What Makes Good Peanut Butter?
Fix and Fogg's Roman Jewell on the best ingredients for peanut butter and how to eat it
1. What makes good peanut butter?
Like with any good food, I think it’s about using the best possible ingredients (from a nutritional and ethical standpoint) and treating each part of the production process with respect. For me, good peanut butter starts with freshly dark-roasted high-oleic peanuts, which are high in monounsaturated oils — the good type like the kind found in olive oil. There are different varieties of peanuts, which all taste slightly different — I like the robustness and nutty flavour of the runner variety, which is what we use in our Fix and Fogg peanut butter. There’s no need for weird additives or sugars in peanut butter — just a touch of sea salt to bring out the finishing flavour.
2. What’s the best way to eat peanut butter?
The neat thing about peanut butter is that it goes great with sweet (think chocolate brownies) or savoury dishes (like satays). Right now, I’m a bit obsessed with adding it to my morning smoothie — a dollop of peanut butter, small handful of oats, throw in a frozen banana, some dates and a teaspoon of maca powder. Delicious!
3. How many jars of peanut butter do you go through a week?
We easily go through a jar of peanut butter a week. Our little toddler, Otto, is pretty keen on the stuff, so there’s always a bit of competition at the pantry door. Andrea, my wife and the other half of Fix and Fogg, is also an avid baker, so my stash of peanut butter is often siphoned away into cookies, salad dressings and cakes (not that I’m complaining).
4. Smooth or crunchy?
I’m terrible as I always vacillate between the two — I’ll use smooth in cooking and for my breakfast smoothies, and then use crunchy for my afternoon snacks — mostly spread on rye bread or celery sticks.
6. What’s the weirdest food you’ve ever eaten?
When I was younger I spent a bit of time travelling around Central and South America — roasted ants in Brazil is up there. However, as I spend more time exploring our great backyard, I realise more that New Zealand is full of some weird and wonderful foods that can be foraged freely — supplejack and kawakawa spring to mind.
7. Which foods do you avoid?
Wherever possible I’ll avoid over-processed food. It just doesn’t make me feel good.
8. What’s your local cafe?
I like different places for different things — I’ll grab my morning coffee from either Customs Brew Bar or Six Barrel Soda. For a nice meal out, I’ll usually head to The Bresolin — their caramelised cauliflower with hard goats’ cheese is very moreish.