I’VE ALWAYS BEEN a fan of peanut butter, and it’s been a part of my diet for as long as I can remember. Even a decade of regular peanut butter and syrup sandwiches in my school lunches didn’t put me off.
Growing up in South Africa, there was only one choice for peanut butter and that was Black Cat. Truth be told, there may well have been dozens of different peanut butters on the supermarket shelves but I only wanted Black Cat thanks to the TV advert, which showed a skinny nerd dealing with a beach bully. Decades later, the advert has aged as badly as MC Hammer’s pants, but it still makes me smile.
Black Cat tasted pretty good as far as I recall and I ate it like crazy, but when I arrived in NZ, I found that the local peanut butters tasted artificial and thin, almost like extruded plastic with peanut flavouring. I tried the lot but was never really taken with any of them. Then one day many years ago, I noticed a bottle of organic peanut butter on the shelf at the Ceres Organics store in Ellerslie. It was about twice the price of the stuff at the local supermarket but I thought I’d give it a go. That was the beginning of a beautiful friendship and Ceres organic peanut butter has never been far from my pantry.
In either smooth or crunchy guise, it’s a treat compared to all the other peanut butters out there, and it handily beats out even the fresh made stuff from Huckleberry Farms. It’s dynamite on toasted Vogel’s bread, especially with a hefty smear of good jam from the likes of Anathoth (use apricot jam, not strawberry if you want a traditional Kramer household treat). I even eat it straight out of the bottle on the end of a spoon when I’m in need of a snack.
Some might be less than pleased with the fact that it’s made with peanuts from China. I’m not fussed about this at all, because it’s certified as organic. Others might be unhappy with the added salt (0.5%) but if you ate 100 grams of this peanut butter, you’d ingest only 194mg of sodium – which isn’t even worth worrying about. There’s no added vegetable oil or sugar, which is a bonus.
I buy mine in the new 700 gram bottles from my local Pak n Save, and while it’s substantially more expensive than the run of the mill stuff, it lasts for ages, is organic and tastes far better. You get what you pay for.
I’ll occasionally try some other brand when I travel or if I’m snacking at a friend’s place just to see if anything’s changed. It seems not. Blech! I’ll stick with this organic delight, thanks.