
Smucker's was a little granular in texture as well, and tasted "more roasted" and with "a little salt."
Nuts To You was the smoothest of the three and tasted "very roasted", "less salty" and "peanuttier" than Smucker's.
Verdict: Tough. We decided it was hard to compare PC to the other two, certainly, because it tasted exactly like lightly roasted peanuts straight out of the shell, and the other two not so much. If true peanut flavour is the goal -- in a peanut sauce, or African peanut soup, etc -- PC is the clear winner.
Got a little tough between the other two. Smucker's tasted closer to the Jif-type butters, while Nuts To You was deep and roasty and more peanutty. The lack of salt in Nuts To You was noticeable, and it was much improved, in my opinion, with a few grains of salt sprinkled over. Both would be good situationally, though just for eating off a spoon, we preferred the Smucker's -- that 50 mg of salt makes a hell of a difference!
I wouldn't bake with the PC, at least not in recipes tested with conventional PB. I did try baking with it over the holidays, and the results were fine, and certainly peanutty, but they just didn't taste the same as they would have if I'd used a standard PB, nor was the texture the same.

Long story short, it was a really neat exercise, and not a bad way to spend an evening!
Incidentally, I'd also bought a little jar of Nuts To You's pumpkin-seed butter. Interesting. Really did taste like pumpkin-seeds, but... that said, I have no idea what I'll do with it. Maybe, like its peanut cousin, it'll be improved enough by a little salt to be good as a spread.

Anyone else have as unhealthy a passion for peanut butter as I do? What are your favourite brands? Why?

 
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  1. s
    salvatoregianpaolo Jan 7, 2011 08:45 AM

    The best is made right in my kitchen.... along with almond butter, pecan butter, hazlenut butter, etc.

    5 Replies
    1. re: salvatoregianpaolo
      m
      magiesmom Jan 7, 2011 08:52 AM

      I like mine best too. But I also like Trader Joes Valencia with flax seeds. i'm sure I could make that at home too but theirs really does it for me and it is cheap. And sunny butter at home too.

      1. re: magiesmom
        s
        salvatoregianpaolo Jan 9, 2011 03:43 PM

        Always add some ground flax meal to mine... and some shredded coconut. Just whipped up a batch of pecan-peanut-coconut butter. Very, very nice!

        1. re: magiesmom
          k
          Klunco Mar 10, 2011 06:40 AM

          I was also impressed with this one!

          As someone who has eaten peanut butter everyday for almost my entire life (I even had to have my brother ship me jars of my favorite peanut butter when I lived in France), I have definitely tried all the "natural" peanut butters. I like just peanuts and a good amount of salt, no sugar necessary.

          I love the whole foods grind your own, and the honey roasted is a nice switch up as well. As far as jarred I have yet to find a cheaper/more delicious option than "Teddie's." They also just introduced one with flax seeds for you flax lovers.

          I was once given a membership to a peanut butter of the month club and the only flavored peanut butter that ended up being good was a cinnamon/currant one that was delicious. Anyone tried this? I don't remember the name of the brand.

          For those of you who make it at home: I have a cuisinart but is it cheaper to make at home or is peanut butter one of those things that is cheaper to buy made?

          1. re: Klunco
            goodhealthgourmet Mar 10, 2011 10:36 AM

            the cinnamon-currant was probably Sunland Organic - it's actually the same company that makes Kirkland Organic PB.

            re: cost, it may depend somewhat on which brands you're used to buying and what you're paying for peanuts, but making it yourself is generally more cost effective, and more importantly, tastier!

        2. re: salvatoregianpaolo
          d
          deepsreddy Apr 26, 2011 10:23 AM

          salvatoregianpaolo...mind telling us how you make PB at home? i tred a couple of times...it was ok but not very spreadable. what am i doing wrong here? i use roasted peanuts, honey and canola oil with a little sea salt.

        3. d
          DGresh Jan 7, 2011 08:49 AM

          wow. I've always bought Skippy. Just 'cause.... I guess 'cause my mom bought that brand. You've made me rethink the habit of 30 years! Guess I'll have to try Jif!

          1. Perilagu Khan Jan 7, 2011 09:24 AM

            Peter Pan Crunchy

            3 Replies
            1. re: Perilagu Khan
              s
              shaebones Jan 7, 2011 09:30 AM

              I make my own too. A mixed nut butter using all different kinds of nuts.Sometimes I mix some homemade granola into it. Its amazing. TJ's peanut butter would be my commercial choice.

              1. re: shaebones
                m
                magiesmom Jan 7, 2011 11:10 AM

                I love the granola idea!

                1. re: shaebones
                  lollya Jan 7, 2011 11:59 PM

                  I love love love TJs pb

              2. buttertart Jan 7, 2011 09:28 AM

                Teddie's extra-crunchy (preferred) or Smucker's natural crunchy. We foolishly got a jar of Skippy reduced-fat crunchy (misbegotten low-cal impulses, for once) and it was revoltingly sweet.

                6 Replies
                1. re: buttertart
                  m
                  MRS Jan 8, 2011 01:46 PM

                  The best!! I agree! I had never seen Teddie's until the nearby market stopped carrying Smucker's. I didn't realize its all part of the same company, just depends on where you live in some cases. I love them both- but now actually prefer the Teddie's. I am SUCH a crunchy/extra crunchy girl!!

                  1. re: MRS
                    buttertart Jan 9, 2011 06:52 AM

                    I hadn't either until we moved to NJ. It is so packed with peanut bits, there's barely enough pb to hold them together. The best one I've ever tried.

                    1. re: MRS
                      n
                      NEChef Jan 21, 2013 03:10 PM

                      I know this is old, but as a Teddie fanatic, I have to chime in. WHERE did you get the idea that Smucker's and Teddie are the same company? I'm pretty much 100% certain that that is not the case, as Smucker's Natural is considered Teddie's biggest competitor. Teddie's is a local New England brand which has been around for ages and the Leavitt Corporation, which owns the Teddie brand, has been in business since the late 1800s and has always made Teddie. They have not been bought out by Smucker's or any parent company of Smucker's (if there is one) and they have not bought out Smucker's. Teddie's is only distributed in the northeast, but it's not like it's rebranded as Smucker's elsewhere or something. They are totally different brands made by different companies.

                      For what it's worth, Smucker's Natural is nowhere near as good as Teddie. The peanuts aren't as fresh and it separates much more. What I like about Teddie, particularly the Super Chunky (unsalted, preferably) is that while it's not homogenized and does separate, it doesn't separate the way some other natural peanut butters do. I never put it in the fridge - I just stir it when I need to, with no problem. Some natural peanut butters separate so much that you end up with a huge amount of oil on top, and peanut butter with the consistency of concrete on the bottom, and it's really hard to stir it back together. This stays soft and there isn't all that much oil which rises to the top.

                      The natural peanut flavor is out of this world. Supposedly Teddie roasts and grinds the peanuts on the same day, and it's on supermarket shelves within a week. I've had homemade peanut butter made with a grinder specifically designed to make peanut butter, and it isn't as good as Teddie.

                      EDIT: I did some research, and Smucker's owns Jif. NOT Teddie.

                      1. re: NEChef
                        m
                        MRS Jan 22, 2013 06:26 AM

                        Wow...pretty passionate about your Teddie's there, NEChef! I was told that by someone in the supermarket who clearly didn't know the correct connection between the companies. I certainly do prefer Teddie to Smucker's but not as many stores in my area carry it, so unless I remember to order from Amazon or something, I can't always have it. Some of the markets seem to not even carry the Smucker's crunchy...also hard to find.
                        I would agree with you on all points.

                    2. re: buttertart
                      KaimukiMan Jan 10, 2011 06:20 AM

                      teddy's is available on line i see. $2.99 for a 16oz jar plus shipping.

                      1. re: KaimukiMan
                        buttertart Jan 10, 2011 07:33 AM

                        Try it! You'll like it!

                    3. o
                      ospreycove Jan 7, 2011 09:40 AM

                      For me Most commercial Peanut Butter is Waaaaay too sweet added sugar or worse (HFCS).
                      One commercial brand that is good is COSTCO'S Organic; made with U.S. grown peanuts, dry roasted and only other ingredient is salt.

                      2 Replies
                      1. re: ospreycove
                        MandalayVA Jan 10, 2011 06:08 AM

                        THIIIIIIIIIIS. Very good and just sweet enough.

                        1. re: MandalayVA
                          goodhealthgourmet Jan 10, 2011 07:43 AM

                          and that sweetness comes from the flavor of the peanuts, not added sugar! now if they'd just switch to glass jars...

                      2. mcf Jan 7, 2011 09:41 AM

                        My husband has the most serious PB jones I've ever seen. We've tried everything natural, nothing comes close to the good taste and texture of Smucker's creamy for us. And ever since I bought this thing someone on CH posted about, the mixing is a breeze, too:http://witmerproducts.com/pbutter.html

                        1. w
                          Whats_For_Dinner Jan 7, 2011 09:43 AM

                          Hmm, Peter Pan is one of the long-standing U.S. brands I've never had the opportunity to try. Nor TJ's -- I think the closest one to me is, oh, 300 miles. I'll have to get relatives to ship some up...

                          2 Replies
                          1. re: Whats_For_Dinner
                            z
                            zoey67 Jan 23, 2013 09:20 AM

                            Peter pan is very bland, for the little ones who don't care it's fine

                            1. re: zoey67
                              mcf Jan 23, 2013 10:02 AM

                              Not fine for children, in my opinion:

                              PETER PAN, PEANUT BUTTER SPREAD, CRUNCHY
                              INGREDIENTS: Peanuts, Corn Syrup Solids, Soy Protein, Sugar, Salt, Partially Hydrogenated Vegetable Oil (Partially Hydrogenated Cottonseed Oil and Partially Hydrogenated Rapeseed Oil), Minerals (Magnesium Oxide, Zinc Oxide, Iron Phosphate, Copper Sulfate) and Vitamins (Niacin, Vitamin B6, Folic Acid).

                          2. mels Jan 7, 2011 09:52 AM

                            I can't do commercial sugar laden PB (Skippy, Jif, et al). I have been on the natural PB so long that anything else tastes fake and sugary. I tend to buy the Whole Foods 365 brand, creamy and salted, please. They sell a large size of it that is dirt cheap.

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: mels
                              s
                              star939 Jan 20, 2011 03:37 PM

                              I love the 365 brand, creamy and salted, too but my favorite version is the organic one (brown label and lid). It has the creamiest texture!

                            2. Novelli Jan 7, 2011 11:19 AM

                              It's not often I use peanut butter, but when I do, I have the MaraNatha brand on hand.

                              It's got a real hearty full peanut flavor with just a touch of salt. Pure deliciousness.

                              1. m
                                mpjmph Jan 7, 2011 11:26 AM

                                My standard house PB, so to speak, is Trader Joe's creamy, salted. TJ's is a special trip, so I buy 2-3 jars at a time. If I need to replenish and I don't have TJ's run coming up, then I get by with Smucker's natural creamy. If I have to settle for sweetened PB, then I prefer Jiff.

                                1 Reply
                                1. re: mpjmph
                                  e
                                  Eat.Choui Jan 7, 2011 05:39 PM

                                  I also went on a creamy peanut butter obsession, trying Jif, Peter Pan, Skippy, Whole Foods, various Trader Joe's, Laura Shudder's All Natural, Tom's, my own homemade, and a bunch of other random brands or in-store, freshly made ones.

                                  Trader's Joe's creamy, salted is my favorite as a spread! I gained weight from eating it on everything, including putting it in between two cookies. I love it because it's not sweet and the salt is pretty apparent. It's terrible when used in baking though.

                                  Jif or Skippy is very good in baking.

                                2. Uncle Bob Jan 7, 2011 11:29 AM

                                  So where did Skippy Super Chunk finish in your Peanut Butter Horse Race???

                                  The Super Chunk list ...Roasted Peanuts, Sugar, Vegetable Oil, Salt. as it's contents.....7% Protein

                                  Taste like....Well... actual Peanuts...it's loaded with them.

                                  1. l
                                    laliz Jan 7, 2011 11:31 AM

                                    gah. I am a peanut butter junkie and I love the very ultra unchowish Skippy Honey Ultra Chunk or whatever it is. Cannot have it in the house.

                                    Skippy® Roasted Honey Nut Super Chunk

                                    7 Replies
                                    1. re: laliz
                                      ttoommyy Jan 7, 2011 12:15 PM

                                      I'm unChowish as well and I like the commercial brands with sugar or HFCS in them. I guess Skippy would be my brand of choice, though I really do like the Shop Rite store brand. The home made stuff or "natural" stuff is OK, but it's not the taste I am searching for when I want a good old-fashioned PB fix.

                                      1. re: ttoommyy
                                        c
                                        chefdaddyo Jan 7, 2011 12:30 PM

                                        Skippy super chunk. I've got the morning habit of a good sized glop on whole grain toast. Every morning! Also like Crazy Richard's all natural, but dont like the separating oil that rises to the top. My teen made peanutbutter krispie bars last month. He brought home Peter Pan smooth for the recipe. Bars were great. Peanut butter by itself was way too sweet and not enough peanut flavor.

                                      2. re: laliz
                                        e
                                        ediblover Jan 7, 2011 02:02 PM

                                        I'm with you here. It's all about the flavor profile. When something adds sweet and another doesn't, the sweet one is superior. For me, peanut butter is one of those things that's best left to the food scientists. Natural peanut butter is one of those natural products that should just be avoided; both the texture and taste aren't as pleasing as the processed types. I should also add that for peanut butter, I'm willing to accept the added trans-fat; it's worth it.

                                        1. re: ediblover
                                          Perilagu Khan Jan 7, 2011 04:12 PM

                                          Wholeheartedly agreed.

                                          1. re: ediblover
                                            lollya Jan 8, 2011 12:02 AM

                                            I used to feel the same but TJs has got the texture and the taste!! Fanatic here. Also, have any of you tried PB Loco?

                                            1. re: ediblover
                                              Jen76 Jan 9, 2011 11:40 AM

                                              I'd use almost your exact words, but for the opposite preference:
                                              Emulsified peanut butter is one of those products that should just be avoided; both the texture and taste aren't as pleasing as the natural types. I should also add that for peanut butter, I'm not willing to accept the added trans-fat; it's just not worth it. I was raised on natural PB, so the emulsified stuff always tasted weird to me...tastes like Crisco with peanut flavoring. Yuk.

                                              I agree with ipsedixit below; it's nearly impossible to compare the two types of PB since they are so different. That being said, I still never buy the emulsified stuff. My favorite commercially available brand is Trader Joe's Organic - either crunchy or creamy. I love both. Yes, it takes a little while to mix it, but it's worth it.

                                              1. re: Jen76
                                                Caitlin McGrath Jun 17, 2011 12:57 PM

                                                "I was raised on natural PB, so the emulsified stuff always tasted weird to me..."

                                                Same here. I find the texture and flavor of the emulsified type very UNpleasing - wierdly sweet, very unnatural texture to me.

                                          2. ipsedixit Jan 7, 2011 01:30 PM

                                            Fresh churned from salted, roasted peanuts.

                                            Otherwise, it's Jif.

                                            1. r
                                              rafjel Jan 7, 2011 02:53 PM

                                              Adam's 100% Natural, chunky, unsalted. Or salted. Both are very good.

                                              1 Reply
                                              1. re: rafjel
                                                Kholvaitar Nov 18, 2013 06:40 AM

                                                http://www.adamspeanutbutter.com/product

                                              2. goodhealthgourmet Jan 7, 2011 03:58 PM

                                                as a few others haven mentioned, i can't handle sugary PB - i've been eating the kind without sugar for as long as i can remember. and i do prefer to make my own, but that's not always feasible...and sometimes i just don't want to clean out the FP!

                                                my go-to brands depend somewhat on availability as i've moved around a lot, but over the last few years they've been:
                                                - Trader Joe's Valencia w/Flaxseeds
                                                - Crazy Richard'sNatural Chunky
                                                - Kirkland Organic (which i'm pretty sure is made by Sunland)

                                                honorable mention goes to Santa Cruz Organic & Maranatha, both of which i love...i just can't justify the price tag.

                                                20 Replies
                                                1. re: goodhealthgourmet
                                                  Caitlin McGrath Jun 17, 2011 01:07 PM

                                                  I recently tried for the first time Santa Cruz Organic Dark Roasted PB, and it is really good, with a mellow roasted nut flavor I really like. It is salted, but not at all overly salty. Only works for me at room temp., though; it's just too hard and dry refrigerated, either on a spoon or to spread on bread.

                                                  I will say that Laura Scudder's and Smucker's (depending on whether I was in the West or East side of the country, respectively, but really the same thing with dif. labels) have saved me many a time because they are generally available in mainstream groceries, where they may be the only natural PB available and both are pretty decent choices.

                                                  1. re: Caitlin McGrath
                                                    goodhealthgourmet Jun 17, 2011 03:31 PM

                                                    it's been ages since i had Laura Scudder's but i do recall liking their organic crunchy. the stores where i do pretty much all of my shopping don't carry it, but the next time i have a reason to wander into Ralph's i may grab a jar. thanks for the reminder!

                                                    1. re: Caitlin McGrath
                                                      goodhealthgourmet Jun 24, 2011 10:59 PM

                                                      okay, i was passing by Ralph's today & had a few minutes to kill so i stopped in to look for the Laura Scudder's...they wanted SIX DOLLARS for the organic! are they kidding? i can get Santa Cruz Organic Dark Roast for $3.99 when it's on special at Sprouts or if i have a coupon.

                                                      it kills me how much "regular" supermarkets mark up organic items. i'll have to keep an eye out to see if i can find it for a better price somewhere.

                                                      1. re: goodhealthgourmet
                                                        Caitlin McGrath Jun 25, 2011 11:44 AM

                                                        It's even worse when they segregate the organic/natural brands into a separate aisle. I call it the organic ghetto (except w/premium prices, of course).

                                                    2. re: goodhealthgourmet
                                                      Caitlin McGrath Jan 23, 2013 10:54 AM

                                                      Two unfortunate developments regarding the Santa Cruz Organic Dark Roasted (still my PB of choice): It has now topped $6 for a jar (and I never see it on sale near me), and the crunchy has disappeared from my local stores' shelves along with its shelf space and tags.

                                                      1. re: Caitlin McGrath
                                                        h
                                                        HillJ Jan 23, 2013 11:03 AM

                                                        Still avail thru Amazon.com and no s&h if you have PRIME or a large order. $5.00 there. I feel your pain. When a product I like drys up or soars in price I little part of me weeps.

                                                        1. re: HillJ
                                                          goodhealthgourmet Jan 23, 2013 11:19 AM

                                                          Thanks J. Unfortunately Amazon - like all the stores we've checked - only has the creamy variety. Westside Gal and I have been on a scavenger hunt for our beloved Dark Roasted *Crunchy* for many months now. It makes no sense to me - if you can still make creamy, why not crunchy?! Grr.

                                                          1. re: HillJ
                                                            Caitlin McGrath Jan 23, 2013 11:20 AM

                                                            HillJ, I don't see it on Amazon for that price (only more), or with free shipping offers. If you have a link to point me to, I'd be grateful.

                                                            1. re: Caitlin McGrath
                                                              h
                                                              HillJ Jan 23, 2013 11:34 AM

                                                              Only in the creamy (I did miss the bit about crunchy) but here's the link:
                                                              http://www.amazon.com/Santa-Cruz-Orga...

                                                              1. re: HillJ
                                                                goodhealthgourmet Jan 23, 2013 11:41 AM

                                                                Aha. The seller for that one is actually Vitacost - the site you linked to below. It's not Prime eligible, so better to go directly through Vitacost if you can order enough from them to get free shipping - they offer it over $49.

                                                                Thanks J!!

                                                                1. re: goodhealthgourmet
                                                                  h
                                                                  HillJ Jan 23, 2013 11:53 AM

                                                                  Right I provided both links Amazon (if you have PRIME especially for free s&h) and VitaC as another source. But for now just in the smooth.

                                                                  1. re: HillJ
                                                                    goodhealthgourmet Jan 23, 2013 12:00 PM

                                                                    Right, but I was pointing out that even Prime members can't get free shipping on this one so we'd all be better off ordering directly from Vitacost. Prime members don't automatically get free shipping on everything on the site, just the offers that are designated as "Prime Eligible" - which this one is not.

                                                                    1. re: goodhealthgourmet
                                                                      h
                                                                      HillJ Jan 23, 2013 12:02 PM

                                                                      insider info, students do. so if you know a college kid with a prime account (i have 2 in my life) buy thru them.

                                                              2. re: Caitlin McGrath
                                                                goodhealthgourmet Jan 23, 2013 11:38 AM

                                                                I pulled up 2 different options - one for a 12-pack at about $7.50/jar, and one for a 3-pack at an obscene $12/jar.

                                                                However, it appears that the 3-pack is actually a 6-pack. It ships at a weight of over 6 lbs, and their price calculations come out to 35¢/oz, which, for $35.75 means you're getting a total of 96 oz (or 6 12-oz jars), not 48 oz. I guess the listing a the top that says "(3X16 OZ)" is a misprint. Unfortunately in the end you're still paying about $5.95 per jar so it's not really a savings over your local store.

                                                                And you're right, neither offer is Prime eligible so the shipping would add a bundle.

                                                                1. re: Caitlin McGrath
                                                                  h
                                                                  HillJ Jan 23, 2013 11:38 AM

                                                                  http://www.vitacost.com/santa-cruz-or...

                                                                  here too.

                                                              3. re: Caitlin McGrath
                                                                goodhealthgourmet Jan 23, 2013 11:13 AM

                                                                So depressing. And annoying, because they still have it displayed as part of the PB line on their website. If I hadn't lost my voice I'd call their customer service # and ask what the heck is going on.

                                                                BTW, the creamy is $7.50/jar at Sprouts Farmers Markets here, and I saw it for more than $8 at a notoriously overpriced independent market. Unbelievable.

                                                                1. re: goodhealthgourmet
                                                                  Caitlin McGrath Jan 23, 2013 11:50 AM

                                                                  Thanks for confirming that the lack of crunchy isn't just a local issue - depressing as that is. I just emailed SCO to ask, not in so many words, what the heck is going on. (And sorry about your voice. The same thing happened to me a month ago.)

                                                                  Yikes about the SoCal prices. Makes me feel better (and worse for you!) about the $6.19 my local independent now charges. I believe it was the same at WF last I looked there in my search for crunchy, but I haven't checked back there since.

                                                                  1. re: Caitlin McGrath
                                                                    goodhealthgourmet Jan 23, 2013 02:15 PM

                                                                    Please let us know if you hear back from SCO! (And glad you got your voice back - I started with the flu and developed bronchitis as a bonus. Along with my voice I also lost the ability to swallow solid food. This is one seriously evil virus.)

                                                                    1. re: goodhealthgourmet
                                                                      Caitlin McGrath Jan 28, 2013 08:36 AM

                                                                      I hope you are recovering, GHG - no voice plus no throat for solid food sounds just awful. But I have some news which I hope will brighten your day: I did hear back from SCO (which, incidentally, I hadn't realized until I got their email is now owned by J.M. Smucker). Crunchy PB will be back in distribution beginning February 4! The culprit was last year's drought-induced peanut shortage, the consumer relations rep said.

                                                                      1. re: Caitlin McGrath
                                                                        goodhealthgourmet Jan 28, 2013 08:45 AM

                                                                        Oh happy day! My voice is back, I made it up a flight of stairs yesterday without coughing up a lung, and now this news...best Monday I've had in a while ;) Thanks for reporting back!

                                                                        And yes, interesting about the change in ownership - I had no idea.

                                                            2. junescook Jan 7, 2011 04:46 PM

                                                              Teddie's Super Crunch. Nothing but well cooked peanuts ground, salt and about half of the jar of crunchy peabuts. Perfect,

                                                              1. GraceW Jan 7, 2011 08:29 PM

                                                                I have to avoid it (or I will just eat the jar)--but if and when I had my choice, I would go for either:
                                                                --Natural Smuckers--dump off the oil and just eat the hard globs of nuttiness (it is sooo good without the oil)
                                                                OR
                                                                --Peanut Butter Factory, any flavor but the chocolate kind is good (and someday I want to try the white chocolate flavor)

                                                                My family is obsessed with Skippy. I try to avoid it because of the HFCS, but in reality, when it is present, I eat it.

                                                                7 Replies
                                                                1. re: GraceW
                                                                  goodhealthgourmet Jan 7, 2011 08:43 PM

                                                                  Peanut Butter Factory? do you mean Peanut Butter & Co?

                                                                  i almost hate to do this to you because i know that on your teacher's salary you won't even consider buying something so pricey, but someday when you strike it rich, you have to try the flavored peanut & almond butters from Spread Restaurant in San Diego:
                                                                  http://www.spreadtherestaurant.com/ca...

                                                                  they're outrageously delicious.

                                                                  1. re: goodhealthgourmet
                                                                    GraceW Jan 7, 2011 08:59 PM

                                                                    Yes! I do mean Peanut Butter & Co. (I only splurged for it once.. so I guess that shows!).

                                                                    WOW! I looked at those spreads. I love cantaloupe; the chocolate cantaloupe almond would be amazing or the rose salted basil. Actually.. whoever came up with the flavor combo for "Sexual Chocolate Almond Spread" should probably get a CHOW award or something. How divine.

                                                                    Thanks for the suggestion Goodhealthgourmet!

                                                                    1. re: GraceW
                                                                      goodhealthgourmet Jan 7, 2011 09:10 PM

                                                                      when i lived in SD i used to go far out of my way to hit the Farmers' Market where they sampled their products...never had a bad one :)

                                                                      you should see if any of your friends or relatives want to go in on a PB & Co multi-pack with you. Amazon has them for a great price - it averages out to $3.80 per jar.

                                                                      http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B001...

                                                                      1. re: GraceW
                                                                        j
                                                                        jbsiegel Mar 11, 2011 04:00 PM

                                                                        Yep - we buy these in bulk (mail order)... Makes a great sandwich with nothing else - just the flavored PB and the bread. How easy is that? I've grilled these sandwiches too with great results! The other thing they sell that are INSANELY good is a tin of roasted salted peanuts!

                                                                      2. re: goodhealthgourmet
                                                                        lollya Jan 8, 2011 12:09 AM

                                                                        Oh.my.god! Evil!

                                                                        1. re: lollya
                                                                          goodhealthgourmet Jan 8, 2011 12:51 PM

                                                                          yeah, sorry :) their products are pretty insane.

                                                                          1. re: goodhealthgourmet
                                                                            mcf Jan 8, 2011 03:40 PM

                                                                            Oops, not the stuff I thought you meant...

                                                                    2. f
                                                                      FrankD Jan 7, 2011 08:59 PM

                                                                      PC Just Peanuts is good; you just have to have a good knife, and be ready to stir it when it comes out of the fridge. I love the crunchy texture of it.

                                                                      I'm not saying I won't eat commercial brands, but they do have a lot of sugar (one brand: ICING sugar?! what the heck is that doing in PB?!).

                                                                      1. KaimukiMan Jan 7, 2011 11:05 PM

                                                                        being from a San Francisco Bay Area family i was raised on Skippy. i still like it, peferably super-chunk. but i have to admit, i like Jif a little more. it does taste more peanutty, at least to me.

                                                                        1. monavano Jan 8, 2011 03:49 AM

                                                                          I've become a fan of Kirkland's organic PB. I wouldn't go back to the sugar-laden labels again!

                                                                          1. m
                                                                            maxevan Jan 8, 2011 07:03 AM

                                                                            Teddie's and Grandma's(???) or Grandpa's(??) I cant remember the exact name right now, when I want to splurge.

                                                                            1. m
                                                                              Merry113 Jan 8, 2011 12:57 PM

                                                                              I really like Adam's peanut butter. It is a natural peanut butter so it separates but it tastes totally of roasted peanuts. I get the salted on though b/c I can't stand unsalted peanut butter.

                                                                              1. Will Owen Jan 8, 2011 01:23 PM

                                                                                I loathe sweet peanut butter, desiring only a pure, warm nuttiness (just like me!). My two favorites are both "naturals", Trader Joe's Salted Organic Crunchy and Laura Scudder's equivalent; I used to get Smucker's, but I got really mad at them (a political-foodie-issue beef) and stopped buying their stuff. Then I found out they owned Laura Scudder's … so it's TJ and TJ only.

                                                                                There's something I'm still trying to figure out, after over ten years in California: when I'd buy PB back east, there was always a deep pool of oil sitting atop a very stiff, solid mass, and I'd have to work the bejeezus out of it with a knife to mix the oil in and make it spreadable. Here in SoCal, however, I can practically mix the oil in with a spoon, and the PB is almost soupy at room temperature. It's almost as different as the shapes of butter quarters, which are long sticks back there and squarish blocks here …

                                                                                1. ChrisOC Jan 8, 2011 01:30 PM

                                                                                  Why would I try to make my own when there is JIFF in the pantry?

                                                                                  1 Reply
                                                                                  1. re: ChrisOC
                                                                                    ipsedixit Jan 8, 2011 01:36 PM

                                                                                    Lets step back for a moment here.

                                                                                    ChrisOC, have you ever tried basic, bare homemade churned PB where it's essentially nothing but roasted peanuts, salt and maybe a little bit of oil for viscosity?

                                                                                    Now, understand something, I love both types of PB -- store bought (i.e. Jiff or Skippy) with all the additives (incl. sugar) and the basic "bare" kind.

                                                                                    In fact, I don't even think it's fair to compare the two -- store-bought and bare -- because they're essentially two different products sharing a same name. Sort of like truffles -- mushrooms and chocolate treats.

                                                                                    If I am standing there spooning PB out of a jar, I want the bare kind.

                                                                                    If I am making a sauce or a dressing, then I want the bare PB kind.

                                                                                    If I am making a PB&J sandwich, I sort of am inclined to choose the store-bought kind, and my weapon of choice in that category is definitely JIff, as I mentioned up thread.

                                                                                    If I am making a dessert with PB, then I also want the store-bought kind.

                                                                                    I think a better and more honest thread about PB needs to differentiate between the two. Heck, because after all, there's no way any of us would stand a thread on truffles that talked about both fungus and cacao beans, right?

                                                                                  2. h
                                                                                    HillJ Jan 8, 2011 01:45 PM

                                                                                    TJ sunflower butter is such a surprise and lately I've been adding it to Greek yogurt, amazingly good.
                                                                                    Justin's Nut Butter Co. in the single serving packs is always in my bag now-quick pb fix and his flavors are truly pure deliciousness.
                                                                                    Maranatha Almond Butter is my fav almond butter and Spread that ghg mentioned is one of the most decadent food purchases I have ever made. Attended a wedding in CA several years back and Spread Couture Seasonal pb was served on a chocolate torte. Truly sublime & you only live once! Of course, then I was turned onto pistachio butter...and all bets were off after that. Pistachio butter is truly dessert on a spoon.

                                                                                    3 Replies
                                                                                    1. re: HillJ
                                                                                      goodhealthgourmet Jan 8, 2011 04:51 PM

                                                                                      i wish they'd cut back on the cane juice in the sunflower butter. it's too sweet for me :(

                                                                                      1. re: goodhealthgourmet
                                                                                        h
                                                                                        HillJ Jan 8, 2011 05:02 PM

                                                                                        Have you tried it swirled in the greek yogurt, it really does cut the sweetness some. like you, I tend to go for under not over on the sugars...but it gets complicated with certain preparations. :)
                                                                                        I really love sunflower butter.

                                                                                        1. re: HillJ
                                                                                          goodhealthgourmet Jan 8, 2011 06:10 PM

                                                                                          i haven't - when it comes to any nut or seed butter, i'm more inclined to just eat it straight from the jar with a spoon :) but if i buy it again i will.

                                                                                    2. t
                                                                                      therealdoctorlew Jan 8, 2011 02:12 PM

                                                                                      Your picture shows that you got caught by the Skippy Scam. The corporate moguls that run Skippy have tricked you with Skippy SPREAD, which is not peanut BUTTER. I also almost got snookered at the supermarket the last time I went to buy Skippy, until I noticed a much smaller number of jars of the peanut butter among the many kinds of peanut spread. The spread is extended with so many extra (read: cheap) ingredients that extended the product is out of the taste profile of peanut butter.

                                                                                      Caveat emptor!

                                                                                      3 Replies
                                                                                      1. re: therealdoctorlew
                                                                                        w
                                                                                        Whats_For_Dinner Jan 9, 2011 07:53 AM

                                                                                        Interesting -- the jar clearly says "Peanut Butter", not qualified with anything like "spread" or "product" or whatever. Of course, it WAS full of all kinds of stuff, and tasted, as I said, more like sweet whipped shortening than peanuts, but it definitely is labelled as "Peanut Butter."

                                                                                        Remember that I'm in Canada, and labels, etc. are different up here. We also have nowhere near the brand variety that you guys seem to have Stateside... I've never heard of this Skippy Super Ultra Mega Crunch or whatever it is; I can't even get Jif, nor do we have Peter Pan, Smucker's, TJ's, Teddie's, Crazy Richard's, Laura Scudder's... Good God. Anyone want to send me a care package? ;)

                                                                                        Agreed with ipsedixit upthread: it's impossible to compare between the natural and the commercial types. Their uses are very situational; like I mentioned, I wouldn't want a natural, unsweetened PB in a standard PB cookie, but I'd definitely want it in a sauce, stew, etc.

                                                                                        1. re: Whats_For_Dinner
                                                                                          r
                                                                                          rafjel Jan 9, 2011 11:22 AM

                                                                                          Where in Canada are you? I've definitely seen Jif around...

                                                                                          1. re: rafjel
                                                                                            w
                                                                                            Whats_For_Dinner Jan 9, 2011 09:17 PM

                                                                                            Toronto-area... it WAS sold here until a year (or two?) ago, when it was suddenly discontinued, and suddenly the only way to find it was to check the backs of shelves at convenience stores or low-turnover grocery places. Its discontinuation coincided with my discovery that I like it better than the comparable brands up here. Figures.

                                                                                      2. Rodzilla Jan 8, 2011 07:27 PM

                                                                                        try skippy natural. Much better than the spread you've tried - I'm sure.

                                                                                        1. c
                                                                                          chezdy Jan 8, 2011 07:31 PM

                                                                                          if there is a Harris Teeter near you (I'm in NC) their organic crunchy is spectacular - truly!

                                                                                          1. im_nomad Jan 9, 2011 12:50 PM

                                                                                            Lately I've been buying Barbour's original, I like the taste (more salty than sweet), and the fact that it comes in a glass jar.

                                                                                            http://www.barbours.ca/brands_nut_but...

                                                                                            1. Greg B Jan 9, 2011 03:34 PM

                                                                                              For whatever reason, after I had major surgery last year and was recuperating at home, I rediscovered a taste for PB that I thought had long left me. When I was a kid I liked PB - Skippy was my favorite - but before the surgery I bet the jar of PB on my shelf was 2-3 years old and barely used.

                                                                                              I much prefer smooth style over crunchy. I limit myself to the light selections and that means I really have only 4 choices here. In order of preference they are:

                                                                                              My Compliments (Sobeys house brand)
                                                                                              Kraft
                                                                                              Loblaw yellow label generic
                                                                                              Skippy

                                                                                              I was disappointed when I tried Skippy. I remembered it from when I was a kid but the Skippy light had the least peanut flavor and was just sort of blah. The Kraft is OK, slightly better than Loblaws, which is a little less firm in texture than the others. I don't know who makes Sobeys house brand, but it is the best of the 4 by far IMO.

                                                                                              1. susans Jan 9, 2011 11:15 PM

                                                                                                Trader Joe's Crunchy Salted. Peanuts and salt.

                                                                                                1 Reply
                                                                                                1. re: susans
                                                                                                  l
                                                                                                  lucyis Jan 10, 2011 11:12 AM

                                                                                                  That's my choice too, susans. I have a little TJ's every day.

                                                                                                2. y
                                                                                                  yfunk3 Jan 10, 2011 11:29 AM

                                                                                                  Jif for baking/cooking and peanut butter sandwiches. I don't eat too much peanut butter, but it's nice to always have a jar of Jif around.

                                                                                                  I don't like natural peanut butters too much, but I love grinding some of my own honey roasted peanut butter at Whole Foods. It's not expensive at all and I love how I can choose how much peanut butter I want, since the stuff becomes so hard to spread after keeping it in the fridge for a bit (since it's just roughly-ground peanuts).

                                                                                                  1. u
                                                                                                    uwsister Jan 11, 2011 09:39 AM

                                                                                                    Not picky about brands, but it's GOT to be natural with ingredients list including only peanuts and salt. Not growing up in America, it wasn't until I was in my early teens that I encountered peanut butter (Jif/Skippy variety) and I didn't like it at all. I was convinced that I hated PB until my husband (then-boyfriend) made me a PB&J w/ natural PB. What a difference!

                                                                                                    1. b
                                                                                                      brunoblake Jan 11, 2011 10:00 AM

                                                                                                      Big fan of Meijer Organics Smoothy or Chunky. Ingredient list is short and sweet: peanuts, sea salt. Price is really affordable ($3.50ish). They run out sometimes so we usually buy it by the case when we find it. Incredibly tasty and flexible - great on toast or in Pad Tai. . .

                                                                                                      1. w
                                                                                                        WayneN Jan 19, 2011 05:59 PM

                                                                                                        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.

                                                                                                        1 Reply
                                                                                                        1. re: WayneN
                                                                                                          r
                                                                                                          rafjel Jan 19, 2011 07:04 PM

                                                                                                          I suppose this varies from brand to brand, but I find that the natural PBs are just too thin and soupy at room temperature. In the fridge, it hardens up nicely but is still spreadable. And cold PB is kind of nice (for me).

                                                                                                        2. westsidegal Jan 19, 2011 07:10 PM

                                                                                                          the DARK ROASTED version of Santa Cruz brand of organic peanut butter.

                                                                                                          be sure to only get the DARK ROASTED variety.

                                                                                                          1. bigmackdaddy Jan 20, 2011 03:44 PM

                                                                                                            I like Wysong. A lot. I'm also a fan of Trader Joe's.

                                                                                                            1. s
                                                                                                              samj530 Jan 20, 2011 06:35 PM

                                                                                                              My husband really loves Adam's Natural Creamy. No sugar, just peanuts & salt!

                                                                                                              1. n
                                                                                                                noodlepoodle Mar 7, 2011 05:44 PM

                                                                                                                I buy Teddie's smooth unsalted and add a little salt myself. The salted version is too salty for me. Next time I'm going to pour off some of the oil and see if it's less gloppy, but prefer it since it doesn't have all the additives the Skippy and Jif varieties have.

                                                                                                                1. s
                                                                                                                  six dower Mar 8, 2011 03:33 PM

                                                                                                                  I am shocked that Better than P'nut Butter is never mentioned on this site. I buy it by the case....I am not kidding. It is much lower in fat and calories than regular peanutbutter and tastes like fudge. You can purchase the butter at Whole Foods or Trader Joe's. I buy the low sodium version. Anyone else out there addicted to this stuff?

                                                                                                                  4 Replies
                                                                                                                  1. re: six dower
                                                                                                                    goodhealthgourmet Mar 8, 2011 06:32 PM

                                                                                                                    i get that a lot of people like it because it's so low in fat, but for some of us the trade-off - all those added carbohydrates - is a deal breaker.

                                                                                                                    i personally don't like sweet PB so it wouldn't be my choice (i can't eat it anyway because it contains soy flour). but clearly there are many others like you who love it because the stores still sell it :)

                                                                                                                    just a tip - if you want to make your own approximation at home, you can buy defatted peanut flour and add your own salt, sweetener, and whatever other flavors you might like. TJ's sells light-roasted, defatted peanut flour, or you can buy the darker roast online.

                                                                                                                    1. re: goodhealthgourmet
                                                                                                                      s
                                                                                                                      six dower Mar 9, 2011 03:35 PM

                                                                                                                      Why so many carbs? Is it from the flour? Low Glycemic or not? I wish I could make my own...at 4-5 bucks a jar, it is a bit steep. I have zero clue on how to whip this up at home. Thoughts?

                                                                                                                      1. re: six dower
                                                                                                                        goodhealthgourmet Mar 9, 2011 05:17 PM

                                                                                                                        ever read the ingredients on the jar?
                                                                                                                        PEANUTS (AS DEFATTED PEANUT FLOUR AND NATURAL PEANUT BUTTER), TAPIOCA SYRUP, PURE WATER, DEHYDRATED CANE JUICE, RICE SYRUP, VEGETABLE GLYCERIN, SOY FLOUR, SALT, TAPIOCA STARCH, NATURAL FOOD FLAVORS, PAPRIKA & ANNATO, CALCIUM CARBONATE, LECITHIN, VITAMINS E & C (ANTIOXIDANTS).

                                                                                                                        the defatted peanut flour contains some carbs. then there's the tapioca syrup, cane juice & rice syrup - all 3 of which are sugar. plus tapioca starch which is 100% refined, fiber-less carbohydrate.

                                                                                                                        making it at home is easy. get the peanut flour, add water until you get the consistency you want (leave it slightly thicker of you're using a liquid sweetener), and season to taste with sweetener - sugar, honey, brown sugar, agave, stevia, whatever floats your boat - salt, and anything else that appeals to you. i've played with everything from cinnamon, ginger & molasses to cayenne & cocoa powder.

                                                                                                                        re: the glycemic index (or more importantly the glycemic load), all i can tell you is that it can't be low with all those refined sugars and the tapioca starch. for the record, the nutrition information on the label is mathematically IMPOSSIBLE. the claimed grams of fat, carbs and protein don't add up to 100 calories when multiplied by the appropriate factors...and there's no way all those ingredients only contribute 2g of sugar per serving.

                                                                                                                        1. re: goodhealthgourmet
                                                                                                                          s
                                                                                                                          six dower Mar 10, 2011 05:40 AM

                                                                                                                          Your right! I have looked at the ingredients however I justified my consuming an entire jar :) by the nutrition info. I avoid sugar at all costs...the label claims 2 g per serving. I am emailing the company right now!

                                                                                                                  2. s
                                                                                                                    SallyMcP Mar 11, 2011 03:51 PM

                                                                                                                    I agree about Smucker's Natural being incredibly stiff. I swear it was not that way until a year or two ago. Wonder if they changed something? I bought nothing but Teddie's for years but because my favorite grocer doesn't sell it I started buying Smuckers, gave that up when it got so hard to mix, tried Skippy Natural, then Jif Natural and i've settled on it. It's quite good, better than Skippy, more PB for the money than Teddie's.

                                                                                                                    18 Replies
                                                                                                                    1. re: SallyMcP
                                                                                                                      z
                                                                                                                      zoey67 Apr 23, 2011 03:01 PM

                                                                                                                      I just bought couple jars of the heavy hyped Justin's gourmet PB and his almond butter from Whole Foods and they're def different from the traditionalist who were weened on skippy's and JIF like myself and I have to say I wasn't blown away. Sure they had a very fresh peanut taste certainly seemed more fresh than skippy's but man o mighty getting it out of the jar was like wrestling with snake. 1st of all it's very dense and you have stir it because of the goop that rises to the top and let me tell you it was like stirring quicksand which took some of the fun and enjoyment of my breakfast.

                                                                                                                      Would I buy it again? probably but since there are other interesting ones to try like Teddie's and Crazy Richards I have to give those a spin 1st. I think Teddie's and Crazy richards is more up my ally since they similar to skippy/Jif with a little more gourmet twist.

                                                                                                                      1. re: zoey67
                                                                                                                        h
                                                                                                                        HillJ Apr 23, 2011 03:09 PM

                                                                                                                        zoey67, most natural pb's will require stirring the jar from start to finish, it is the nature of natural. If you want a faster method, warm the closed jar over hot tap water a few mins and then stir it. This uUsually softens the pb without heating it thru, just enough to make stirring less of a chore.

                                                                                                                        1. re: zoey67
                                                                                                                          s
                                                                                                                          SallyMcP Apr 23, 2011 05:10 PM

                                                                                                                          Once you have it stirred well, Zoey, keep it refrigerated and it won't separate again.

                                                                                                                          BTW, I just bought my first jar of Trader Joe's Natural (creamy, and I hear the chunk is to die for too), and I think it might be my favorite PB ever. It is quite soft and stirs easily, stays softer than most naturals even when it's cold. Very easy to spread, very peanut-y, really really good!!!

                                                                                                                          1. re: SallyMcP
                                                                                                                            h
                                                                                                                            HillJ Apr 23, 2011 05:28 PM

                                                                                                                            As long as you enjoy cold pb and solidified oils. Room temp for me.

                                                                                                                            1. re: HillJ
                                                                                                                              s
                                                                                                                              SallyMcP Apr 23, 2011 06:29 PM

                                                                                                                              By the time you spread PB on crackers or bread and are ready to eat it it's near enough room temp for my peasant taste buds. Besides the annoyance of having to re-combine the oil every time, the PB stays much fresher-tastiing in the fridge. Naturals get rancid pretty quick in a warm kitchen.

                                                                                                                              1. re: SallyMcP
                                                                                                                                h
                                                                                                                                HillJ Apr 23, 2011 06:38 PM

                                                                                                                                If refrigerating pb works better for you, great. It's all about preference.

                                                                                                                                Cold pb in (now) cold solid oil would require sitting on my NJ kitchen counter a good 15 mins before I could spread it on bread/cracker/fruit. I find cold pb dry and pasty. I've never had pb go rancid (or even last that long) in my home.

                                                                                                                                1. re: HillJ
                                                                                                                                  s
                                                                                                                                  SallyMcP Apr 23, 2011 06:49 PM

                                                                                                                                  Have you tried Trader Joe's ? It's the softest natural I've ever had--really too soft at room temp, lovely cold. The only natural I've tried that's ever been dry & stiff when cold is Smucker's. As I posted early on, it didn't used to be that way. They changed amt. of oil or something about two years ago. I stopped buying it for that reason.

                                                                                                                                  1. re: SallyMcP
                                                                                                                                    h
                                                                                                                                    HillJ Apr 23, 2011 07:05 PM

                                                                                                                                    I have a jar of TJ sunflower butter in the cabinet. Lovely stuff. Also much thinner than the TJ's regular pb. I have Justin's almond butter on hand which requires stirring each time. And a jar of maranatha almond butter that is a bit grainy but also good on fruit.

                                                                                                                              2. re: HillJ
                                                                                                                                buttertart Apr 25, 2011 11:25 AM

                                                                                                                                Keep the jar of natural pb tightly closed and upside down and the mixing takes care of itself.

                                                                                                                                1. re: buttertart
                                                                                                                                  h
                                                                                                                                  HillJ Apr 25, 2011 11:58 AM

                                                                                                                                  hi buttertart.

                                                                                                                                  I know that many people do use that tip but I find that the oil settles in the opposite direction and still requires stirring. I don't mind the stirring, we go thru pb often & fast in my home.

                                                                                                                                  I believe zoey and Sally upthread had a small issue with needing to constantly stir the oil or experience dry pb.

                                                                                                                                  1. re: HillJ
                                                                                                                                    buttertart Apr 25, 2011 12:06 PM

                                                                                                                                    Works for me with both Teddies and Smucker's natural crunchy.

                                                                                                                                    1. re: buttertart
                                                                                                                                      h
                                                                                                                                      HillJ Apr 25, 2011 12:14 PM

                                                                                                                                      Neither of which I buy for my family maybe that's the difference. However, I can see a number of fellow hounds commenting here who do enjoy those brands.

                                                                                                                                      1. re: buttertart
                                                                                                                                        s
                                                                                                                                        SallyMcP Apr 25, 2011 12:52 PM

                                                                                                                                        I always turn my unopened natural PBs upside down; makes the stirring much easier. But I agree w/HillJ that to do this once they're opened & stirred, the PB on top gets dry & it's doubly hard to redistribute the oil.

                                                                                                                                        This discussion roused my curiosity and I started checking my PB jars. Trader Joe's says to refrigerate after opening, which doesn't surprise me since, as I said before, it's too runny until it's chilled. Teddie's label, when I started using it ~15 years ago, said "Refrigerate after opening". Now it doesn't. Maybe they're mixing it differently, or maybe that's why they don't put it in bigger jars.

                                                                                                                                        I mentioned the strange change in Smucker's--that a couple of years ago it became very stiff & dry, hard to stir & almost impossible to spread when chilled. The label had always said, "Refrigerate after opening"; wonder if it still does or if they did something to it so they could drop that notice.

                                                                                                                                        If you eat a jar within 2-3 weeks, if your pantry is cool, if you don't mind stirring every time you open a jar, fine. But now that my kids are gone I don't eat it that fast and I can definitely taste a deterioration in the flavor of any PB--natural or not (though much faster w/naturals)--that's been in the pantry for more than a few weeks, esp. in the summer.

                                                                                                                                        Previous discussion of this very topic: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/424403
                                                                                                                                        Apologies if it's already been mentioned.

                                                                                                                                        1. re: SallyMcP
                                                                                                                                          s
                                                                                                                                          SallyMcP Apr 25, 2011 01:28 PM

                                                                                                                                          I guess the bottom line is that all PBs are different and all PB eaters are different :o)

                                                                                                                                          1. re: SallyMcP
                                                                                                                                            h
                                                                                                                                            HillJ Apr 25, 2011 01:37 PM

                                                                                                                                            That's what makes the world go round Sally! I still learned something!

                                                                                                                                            1. re: HillJ
                                                                                                                                              buttertart Apr 26, 2011 08:15 AM

                                                                                                                                              "When three men (sic) walk together, surely one among them will be my teacher."

                                                                                                                                              1. re: buttertart
                                                                                                                                                s
                                                                                                                                                SallyMcP Apr 26, 2011 08:25 AM

                                                                                                                                                All I'll say is thank God for peanuts and George Washington Carver for bringing their delights to public notice. William F. Buckley was a famous PB devotee. When he traveled he always called the hotel he planned to stay at and asked if they had it; if they didn't he carried a jar in his suitcase. He even wrote an ode to PB:
                                                                                                                                                "I think that I shall never see
                                                                                                                                                A poem lovely as Skip-py."

                                                                                                                                                1. re: SallyMcP
                                                                                                                                                  buttertart Apr 26, 2011 08:45 AM

                                                                                                                                                  Very cute. I was certainly glad to see Skippy crunchy on the shelves in Taipei when we lived there (expensive as it was) - the local one was abysmally sweet.

                                                                                                                          2. free sample addict aka Tracy L Apr 23, 2011 06:10 PM

                                                                                                                            Smart Balance was my favorite until I read it was sweetened w/pure cane juice and molasses. I was never big on PB until I had Smart Balance, I think the sweetness had a lot to do with it as I like sweets a lot. I've switched to TJ's salted creamy.

                                                                                                                            1. junescook Apr 23, 2011 06:52 PM

                                                                                                                              It is always Teddie's Super Crunch here in CT for us. It is a natural, dark roast, non-pasturized type with nothing but peanuts and salt. I think it is a New England brand but at ca $2.39, worth it to stock up on if you're in the area. Stop and Shop carries it. They used to sell out of the Super Crunch very quickly but are now buying it in multiples

                                                                                                                              1. RetiredChef Apr 25, 2011 01:34 PM

                                                                                                                                I was involved with a peanut butter blind taste test put on by a very active food group in Southern California. Over 50 tasters tried 35 different peanut butters and rated them on a variety of criteria. The results were quite startling to all of us.

                                                                                                                                #1 Whole foods 365 brand
                                                                                                                                #2 Peter Pan
                                                                                                                                #3 Extra Crunchy Skippy

                                                                                                                                Many of the natural brands scored quite low even though most people going in swore by them.

                                                                                                                                6 Replies
                                                                                                                                1. re: RetiredChef
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                                                                                                                                  HillJ Apr 25, 2011 01:39 PM

                                                                                                                                  Don't ya love it! I've had the pleasure of a few blind taste test studies myself and respondents like me were always surprised by the results. Especially when it came to food odor/smell testing.

                                                                                                                                  I love natural pb; even my own and I've never bought the three you've listed for my family-too sweet. When I crave crunch I stir in brown rice krispies or sunflower seeds. But as you said, there are so many pb's to enjoy that any pb lover should be able to find one that "sings" to them!

                                                                                                                                  1. re: HillJ
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                                                                                                                                    zoey67 Apr 25, 2011 02:24 PM

                                                                                                                                    Thanks for the tips ladies & gents, Im quite surprised how many PB lovers from this thread. I will try both turning the jar upside down and also stirring it then put it in the fridge. Im about to have some yummy breakfast now with some eggs & paula deen sausage + english muffins with PB/jellybut Im just dreading the thought of having to stir that Justin quicksand,..chuckles. I've been so used to that easy to spread creamy Jif.

                                                                                                                                    Sheez, now I really want to buy some of that Tradaer Joe's, Teddie's or CR but I also have 2 jars of Reese's PB that I got from ebay which were pretty average. Btw I ran out of jam one time and had to use some nutella spread with PB and it was quite good.

                                                                                                                                    Retiredchef, is there a link to that blind taste test complete report and ranking? I can appreciate and not really surprised with WF 365 but Peter pan?...seriously cmon now.

                                                                                                                                    1. re: zoey67
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                                                                                                                                      HillJ Apr 25, 2011 02:43 PM

                                                                                                                                      Whatever brand you enjoy, pb is the perfect spoon *ful*

                                                                                                                                      1. re: zoey67
                                                                                                                                        RetiredChef Apr 26, 2011 10:11 AM

                                                                                                                                        This was an informal group that I belonged to, most of us were in the Biz and we did lots of fun blind taste tests and many times as HillJ mentioned the results were surprising. Although I did not rate Peter Pan in my top 10, I will begrudgingly admit and probably lose all credibility on this board that my #1 was Skippy Extra Crunchy (hanging head in shame).

                                                                                                                                        Although it's not peanut butter at a food show we did a tasting of two different crab cakes and asked which one was better. The only difference, one had real blue crab the other imitation Krab. Guess what imitation Krab was preferred 2-to-1.

                                                                                                                                        Cheers

                                                                                                                                        1. re: RetiredChef
                                                                                                                                          buttertart Apr 26, 2011 10:17 AM

                                                                                                                                          The poor crab crab didn't have the benefit of modern food flavoring technology. Crabbier than crab!

                                                                                                                                    2. re: RetiredChef
                                                                                                                                      buttertart Apr 26, 2011 08:18 AM

                                                                                                                                      Peter Pan's high marks in a lot of tests amaze me because it has such a strong molasses taste to me.

                                                                                                                                    3. dave_c Apr 26, 2011 10:20 AM

                                                                                                                                      What I can buy at Costco - JIF.

                                                                                                                                      3 Replies
                                                                                                                                      1. re: dave_c
                                                                                                                                        goodhealthgourmet Apr 26, 2011 05:05 PM

                                                                                                                                        you can also buy Kirkland Organic at Costco, and it's excellent.

                                                                                                                                        1. re: goodhealthgourmet
                                                                                                                                          dave_c Apr 27, 2011 08:27 AM

                                                                                                                                          Thanks for the rec.
                                                                                                                                          Added to the shopping list. :-)

                                                                                                                                          1. re: dave_c
                                                                                                                                            goodhealthgourmet Apr 27, 2011 02:56 PM

                                                                                                                                            just a *warning* that it doesn't contain any added sugar or oils - simply roasted peanuts and salt...so if you really prefer sweet, emulsified PB you may not like it. but if you're open to expanding your horizons, i definitely recommend it. and while we're at it, i also love the Maranatha almond butter they carry, which contains nothing but roasted almonds.

                                                                                                                                      2. Kajikit Apr 30, 2011 05:24 PM

                                                                                                                                        I LOVE peanut butter and jelly... but I HATE the emulsified sweetened peanut butters - they're just too smooth and waxy and way too sweet. I'll eat them if I'm forced (because we've run out of the other stuff) but they're not a pleasure. Some are vaguelly edible (atm we have Publix house brand and it's okay) but Smuckers and Peter Pan were horrible. I tried the Peter Pan 'whipped' PB once because it said it had less sugar than the regular pb... but it tasted like eating floor wax.

                                                                                                                                        I usually buy Publix or Target's house brand natural peanut butter. 365 peanut butter was really good but Whole Foods is out of my way so I only bought it once. I liked that they sold natural peanut butter in a jumbo size instead of the tiny jars. I go through one of those little jars in less than two weeks, and it gets expensive! Smuckers Natural comes in an extra-large jar but it's tall and skinny and impossible to get down to the bottom of the jar to mix because it's as long as your knife.

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                                                                                                                                          imfeelinpeckish May 1, 2011 12:39 PM

                                                                                                                                          My favorite is and has been for a good while - Simply Jif

                                                                                                                                          1. t
                                                                                                                                            terlin May 1, 2011 12:57 PM

                                                                                                                                            Skippy Natural. Tastes great, doesn't separate, and has no hydrogenated oil.

                                                                                                                                            1. l
                                                                                                                                              laliz Feb 22, 2012 04:57 PM

                                                                                                                                              whatever emulsified name brand (chunky) is cheapest.

                                                                                                                                              I grew up on Peter Pan chunky.

                                                                                                                                              never organic natural etc. I've tried and tried and tried. finally just stopped wasting $$$$$

                                                                                                                                              1. m
                                                                                                                                                MRS Feb 22, 2012 06:41 PM

                                                                                                                                                I had been a devotee of Smucker's but recently discovered Teddie Super Crunchy. wow! just ordered 3 26 oz jars b/c i am eating it like crazy!!!

                                                                                                                                                1. k
                                                                                                                                                  kewljaguar Jan 10, 2013 05:27 AM

                                                                                                                                                  Unfortunately, with the price of PB going through the roof, my wife and I have had to REALLY cut back on PB. WE have a budget and stick to it as much as possible. The amount of PB we go through would be enough for us to kill that budget monthly... So! we wait for sales. Oh, not just any sale. We wait for one kind of PB only - - - Kraft Extra Creamy! Yay!!!! Bar none THE BEST commercially made PB. You can definitely taste the roasted peanut when comparing it to other brands. I wasn't much of a freak until I tasted this one. Now I know how my roommate (many years ago) lived on PB. I am sorry I laughed at him so often.

                                                                                                                                                  3 Replies
                                                                                                                                                  1. re: kewljaguar
                                                                                                                                                    Rodzilla Jan 10, 2013 06:17 AM

                                                                                                                                                    if you don't mind me asking, just how much PB are you going through? Even with the price increase, I'm assuming it would take quite a bit to have that kind of impact on your budget.

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                                                                                                                                                      WayneN Jan 23, 2013 11:01 PM

                                                                                                                                                      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!.

                                                                                                                                                      1. re: kewljaguar
                                                                                                                                                        Kajikit Nov 18, 2013 09:35 AM

                                                                                                                                                        You say you're eating less peanut butter because of the effect on your budget... we're eating MORE because it's protein and cheaper than lunch meat or cheese. It's got to be 'natural' for me - I usually get Publix store brand, and if I can't find it, pretty much the only alternative is Smuckers natural. I don't want the 'natural' emulsified pbs made with palm oil. I want the real stuff - just peanuts and salt, and NO SUGAR.

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                                                                                                                                                        libstewart Jan 23, 2013 11:19 AM

                                                                                                                                                        Jif - 'nuff said!

                                                                                                                                                        1. k
                                                                                                                                                          Kelli2006 Jan 23, 2013 01:26 PM

                                                                                                                                                          Jiff peanut butter is made by Smuckers. I used to buy Smuckers but for political reasons in Ohio I stopped supporting that company.

                                                                                                                                                          I've recently discovered Planters chunky peanut butter and now I prefer it to Jiff or Smuckers natural PB.

                                                                                                                                                          1. f
                                                                                                                                                            food4lyf Nov 18, 2013 07:25 AM

                                                                                                                                                            I am a peanut butter addict as well. Commercial or natural, peanut butter doesn't cease to taste so damn good.

                                                                                                                                                            I currently have Stong's Peanut Butter, Crunchy Salted. Stongs is a grocery store in Vancouver, BC. It is made of 99% roasted peanuts, 1% salt, no sugar, emulsifier, or preservatives added.

                                                                                                                                                            I used to hate organic peanut butter because it didn't have the same salty-sweetness of Kraft or Skippy. I only made the switch to organic peanut butter for a healthier alternative. My tastebuds have gotten used to the all-naturalness of organic peanut butter, and I eat it everyday.

                                                                                                                                                            I forget the price, but it wasn't too expensive. And yes, I do refrigerate my peanut butter.

                                                                                                                                                            1. b
                                                                                                                                                              BuildingMyBento Nov 18, 2013 08:59 AM

                                                                                                                                                              I've gone through stages of not liking Skippy, Peter Pan and Jif, but now I don't mind any of them.

                                                                                                                                                              While in college, my favorite was Peter Pan honey roasted, and I could never find it back home.

                                                                                                                                                              Peanut Butter & Co. offers good ones, as does Trader Joe's, but for some reason, I only get unsalted varieties at the latter.

                                                                                                                                                              Save for the pb & chocolate Skippy I've found in China, every other one I've tried outside of the US has been horrible.

                                                                                                                                                              Oh right, creamy and crunchy are both acceptable.

                                                                                                                                                              Jonathan
                                                                                                                                                              http://buildingmybento.com
                                                                                                                                                              http://collaterallettuce.com

                                                                                                                                                              1. SaraAshley Nov 18, 2013 09:31 AM

                                                                                                                                                                I'm not a big peanut butter fan as far as eating a spoonful out of the jar or having some plain on a piece of bread. I love peanut butter flavored things and I love, love, love Thai peanut sauce, so kind of weird I guess. I do buy it for baking, though, and for this I always buy Jif.

                                                                                                                                                                2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                1. re: SaraAshley
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                                                                                                                                                                  BuildingMyBento Nov 21, 2013 08:38 PM

                                                                                                                                                                  I walked into the Peanut Butter & Co. brick-and-mortar in Manhattan today, and noticed that one of the products they had for sale was "Thai peanut sauce" made with their own pb.

                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: BuildingMyBento
                                                                                                                                                                    SaraAshley Nov 21, 2013 10:21 PM

                                                                                                                                                                    Ohhh....I'm sure it's fabulous!

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                                                                                                                                                                  noodlepoodle Nov 21, 2013 02:42 PM

                                                                                                                                                                  Tried many peanut butters over the years. Stopped using the ones with all the added ingredients. Settled for Teddie's for a while and added my own salt to the unsalted one. Tried the health food store's natural peanut butter and found it sweetish and oily. Went with Smucker's for a long time and found it okay. THEN...I discovered Smucker's is now putting out an organic peanut butter. A buck extra a jar, but what the hell. Wow, what a difference. Great peanut taste, not too salty, very spreadable once stirred and refrigerated. I can only find it in one store right now, but will spread the word to the other supermarkets. No pun intended.

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