Welcome to #NotAnAd, where we post enthusiastically and without reservation about things we’re obsessed with from the world of food.
Peanut butter. Almond butter. Cashew butter. Pistachio butter. If there’s a nut that’s been buttered (hey, shut up), I’ve eaten it. I consider myself a connoisseur—many a quiet afternoon has been spent perusing the condiment aisle of my local grocery store, analyzing packaging and textures and prices. The obsession with this pantry staple, however, didn’t begin in earnest until I’d left home for college. One of my younger brothers grew up with a severe nut allergy, which meant there was a strict no-nut policy in our household. That didn’t stop me from enjoying a PB&J at a friend’s house or going HAM on the Reese’s around Halloween, but I was never privy to the distinct pleasure that comes from gliding a spoon through a full jar of peanut butter, creating a perfect, creamy quenelle in a single swoosh.
On my own in a cramped college dorm, though, across the country from my brother and his food allergies, I suddenly found myself with the freedom to eat nuts whenever and however I wanted: chopped walnuts in a salad, macadamias baked into a cookie, slivered almonds in a bag of granola, and, of course, peanut butter straight from the jar. The latter is how I gained my Freshman 15. I became truly addicted.
“What is it about nut butter?” friends and co-workers have implored. “Is it a textural thing? The combination of sweet and salty? Its versatility?” The answer is yes. Yes to it all.
I have a nut butter for every occasion: For bagel-spreading purposes, I like a classic crunchy Jif. Hearty, reliable, perfect for topping with sliced bananas. For drunkenly-getting-your-hand-stuck-in-the-jar-at-two-in-the-morning, I stick with Earth Balance’s Creamy Coconut & Peanut Spread, which gives the illusion of #health without that impossible layer of oil that most “natural” nut butters have. But when it comes to shoveling it into my mouth by the spoonful, I am hopelessly devoted to Peanut Butter & Co’s Cinnamon Raisin Swirl.
It’s like spreadable Sara Lee cinnamon raisin swirl bread, or something akin to oatmeal raisin cookie butter (does this exist? Let a girl know). An untouched jar is deceptively smooth, but a quick excavation to the bottom reveals pockets of plump raisins and cinnamon ribbons. The texture is complex: velvety yet toothsome with a pleasant granular finish, evoking the joys of eating thick slabs of cinnamon toast as a kid.
I have an embarrassing confession: I recently had to ban myself from keeping this particular peanut butter in my apartment. My last 16-ounce jar barely lasted 48 hours! How messed up is that? You'd think that I'd be completely sick of the stuff after that, that I'd have no problem giving it up... But man oh man, I would kill for a spoonful right about now.