Peanut Butter & Co.: A Peanut Butter Review


This is, hands down, the best peanut butter I’ve ever had.

(There, I said it.)

Let me back up

So last December, I had the pleasure of meeting Lee Zalban, founder and president of Peanut Butter & Co., when I was down at Bon Appetit’s Culinary Studios for their Holiday Bake-Off Party. He’s known as “The Peanut Butter Guy.” (Can you tell I knew we’d get along?)

Lee opened Peanut Butter & Co., a New York City sandwich shop, in 1998. A few years later, he was approached by Dean & Deluca about carrying his peanut butters in their store, and it sounds like the rest was history. Today, Peanut Butter & Co. is sold around the world in more than 10,000 stores.

(Now that’s my kind of small business success story…)

When Lee and I were talking at the Bon Appetit party, I happened to mention that we love (like, love love) peanut butter at The Mouse House. A few weeks later, I had a big box of peanut butter sitting on my doorstep.

How big, you may ask?

He sent me 10 (yep, ten) pounds of peanut butter. For free. (Thank you, thank you!) And I couldn’t be happier.

Here’s what 10 lbs. of peanut butter looks like

Peanut Butter & Co. takes peanut butter to a whole new level. They have 10 flavors of peanut butter, and I loved almost all of them. (The ones I didn’t were a matter of personal taste, and had nothing to do with their obvious awesomeness.)

You might have figured out by now that I only bother reviewing products that I feel really strongly about and am 100% comfortable recommending. (But as you also probably know, when I do like something, I like it genuinely, wholeheartedly, and with every ounce of mouse enthusiasm I have.)

The best part about the Peanut Butter Company’s peanut butter? Not only is it all natural—but it doesn’t separate.

So, on top of being delicious and good for you, you don’t have to contend with stirring the oil back into the peanut butter before spreading it. A total plus. (Unless, of course, that’s your thing, in which case, they do have one or two products that separate on purpose.)

Good peanut butter that’s good for you

These guys do an excellent job when it comes to selecting ingredients and concocting peanut butter recipes. From their website:

“Peanut Butter & Co.’s line of all-natural peanut butter contains no hydrogenated oils, no cholesterol, no trans-fats and, no high fructose corn syrup. Our flavors are gluten-free, vegan (except for The Bee’s Knees which is vegetarian), and certified kosher. Lastly, but just as importantly, we only use USA-grown peanuts in our peanut butter.”

Our favorite: The Heat is On

Hands down, our favorite of the bunch was The Heat is On, a peanut butter is kind of like a chili-laden, spicy hummus. It’s hot, but not too hot.

As you can see, The Angry Chef got into the jar before I got around to taking my pictures for this post.

I managed to wrangle a measly last spoonful of it. (Which The Angry Chef and I had a small tussle over immediately after I snapped this picture. We reluctantly agreed to share it.)

Cinnamon Raisin Swirl

This was my second favorite. The Angry Chef didn’t like it because he doesn’t like raisins. (More for the Mouse, then, eh?) This one is actually flecked with little pieces of raisins. It was sweet, but also nice and earthy.

Mighty Maple

This was The Angry Chef’s second favorite. Think maple syrup + peanut butter and you’ve got the general idea. The flavor was oh so good, and very, very natural.

Dark Chocolate Dreams

This stuff is like Nutella’s hunky big brother. The flavor is more chocolate than peanut butter. Seriously good stuff.

The Bee’s Knees

It’s one of the immutable laws of The Mouse Empire: If you put honey in it, I will eat it.

White Chocolate Wonderful

We weren’t crazy about this one, since neither of us really like white chocolate. If you do, I’m sure it’s amazing. Regardless, it gets points for originality. Never seen this flavor combination before in a packaged peanut butter.

Crunch Time

Totally blows your standard chunky-style peanut butter out of the water.

Smooth Operator

Thick. Classic. Creamy. Delicious.

Old Fashioned Smooth and Old Fashioned Crunchy

They even have something for you folks out there who like to kick your natural peanut butter old school, separated style.

Where to buy

Convinced you need to try some? Most of their jars of peanut butter are between $5 and $6. Pricier than your average supermarket spread, but well worth it in our minds.

Look for Peanut Butter & Co. peanut butter on the shelves of a grocer near you, or buy a jar (or three) online. Here in Salem, MA, I found it at my local Stop & Shop.

Have you had it?

What did you think? If you haven’t, what’s your favorite thing to do with peanut butter?

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Jessie Cross is a cookbook author and creator of The Hungry Mouse, a monster online food blog w/500+ recipes. When she's not shopping for cheese or baking pies, Jessie serves as an Associate Creative Director at PARTNERS+simons, a boutique ad agency in Boston. She lives in Salem, Massachusetts with her husband and two small, fluffy wolves.


  1. I also like “The Heat is On”. I buy it at Christmas Tree Shop (believe it or not). The price is reasonable. Don’t you just love a bargain? 😉

  2. Love their peanut butter. Have you been to their store in New York? It’s fabulous — they make the best peanut butter sandwiches. We use their Dark Chocolate version with Clotilde’s recipe for Nutella ice cream over at Chocolate & Zucchini, and it is just divine.

  3. I used to think pb&j sandwiches were nasty (as a child, they looked like dirt mixed with water lol), until a coworker had me try a slice of whole wheat bread with pb&j (smooth operator)…. It was love at first taste! WOW, i was hooked on this pb & i have never ever bothered to try other brands, not out of loyalty, but i am a very picky eater,& this pb is sooo good on toasted hearty whole wheat bread…. I always look forward to my breakfasts with whole wheat bread & pbj, & expresso coffee after a good run…simply priceless***

  4. I love this peanut butter. I am a purist so I always buy either Crunchtime or Smooth Operator. It is so much tastier than any other brand. By comparison, Jif Natural is awful. Try this peanut butter. You won’t go back to other brands.

  5. So true. I should have read your reviews and the instruction on the jar before I opened the jar. You bet I really made a mess when I made my Pb sandwich. It’s my first time trying this brand and I love it. So natural.
    I am having the old fashioned crunchy and that’s only the one flavour that I can find it in wholefood store in Cheltenham UK. 🙁