I spent last Friday on Roosevelt Island. Please don’t ask why; I really have no idea. Around the third hour, though, I ended up at Gristedes, the island’s only real supermarket. (There’s also a deli, a Duane Reade, and a natural market of sorts. For anything else, you have to travel.) None of this is relevant, of course—but Roosevelt Island is Twilight Zone–weird, so…I guess I wanted to mention where I was.
It was there, at that overpriced and poorly reviewed Gristedes, that I finally decided it was time to pick up a jar of this expensive-ass peanut butter.
I hated this stuff as a kid. I really did. I always thought it was gritty, bland, and generally unpleasant—though that didn’t quite stop me from trying every flavor I could find. I’m not sure whether it’s changed or I have, but…something‘s different, because I absolutely love this peanut butter.
A lot of tree nut–allergic people—especially those with a history of reacting to traces—express frustration with finding peanut butter made in a peanut-only facility. I usually eat Skippy (which, as far as I know, isn’t made in a peanut-only facility), but I know plenty of nut-allergic people for whom brands like Skippy aren’t an option, so I figured it was probably worth looking into some other companies.
One of the companies on my list was Peanut Butter & Co. Prior to my Roosevelt Island adventure, I’d sent them an email, and their reply was as follows:
Our peanut butter is manufactured in a facility that only processes peanuts. While many of our other products like jams, jellies, and peanut snacks may not contain tree nuts or seeds in the ingredient list, some are processed in facilities that also process tree nuts and seeds. Please check the label of the individual product you are inquiring about for more information.
Really, that was the answer I was looking for. But given how much I’d hated their peanut butter as a kid—and given that I’ve never seen a jar of it on sale for less than $5—it wasn’t as if I was ready to sprint to the supermarket and pick some up. It comes as no real surprise, then, that I had to be so hungry on such a strange island for this stuff to even begin to appeal to me.
Anyway…I bought some. I chose White Chocolate Wonderful, because white chocolate and I tend to get along pretty well. The jar cost $5.99, which made me sort of angry—but once I got my spoon (okay, finger) in there, all my anger dissolved. It wasn’t gritty or bland like I remembered; instead, it was smooth and flavorful—though not unpleasantly sweet, which I’d expected it to be.
Honestly, it’s really fucking good, and I feel a little bad for spending the last 10 years hating on this stuff. What’s done is done, though. I’ll guess I’ll have to right my wrong by overspending on Peanut Butter & Co.’s peanut butter till I’m sick of the stuff.
Find Peanut Butter & Co. everywhere: Gristedes, Whole Foods, Stop & Shop, Duane Reade, Food Emporium, Citerella…and a whole bunch of other places, too.
[Edit: After some further consideration, I’ve decided that Peanut Butter & Co.’s is probably my favorite all-purpose peanut butter. White Chocolate Wonderful, which tastes nothing like white chocolate, but rather which tastes like a standard sweetened peanut butter, is like an upgraded Skippy, and Dark Chocolate Dreams, which is ridiculously rich—like brownie batter, honestly—is perfect for finger-licking.]