I love peanut butter. Creamy, chunky, natural – my love knows no prejudice. I’ve been hooked ever since I was a kid at at my grandmother’s kitchen table. She would open this giant jar of peanut butter and we would scoop up the salty deliciousness with, what else, chunks of chocolate. Since then, I have become a semi-connoisseur of peanut butter. Every morning I make 2 PB&J sandwiches for breakfast. It is the breakfast of champions. The only way I could enjoy those sandwiches more would be if I were NOT eating them on my way to work. I thought I had tried every brand of peanut butter out there and then my wife, the lovely Krista, received a jar from Peanut Butter & Co. to try.
Peanut Butter & Co. is a natural peanut butter brand hailing from Greenwich Village, New York and was founded in 1998 by Lee Zalben, a guy who loves peanut butter way more than even I do. This socially conscious company (the company participates in several tree-planting charities, aids in making micro-loans to entrepreneurs in developing nations, and uses packaging that is 100% recyclable to name a few of their good deeds) boasts a line of peanut butters, jams, nuts & snacks and yep, marshmallow fluff. You can even hit their sandwich shop and pick up a few jars or just grab a quick snack on the run. (we’ve got to burst in here and tell you about the store’s special sandwich for summer, the Cherry Cheesecake: Crunch Time PB, Cherry Jam & Cream Cheese. Oh my yum! ~wht)
I was able to sample Crunch Time. The jar promises “natural peanut butter with large chunks of peanuts”. They do not disappoint. This is not a spread for the faint of heart. It is by far the chunkiest, crunchiest peanut butter I have ever had stuck to the roof of my mouth. Be warned, as a natural peanut butter, this separates into the peanut bits and the oil. It is actually so chock full of nuts that you may have a hard time getting the oil and butter to fully mix. According to Peanut Butter & Co. they have remedied this situation with a second edition of the product. It uses palm oil to solidify the spread so you don’t have to mix it, while maintaining the status of “all natural”. I haven’t tried the second edition version of Crunch Time yet, but the original version is almost too chunky to put in sandwich form.
If you are a lover of the chunk, put Crunch Time on your list. I recommend the no-mix second generation. The label will have a upturned stripe at the bottom (like the jar is smiling at you). I also recommend using it in your favorite peanut butter cookie recipe. I tried it, and all of the chunks lead to a very nice texture-rich cookie. If crunchy isn’t your bliss, the company has a stable of other richly flavored peanut butter spreads to keep your taste buds tapping.
Available flavors include:
- Smooth Operator – a smooth, natural peanut butter
- Mighty Maple – peanut butter blended with maple syrup
- Cinnamon Raisin Swirl – peanut butter blended with cinnamon and raisins
- The Heat Is On – peanut butter blended with fiery spices
- White Chocolate Wonderful – peanut butter blended with white chocolate
- Dark Chocolate Dream – peanut butter blended with dark chocolate
- The Bee’s Knees – peanut butter blended with honey
As a card carrying choco-holic, I had to try the Dark Chocolate Dream. You know, in the name of science. It was exquisite. I recommend this on toast or crackers (especially those of the Ritz variety). It’s just the right mix of chocolate and peanut butter without being candy. So stop by their website or your local grocery store (you’ll be happy to know that their products are widely available in many national chains), and pick up a few jars. Or a few dozen. Don’t you judge me.
This feature is courtesy of Mike, our first male contributor, husband of our beloved Krista and our resident Peanut Butter expert.
Review Team: let us know which flavor Peanut Butter or Jelly you received and if you were eating sandwiches on the way to work too![ratings]