Growing up I was a JIF peanut butter girl all the way. After all the adverts said “Choosy mothers choose Jif.” My dad and I were big PB eaters. My mum not so much. He and I liked to eat the Elvis sandwich--peanut butter, bananas and greasy microwave bacon (I know….but it was the 80s before we knew better) and he loved to eat peanut butter, mayonnaise and pickle a.k.a. the PPM (Peter, Paul and Mary)
In 1990, when Spiderman and I went on the life changing LC/MC overseas experience where we were exchange students we ate a bought lunch every day (often McDonalds I am sad to say, but it was cheap) and then had PB&J sandwiches and a piece of fruit and a chocolate bar for our evening meal. The only kind of peanut butter we could find was “natural” where the oil separated to the top. Every bloomin’ night we had to stir that oil back in and every night I cursed and swore and cried out for the comforts of Jif where it was smooth and creamy and never oily on the top. This natural PB was all gritty and did not spread like Jif.
We started buying Meridian brand PB which has one ingredient--peanuts. Seriously that is it. Yes, it has oil on top but if you leave it upside down a few days before you open it it is *much* easier to re-mix the oil. It tastes really good and I buy 1kg at a time for £5.99 and when Holland and Barrett has a buy-one-get-one-half-price sale, we stock up. I also just read that it is made in North Wales--woohoo!
Recently, when our friends came to stay at Easter they brought some Jif so we could make PB&J sammiches for our picnics and I was shocked at the ingredients. Sugar is the second ingredient and it is two kinds of fully hydrogenated oil. I know fully hydrogenated oil is better than partially hydrogenated oil, but just the word hydrogenated gives me the shivers. At least it didn’t have High Fructose Corn Syrup.