Peanut Butter & Co. review

Peanut Butter & Co. review

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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.

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!

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19 thoughts on “Peanut Butter & Co. review”

  1. I love peanut butter and try to buy the all natural kind as much as possible. The problem with most natural peanut butters is the oil rises to the top and they are difficult to mix together. Because this peanut butter uses palm oil, the peanut butter stays a pretty even consistency. I tried the flavor The Bee’s Knees which is the peanut butter mixed with honey. This peanut butter was so yummy. It wasn’t overly sweet and had just a hint of honey flavor. You could still use this with your favorite jelly and the flavors would not clash. Both my kids loved it and requested I buy it from now on. After receiving this, I noticed that my grocery store carried this brand. I’m a huge dark chocolate lover so I bought me a tub of Dark Chocolate Dreams (and quickly hid from the kids). Oh My!!! This stuff is amazing. I agree with Mike that it’s great on crackers. I also love putting it on a toasted bagel for dessert. YUM! I keep imagining the peanut butter chocolate cookies I could make with it as I scoop out a spoonful of this delicious peanut butter into my mouth. If you are a fan of peanut butter then you should definitely try this brand. Cinnamon Raisin Swirl will be next purchase.

  2. I don’t know if my LOVE of peanut butter has as great of a magnitude of some people’s, but I do really like it. I actually prefer crunchy over creamy but I’ll eat anything.

    Mike, I’m totally with you – I ate a PBJ every day for six months for Breakfast while I lived in Paris–complete with imported JIF (i.e. my dad brought it over in his suitcase when he came). The french try to charge $10 for a baby 4oz. jar of Peter Pan. The quality of the Jelly is just as important though. Generic brand grape jelly will not do. I love the specialty Bonne Maman brande (French, hello!). I lvoe raspberry and blackberry jams the best! And currant flavor has really got some punch too!

  3. Yeah, Peanut Butter is a staple of mine. Whenever I don’t feel like cooking (which is often, especially in the summer) I know PB is an option, either in a sandwich or just with a bunch of crackers and celery. Mike-I love PB&J for breakfast too!

    I was lucky enough to get to try 3 flavors. Don’t worry, I didn’t keep 3 jars (though I thought about it!) I was at 2 testers houses within the last month and said “oh, break out that PB!” They’ll be here to tell you their thoughts, but as a sneak peak; white chocolate and dark chocolate…both amazing!!!

    I kept the Cinnamon Raisin Swirl for myself, as I love that combo (Cinnamon Raisin bread toasted with butter is heaven for me). And it was all that I hoped for. The Cinnamon adds a wonderful sweet spice, the raisins a bit of texture and the Peanut Butter itself is amazing, very peanuty, not overly sweet like the mega brands, not bland like a lot of naturals. My only compliant was that the raisins weren’t as soft as I would have liked them to be. But that didn’t deter my 5 star rating.

    And I need to make that Cherry Cheesecake sandwich. I seriously have not stopped thinking about it ever since I saw it!

  4. I kind of had an addiction to Nutella and was putting it on my English Muffins everyday for breakfast. I noticed that my pants were getting tighter and had to put the Nutella away for special occasions. I switched to peanut butter, but I really miss the chocolate! So you can imagine the joy I felt when I read this review and saw the Dark Chocolate Dream Peanut Butter! I’m so going to scoop my grocery aisles and see if they carry this brand. If not, I’ll be on the website making an order!

  5. Cori—OMG, I effing love Nutella. I also haven’t let myself purchase it in about 3 years because I finished a jar in 3 days and was like, “this is just wrong”…it was awesome on Ritz crackers. *sighs wistfully*
    The Dark Chocolate Dream is definitely along the same lines as the Nutella, but it uses peanuts. It is mighty tasty and very satisfying. You definitely get the hint of chocolate, but it definitely leads with the peanut butter, whereas Nutella is chocolate with the hint of hazelnut.
    The Crunch Time was a little off-putting at first. The jar was basically broken peanuts and an inch of oil on top. We drained the oil, tried it on a PB&J and it was a little overwhelming with the HUGE beast chunks of peanuts, so we thought it would be better in recipes. It is the balls in the following peanut butter cookie recipe I’ll share w/ y’all: Preheat oven to 375 degrees. On lowest mixer speed, cream 1/2 c. shortening, 1/2 c. peanut butter, 1 egg, 1/2 c. sugar, & 1/2 c. brown sugar. In separate bowl, whisk together
    1 1/2 c. flour, 1 tsp. baking soda, 1/2 tsp. salt–add to creamed ingredients w/ 2 T of milk on lowest mixer speed. Drop on cookie sheet using mini cookie scoop, flatten w/ glass or flat measuring scoop, sprinkle w/ sugar and bake for 10-12 minutes.
    The best chewy peanut butter cookies EVER. You’re welcome :)

  6. I can vouch for the cookies. They were the best peanut butter cookies I have ever had! The chunkiness of the peanuts was perfect for cookies. And you don’t even need to use that much peanut butter! I was amazed at how much was still in the jar. Try this recipe!

  7. This is a great post! Congrats on your first! Very funny. i received the Mighty Maple. I’ll start by saying that i do really love pb &j’s but i’m kind of old school with them. Just give me some skippy, smuckers grape jelly and white bread. That’s my favorite. My husband on the other hand is more experimental with his sandwiches. He’s from Canada, so we pretty much have Nutella in the house all the time. I can see how it can be addicting, not for me so much but i do watch peter make about 4 sandwiches with it and eat them in like 2 minutes. It was late one night and i was totally in the mood for a sandwich with my new peanut butter. Well, between the maple and the nutella it was WAY too sweet for both of us. We then made another round with just jelly and that was way better. then we tried it alone on toast and that was pretty much just right. For me it was just entirely too sweet to mix other stuff but to have on toast plain its pretty good. I guess like i said i go for the classics on this one.

  8. The Peanut Butter & Co‘s Seriously Strawberry jam is berry good all right! The timing was perfect to test this out! I could do a real comparison to evaluate it. How fun is that! See, my girlfriend makes her own jam and happened to bestow one upon me of her homemade jars of jam, this time it happened to be strawberry! I constantly tell her to open a shop and she can sell her jam, and I can sell my homemade pies.. Her strawberry jam was made from fresh strawberries from Harry’s Berries up in Oxnard (one of the best growers around). Anyway, what a side-by-side comparison it turned out to be. Seriously Strawberry jam is as good as my girlfriends! You know it’s hard to beat someone’s own jam or preserves. What fun it was to test this out for me, since I am also a peanut butter freak.. I love it to no end. When I go to Golden Spoon and get their peanut butter yogurt, we make open face peanut butter sandwiches. I just have one requirement,. I need a nice glass of ice-cold milk to accompany it! this is a great deal for $4.00. a lovely 11 oz. (recyclable glass jar too) I love the monkey on the jar too.. just adorable! By the way, this product can be purchased in many so cal Bristol farms and Gelson’s markets- The Peanut Butter & Co. Sandwich Shop is located in the heart of Greenwich Village at Sullivan Street, between Bleecker and West 3rd Streets, 1 block south of Washington Square Park and NYU. If you’re ever in NYC you must drop by!

  9. I am glad to hear the the Bees Knees was good. I am a fan of the honey/PB combo and will probably try it once I’ve eaten my way through some pantry stock. The one I am really interested in is “The Heat is On”. It just sounds so darn interesting.

    I’d also like to thank Krista for her help. As a science geek, written english is not exactly my forte. Who knew that in the fine print of our marriage license it says “thou shalt be thy husbands copyeditor and proof reader.” (Gotta watch that fine print)

  10. You’re welcome, babe! That fine print also says I get one of your kidneys, so I’m cool with the proof reading.

    Bronwen—you so should try the Maple peanut butter on a toasted Eggo waffle. I bet that would be THE balls!

  11. I’m a Peanut Butter fiend too! I was so excited to try the White Chocolate Wonderful – Boy does it ever live up to its name. I was also excited it was a Natural Peanut Butter, since I made the switch to Natural awhile back and really prefer it. My fav. breakfast, adopted from my cousin, is Peanut butter toast with honey, so I really need to try the Bees Knees.

    I have to say this White Chocolate Wonderful sort of reminded me of the taste of the Peanut Butter/Honey combo.

    A little creamier, and a different sweet, but a very close comparison. I havn’t tried making cookies with these yet but I’m sure they would rock the mic.
    I thought about mixing it with butter & confectionery sugar and putting it as the middle of a 2 layer chocolate cake.. how much would that rule!

    I also tried Stefs Cinnamon Raisin Swirl & I agree that is a breakfast delight.

    I’m totally ordering the Dark Chocolate Dream.
    5 very happy stars from me!!!!

  12. I got to try the Awesome Apricot preserves. Guess what? They weren’t lying, it’s awesome! Totally packed with chunky pieces of apricot, so much so it seems like it’s homemade. Really, I swear I got whole apricots in some bites. And just the right amount of sweetness. It is absolutely delicious! Everything you’d hope for. I can’t wait to try this with some of the their peanut butter. Wouldn’t it be good with the Cinnamon Raisin Swirl??? Oh wow, I’m hungry just thinking about it!

  13. Heh – I was the lucky tester of the Peanut Butter & Co, Dark Chocolate Dream and it lives up to the hype. I too at first thought this would be similar to Nutella, but it has it’s own distinct and delicious taste! The stronger flavor (and what you first notice) is a yummy peanut butter and then the second flavor, almost an aftertaste, is a sweet dark chocolate. In a way, it’s sort of like the experience of eating peanut M&M’s in reverse. I almost devoured the jar in a few days, it was so good! I first tested this on a good old PB&J and it was fantastic. The chocolate taste merged well with the jelly and did not overwhelm the sandwich – just added a special enhancement. And like Tiffany mentioned, the Dark Chocolate Dream on a toasted bagel is totally dreamy. The added warmth brings out the chocolate taste even more and turns a morning bagel into the treat of the day. I can’t wait to try this on a Ritz Cracker – I heart salty, chocolatey goodness! Oh, and as far as the separation issue with this natural peanut butter, I have to say I had no such issues. (Not that it’s so hard to give your PB a stir before using, but mine is always ready to go!) Can’t wait to check out some other flavors – particularly the Cinnamon Swirl and Bee’s Knees.

  14. Doh! I also wanted to say Welcome to the we heart this team, to Mike! Excellent review and we really appreciated all that you did (like ordering more PB) in the name of science! You are a good man.

  15. Mike they have The Heat Is On at my grocery store. I almost bought it, but I so wish I could try it first. Sounds interesting, but I’m not sure if I would love it as much as the others. I’m totally craving some peanut butter right now, so I think I’m going to go grab me a spoonful of Dark Chocolate Dreams. I swear I’ve eaten the whole jar myself. This can’t be good for my thighs, but it sure tastes good!

  16. Hmm. I had the Gorgeous Grape Jelly. The tase was good, but the texture… Mine was really watery. I’m not sure if this is an aberation, or if all the jelly is like this. It was also really sugary sweet. Honestly, I prefer Welches. I wish I had tried the peanut butter ’cause I’m sure the chocolate stuff is to die for. My mouth waters thinking about it. But avoid the grape jelly–it doesn’t even stay on the bread! That being said, I saw some of these PB varieties on the shelves of Gelson’s and must try them immediately. Gotta go!

  17. Youguys have me dipping crackers in my pb jar before I even got done reading all the comments!! And the company is on my grocery list now, too – I sure hope Kroger carries them!!

  18. So I went to the store last night and guess what they carry….Dark chocolate Dream! It doesn’t replace Nutella, but it is oh so good! I think I will be using this on my English Muffins for breakfast now!

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