Monday, February 24, 2014

Peanut Butter Americano: Dark Chocolate

You know how it is, I'll take any excuse to go to Anthropologie. They had one of their Pop-up Markets at the Scottsdale location yesterday, and so I naturally found myself there feeling very much at home, as usual. The format was similar to a regular Farmer's Market, with little booths from local companies who were giving out samples and selling their products. There were about ten or so booths, all around the inner part of the store (that is, near the inside door). The difference was that these were mostly the fun companies. We wouldn't get as excited to go to the mall to buy potatoes, cabbage, and bread. Instead, there were cookies, caramels, jellies, toffees, truffles, and peanut butter. It is on the peanut butter that I shall now focus.

Even Peter Pan likes it.

I'm a strange person, as you know. One of the reasons I am strange is that I'm used to the stiffer, more dense Trader Joe's peanut butter. I won't even go near Skippy. If a peanut butter is too creamy-oily, I probably won't like it much. I know, how inhuman of me. So when I had a sample of Peanut Butter Americano's Cinnamon Honey variety, I thought that it was nice but that I probably wouldn't want a jar of it. And then I saw the Dark Chocolate variety and said, oh, well, yeah, I guess I'll have to try that. So here it is, this $5, 8 oz. jar.

Even if I don't eat peanut butter out of the jar (I never understood the ice cream or cookie dough obsessions, either), peanut butter is one of those incandescent flavors that can meld so well with chocolate (coffee and hazelnut also go rather well). The PB Americano website just says that they use chocolate chips for their chocolate varieties; I should have asked, at the booth, what brand they use. I kind of think I heard it was 60% cocoa, but I could be making things up. In any case, I noticed from the packaging that the chocolate was made with milk fat, vanillin, and artificial flavor. Really? You see, from what I've seen and read, this seems like a really cool company. They care about details, the ingredients, the look, the social and ethical side, the nutrition side, everything. So I'm kind of wondering if they can find a better chocolate source (all this said without even knowing what the chocolate company is). 

Enough rambling. Here is a view of the chocolate peanut butter in its jar:

As you can see, there are tiny peanut pieces interspersed in a chocolate-filled base that is not at all thick. Interestingly, PB Americano recommends not putting their peanut butter in the refrigerator; I wonder how many people do find themselves accidentally polishing off a whole jar. Especially because there are peanut pieces, the prominent flavor is still peanuts, not chocolate. But the longer you allow the peanut butter to sit in your mouth, the more chocolate you will taste. (I don't mean to leave it sitting for an hour; I just mean more of a licking than a chewing experience.) Of course, I can't give you any detailed chocolate commentary from this context. I'll just say that there is enough chocolate presence to merit the Dark Chocolate label. 

I just had a thought. A wicked, wicked thought. Imagine breakfast. Picture a cup of chocolate tea from the Republic of Tea or someone. Then picture two pieces of toast, one spread with CC Pollen Co.'s Chocolate Honey and one with this Dark Chocolate peanut butter. Oh, that must be sin. Creamy and chewy at once, chocolate plus peanuts. Oh, my. 

And I have (mostly) saved the last tidbit: Peanut Butter Americano works with other companies/organizations that help to benefit the Americas. For instance, 100% of the proceeds from the Dark Chocolate variety go to Techo. Building homes, providing jobs, reducing poverty. I think this company will go a long ways. 

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