ONE OF MY FAVORITE evening snacks is a cup of herbal tea and a piece of sourdough toast lightly smeared with peanut butter. Easy to make & satisfying. Probably relatively healthy (but I’m not sure). Every few months or twice a year, I buy a new jar of spread.
Much has changed in the decades I’ve been eating peanut butter. Glass jars are out. Plastic is in. Chunky came along in the ’70s or ’80s. Natural, organic, unprocessed, vegan, these new foo-foo monikers began to adorn some labels at natural food stores. Since it costs more, it must be better? Not really. Usually that peanut butter is stiff, lumpy, & separates from its oil. And tastes somewhat off. In my humble opinion.
A quick stop for basics made me realize something. I’ve been buying the same peanut butter for decades. Skippy or Jif. Today at a University City grocer, I came across a pair of coeds studying their peanut butter selection. All these years I thought the action was in the Produce Department.
These women are from my favorite area of Germany. Cologne, from which Kölsch, as in Gaffel Kölsch BEER, is brewed. Traveling home this week, just in time to miss the Pope’s visit and -accompanying Parking Popocalypse- they want to smuggle home the most popular, common example of American peanut butter.
They saw me choose without hesitation, asked for American guidance, and received Basics 101. Creamy, brand name, mid-size jar. Jif or Skippy. Skippy or Jif. You can’t go wrong with either. I lean a little towards Skippy. That probably has nothing to do with the peanut butter and more to do with advertisements between Saturday morning cartoons many moons ago.
Arachis hypogaea – The peanut or groundnut is a species in the family Fabaceae (commonly known as the bean, pea or legume family).