Test Kitchen: All I Test Are Peanut Butter Products

I hypothesized in all seriousness last night that I would weigh around 95 pounds if I had a peanut allergy. I don’t think I meant it as a joke… peanut butter is my biggest weakness. Unfortunately for me, it’s also a monstrous glob of calories. Now, they’re not the worst kind but they’re certainly not the best. If only I could be addicted to ice cubes like Grady…

That said, when I heard of a new small peanut butter company, I had to give it a shot. We were out, anyway. Meet PB Crave.

PB Crave creates “all-natural” peanut butters with pretty intense flavor combinations. They’re philanthropists, to boot: 2% [minimum] of their sales go to Project Peanut Butter, an organization devoted to ending childhood malnourishment.

I got their sample pack: “Cookie Nookie,” “Coco Bananas,” and “Razzle Dazzle.” Razzle Dazzle is “raspberry,” honey, chocolate and white chocolate. Coco Bananas is honey, “banana” and chocolate. Cookie Nookie is honey, chocolate chips and “cookie dough.”

My initial reaction was twofold. First, I’m skeptical of anything claiming to be “all natural” whose second ingredient is SUGAR. Second, the flavors are quite intense. The Razzle Dazzle is unique, but so over-the-top that I’m not sure what you’d use it for. I had a teaspoon-ish sample and it was one of those sweetness overloads that gives me a sore throat.

Coco Bananas and Cookie Nookie are closer to the more versatile, usable end of the flavors, but the Coco is flavored with a “banana flavoring” [the Razzle is “raspberry flavoring”]. I know the website says “no artificial flavors,” but there’s something artificial about the taste of all three. The nutty buttery flavor of “all-natural” PB is not really allowed to shine.

My favorite is the Cookie Nookie, but again, it’s “cookie dough flavoring.” While delicious, I’m not sure it’s something you could spread on your toast each morning and not feel guilty. In fact, they’re actually quite difficult to spread. The ingredients aren’t well-mixed, and it’s hard to blend them with a spoon or knife. This meant some of my Coco Bananas didn’t taste like banana, some tasted like plain PB, and then there was a thick, chocolate syrup on the top of the jar. Likewise, don’t expect to find any chocolate chips in the Cookie Nookie unless you stick a knife in the bottom and mix them up.

Don’t get me wrong, these PB’s are fun, but I find them a little too outrageous for repeat use. Additionally, their ingredient lists extend a little too long and a little too far into the “weird words” realm. Moreover, none of the jars were filled like normal PB jars – there was plenty of room in them! I was a little disappointed, but still admire their mission. I’m sure someone with a more intense sweet tooth than me would have a different experience.

I think I appreciate the nuance and subtlety of Wild Squirrel nut butters more. I don’t need to be smacked in the face with five types of chocolate and “flavorings.” I also appreciate a nut butter that can be creative, palate-pleasing, and still manage to get all of its [pronounce-able] ingredients on one line. Has anyone else sampled PB Crave? I think the Coco Bananas would make a great base for a cupcake icing…


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Categories: Food


Courtney grew up in Reading, PA, and has lived in New York City (where she earned a bachelor's degree at NYU), Prague, Philadelphia, and Charlottesville (where she received a J.D. from UVa Law). Courtney and her new husband will settle in Philadelphia following a six-week Euro-trip extravaganza in September of 2012. Courtney's interests include music, writing, criticism, fitness, travel, cooking, and sports. Please enjoy the blog. LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/pub/courtney-marello/1a/375/b30 Tumblr: http://abarrelofoddsandends.tumblr.com/


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