I love peanut butter. I have always been grateful that I was never allergic to nuts because, if I was, I major source of my daily calories would disappear. My best friend once told me I had a “thing” about peanut butter. I didn’t believe it, but it is true. I once texted her to say that Home Land Security considers peanut butter to be a vegetable, not a liquid (cause you can’t have too many liquids on a plane!). She texted back “who brings peanut butter on a plane?” I do!
Justin’s Nut Butter company began selling almond butter, peanut butter and the like in little condiment packages. It was genius! I have it with me all the time—just in case! Yummy protein, it doesn’t freeze or melt and you don’t need any utensils. I remember the first time Alison gave me a packet. I was thrilled: you could squeeze it right into your mouth! Or put it on apple slices or crackers, she suggested. Right, that’s what I meant. Eating it right out of the packet would be a little absurd…which is why I only do that when I’m alone.
So with this new addition of chocolate to my diet, I thought I would be in ecstasy with all the peanut butter and chocolate combinations! But that has not been the case. I have been really disappointed with these peanut butter creations. The candy companies have corrupted the good name of PB by making it crystallized, overly sugary, grainy, pasty-- they’ve just made it yucky. It just makes me sad to see one of my favorite foods destroyed. They’ve ruined it. Butterfingers have this orange color and crystallized texture. They call it “crunchy peanut butter”. No, crunchy peanut butter means they’ve left a few of the crushed nuts in it. I was similarly deceived by 5th Avenue bars. Peanut Butter Twix were highly recommended to me. Regular Twix I found to be quite good, adding peanut butter to that?! Hell yeah! But that is not the case. They removed the caramel, put in a dark chocolate cookie and then put crumbly peanut butter on top. Cover it in chocolate all you want, it’s still not what I expected.
I know this kind of thing happens all the time. When a traveler is far from home, they might hear of a local restaurant offering authentic home cooking from their native land. The traveler goes, eager for a taste of home—only to be sadly disappointed by the mediocre imitation.
I’m currently eating an “old-fashioned doughnut” at Starbucks. Let me tell you something: the regular doughnut and the chocolate doughnut taste the same—they’re just different colors. Another disappointment.
I understand that in order to manufacture a product perhaps certain changes must be made to the ingredients in order to make them shippable, or extend their shelf life. I get it. I’m just not thrilled with the results.
True, Justin’s Nut Butter Company does make its own peanut butter cups. And I did like them. I liked them much better when they were straight from the fridge rather than at room temperature. I was also ok with peanut butter M&Ms. I’m still looking for that perfect mix. But perhaps, just as I like whipped cream and I like a good steak, sometimes mixing two good things, is just a bad idea.