The Peanut Butter Conundrum

So I like peanut butter. I may even go so far as to say that I love peanut butter. As a kid, I would eat peanut butter at least 2 meals of the day, if not 3 (4 if you count an after-school snack). I would eat PB sandwiches, PB on celery, and yes, even PB on cheddar cheese. I’m not sure what I would do were I a kid now, where quite often, kids aren’t allowed to bring PB to school, because of all the allergies. I may well have starved.

But all of this is not my conundrum, it’s more of an introduction the depth of my love of PB, and why this is a problem. Y’see, there are 2 qualities to PB that one must weigh when deciding which PB to buy: taste, and spreadability. Some add a third criteria, which is nutritional information, but I really don’t care about that.

Were taste my only criterion, I would only ever buy all-natural, organic PB. The kind that comes in the jar all separated and you have to mix it up (confession: I hate mixing PB, and I try and foist this job off on to Leah whenever possible. But I like the taste of natural PB so much more that I’m willing to go through this chore to get it). By contrast, were spreadability my only criterion, Squirrel PB would always win. It’s just so spreadable. Squirrel, more than any other brand I’ve used, goes on smooth and easy. It spreads with a nice thickness, and virtually never, ever cracks.

And so finally, we reach my conundrum. I love the taste of natural PB, but I hate that the jar, which I dutifully refrigerate after opening, becomes rock-solid, and virtually unspreadable after only a few days. Of your large-size Adams Natural jar, I’ll get a week’s worth of spreadable scrumptiousness before it solidifies into clumps, and instead of spreading my PB, I’m chopping it into little tiny pieces and arranging them next to each other on the bread. The small jars are better, but I go through those really quickly, which means both an added cost, and worse, more time spent mixing. For a while I thought I had it made in the shade with the President’s Choice all-natural PB, but the last 3 jars have been wretched. I’ve tried the little over-priced organic ones (with the tan label) available at Choices and Capers, but they were no better (although, they do taste really damn good. I wonder if it’s psychological because they say “Valencia Peanuts”, rather than just Peanuts).

If you don’t refrigerate at all, the all-natural PB just continually re-separates. If I turn down my fridge (making it less cold, thus, I would think, less likely to make my PB all crumbly), my milk starts to taste bad, which is a far worse problem.

So my conundrum, as expounded at length, is do I stick with All-natural, yummy-tasting PB and deal with the fact that I have to get little jars to retain spreadability? Or do I try keeping my PB somewhere else, and just keep re-mixing it? Or I sacrifice taste for emiment spreadability and buy Skippy or Squirrel PB? Do I, as a perhaps sensible compromise, alternate, so that I switch from one to the other when each’s respective faults start to drive me up the wall? Do any of you have any PB-storage solutions for me?