Monthly Archive: December 2013

How Do You Create Great Peanut Butter?

How Do You Create Great Peanut Butter?

What’s this product??? 
 

It’s rich and delicious. It’s the best I’ve tasted and trust me, I’ve tried much peanut butter in my day. Special roasting process brings out the highest flavor. And the best peanuts – Valencia! It’s not emulsified and only two ingredients – Valencia peanuts and sea salt. It goes with bread, crackers, pita bread and apples, bananas and much more. And a very good value, especially if you love peanut butter as it’s less than 14 cents per ounce. 

What is it? 

Well of course, it’s the Kirkland (Costco brand) Signature peanut butter. The label states these peanuts are grown in the American Southwest and known for their “natural sweetness and flavor.” One may argue this brand doesn’t need to add sugar as a flavor enhancer as they are using peanuts with natural sweetness and highest flavor.
According to the article, Working for Peanuts in the Costco Connection, the Costco buying team experimented with the roasting process until they landed on a dark roast that, like coffee, brings out a stronger peanut flavor, both more robust and sweeter. 
You can find two 40 ounce jars for around $10.99. Some might think “sticker shock,” having to spend nearly $6 for a jar of peanut butter but let’s look deeper into the Kirkland peanut butter world. 
First, Kirkland Signature uses Valencia peanuts, and of the four varieties of peanuts (Virginia, Spanish and Runner), Valencia peanuts are the hardest to grow. When it comes to harvesting the peanut, because the stems are sometimes weak, it can be quite challenging to gather the pods. Even though the Valencia peanuts have the shortest growing season, the yield is smaller than other varieties. Lastly, some peanut butter connoisseurs may not realize it takes at least 1800 peanuts to make one Kirkland Signature jar. 
Even though Kirkland peanut butter requires stirring with the oil at the top, you don’t necessarily have to stir all the peanut butter in the jar after opening. Yes, initially you can stir the top half of the jar but “stir as you go” applies here which means every so often, you may need to “stir as you go” and one will continue to find delicious, creamy and smooth peanut butter all the way to the end.
I used to transfer peanut butter from a knife to my bread until I recently found a spoon is the way to go and if you’re dealing with a deep jar, a long spoon may have to suffice. Unfortunately, because this peanut butter is incredibly delicious, I suspect more consumption is done each time I partake in this delectable endeavor. 
As I mentioned earlier, Kirkland Signature peanut butter keeps it simple with only one ingredient besides the Valencia peanuts. Other peanut butter, such as Skippy and Jif contains hydrogenated vegetable oils (to prevent separation) and sugar (to add taste). It’s nice to have that option at Costco to choose a peanut butter that not only tastes superior to the traditional peanut butter brands and doesn’t include sugar and incorporate chemical processing. Consumer centric in their approach? 
One more piece of advice for consumers. If you choose not to try or sample this peanut butter, realize first this peanut butter is made from the best peanuts. If you want to compare it to other brand-name peanut butters, check out their label and tell me what peanuts the brand-name producers use. Chances are, it will not say Valencia peanuts as part of the ingredient list for products such as Jif or Skippy so is it possible they are using the same high quality ingredients? Trust me when I say that peanut butter manufacturers would not be shy about advertising they used the best peanuts if they indeed did. If they don’t, would it not be a significant challenge for product developers to compete with the outstanding flavor of Kirkland peanut butter without additional flavor enhancers? If you want an incredible peanut butter experience, give this product a try. But be forewarned, there may be no turning back.
Before consumers automatically discount this

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