Let me introduce myself, my name is Adriaan Roets, and even my Twitter bio is testament to my love for peanut butter. It reads: “Feature writer (journalist) for @TheCitizen_News also a rising (flopped) star whose interests include cats, PEANUT BUTTER, shade and wine (of any variety).”
The inclusion of peanut butter in all caps is meant to be a clear indication that I mean business. It is one of my interests and in terms of authorities on this food paste – I actually think I am one.
When someone new gets to know me, our introductory conversation will be something like this…
Other person: “What’s your favourite music?”
Me: “My spoon scraping the bottom of the jar when eating peanut butter.”
Other person: “Err, what’s your favourite hobby?”
Me: “Peanut butter.”
Other person: “Uhm, okay. Do you do any sport?”
Me: “Yeah I’m a road and trail runner and after every run I treat myself with peanut butter.”
If you ask me what the softest peanut butter is I can tell you. It is salt and sugar free Spar peanut butter (in the same plastic jar Woolworths-branded and Nutso peanut butter are also available in) with the yellow lid.
The sweetest peanut butter? Caramel chip Yum Yum tends to be the sweetest, considering the large chips of sugary caramel crunch stirred into the nut butter.
I continuously experiment with my eating experience when eating the stuff. Just recently I stirred some plain yogurt into half a jar and found my new breakfast snack.
I’ve had it paired with wine and chocolate. I’ve had it mixed with oats, dipped carrot sticks in it and had a bizarre experience dipping fish fingers into it. I’ve even smashed a peanut butter and mayonnaise sandwich into my mouth.
But why the obsession?
I don’t know… but it was one Friday over a year ago that I was standing in a store to buy food when I started craving peanut butter. I was really trying to lose weight at the time, and starving myself from all forms of treats, and peanut butter clearly just fit the bill of something to satisfy the need for a treat. But while digging said peanut butter out of its jar in the car with an old Ster-Kinekor Movie Club card, something clicked in me and I realised I found my spirit food.
It filled a void in that moment and I felt coddled by the experience of me finding an alternative to the far more sugary treats I would have usually shovelled down my throat.
I have however never been able to food-shame myself for my love affair with peanut butter.
I think finding a food that you can identify with makes you a more grounded human. It gives you a comfort and something to fall back on. It becomes a confidant. The human-food connection is a powerful friend, and I’m so glad peanut butter and I are on BFF status. With every happy spoonful I put in my body, I’m happy peanut butter chose me.