Great American Peanut Butter Tasting & Challenge

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Yesterday I made a (last-minute) decision to hold the Great American Peanut Butter Tasting & Challenge. You see, the hubs is somewhat of a peanut butter sommelier. He knows more about PB than the combined workforces of Jif, Skippy, and Peter Pan. If I got a penny every time he said “Peanut butter is the perfect food,” I’d be typing this from my villa on Lake Como.

The rules of the Great Peanut Butter Tasting & Challenge were simple. I asked friends to do a blind taste testing of five peanut butters and rank them on a scale from 1 to 5 (5 being excellent). The challenge was to identify which of the five was organic, and which was the most expensive. All peanut butters sampled were creamy and all-natural, meaning that none of them contained added salt, sugar, high fructose corn syrup, trans fatty acids, or hydrogenated oils. Two of the five were Ohio made, and the milk I provided as a palate cleanser was locally produced from Snowville Creamery.

Each peanut butter was graded on flavor, consistency, oil to butter ratio, aroma, appearance, peanutality, and jaunt factor. There were seven tasters, all of whom received gold star stickers for participating. Here are the results.

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*1st Place*
Whole Foods Grind-Your-Own Natural Peanut Butter
$4.49 (16 oz)
Overall Score: 184
Average Rankings
Flavor: 3.6 / Consistency: 3.9 / Oil to Butter Ratio: 4.3 / Aroma: 2.9 / Appearance: 4.1 / Peanutality: 4.3 / Jaunt Factor: 3.4
Comments: “Simple. Fun to
eat. Makes my tummy smile.” / “Just right. Oh yeah.” / “Grainy, very sweet.
Would be good for baking.”

*2nd Place*
Giant Eagle Nature’s Basket Organic Peanut Butter
$4.19 (16 oz)
Overall Score: 153
Average Rankings
Flavor: 3.3 / Consistency: 3.1 / Oil to Butter Ratio: 2.9 / Aroma: 3.1 / Appearance: 3.4 / Peanutality: 3.4 / Jaunt Factor: 2.4
Comments: “All around very good.”

*3rd Place*
Trader Joe’s Creamy Unsalted Peanut Butter
$2.79 (16 oz)
Overall Score: 152
Average Rankings
Flavor: 2.9 / Consistency: 3.1 / Oil to Butter Ratio: 3 / Aroma: 3.1 / Appearance: 3.6 / Peanutality: 3.7 / Jaunt Factor: 2.3
Comments: “Tasty! Love it.” / “I feel duped. Looks tasty, but it’s actually bland.” / “Slightly metallic. Fairly ugly.”

*4th Place*
Krema Natural Creamy Peanut Butter (Made in Columbus, Ohio)
$4.29 (16 oz)
Overall Score: 123
Average Rankings
Flavor: 2.6 / Consistency: 3.3 / Oil to Butter Ratio: 2.9 / Aroma: 1.9 / Appearance: 2.7 / Peanutality: 2.6 / Jaunt Factor: 1.9
Comments: “A bit bland.” / "Bland." / “Not a fan. Nice consistency though.” / “Vegetal taste. Least mouth-coaty. Sweet.”

*5th Place*
Smucker’s Natural Peanut Butter (Made in Orrville, Ohio)
$3.99 (16 oz)
Overall Score: 81
Average Rankings
Flavor: 1.4 / Consistency: 1.1 / Oil to Butter Ratio: 1.3 / Aroma: 2 / Appearance: 2.6 / Peanutality: 1.9 / Jaunt Factor: 1.3
Comments: “Oily. Not fun to eat.” / “Clunky, gooey, hard to mix. Sloppy.” / “Linseedy.”

Random Comments
“I love processed peanut
butter!”
“Hershey’s Kisses smell like vomit.”
“I’m lactose intolerant. Can I have vodka as my palate cleanser?” 

Sole Winner of Challenge
Shawnsation (a.k.a. “Keylime”) correctly guessed that the Whole Foods PB was the priciest.