This week on the show, Evan talks with Jon Krampner, author of Creamy and Crunchy: An Informal History of Peanut Butter, the All-American Food. Jon’s book follows important people and legumes in the peanut butter story, from the first peanut spreads eaten in the United States to the revival of artisanal peanut butter going on today.
Creamy and Crunchy is also filled with peanut butter recipes. Read below to learn how to make Elvis Spread, and to read a few of Jon’s peanut butter recommendations.
Jon’s list of favorite peanut butters is two pages long, divided into categories like “Most Intense Fresh Peanut Aroma” (Mamba Encore from Haiti) and best peanut butter and jelly combination spread (none – why bother?). Arrowhead Mills Creamy Organic and Trader Joe’s Crunchy Valencia with Flaxseeds are his two favorites overall, though the latter is currently off the market due to a salmonella scandal. Jon is also partial to the grainy-textured Koeze Cream-Nut.
(Adapted from Jon Krampner’s Creamy and Crunchy: An Informal History of Peanut Butter, the All-American Food. Originally printed in Bruce Weinstein and Mark Scarbrough’s The Ultimate Peanut Butter Book.)
Yield: 2 cups
6 strips thick-cut bacon
1 1/4 cups creamy standard peanut butter
2 ripe medium bananas, peeled and cut into 2-inch sections
1 tablespoon unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 tablespoon honey
Fry the bacon in a nonstick skillet set over medium high heat until the strips are very crispy, about four minutes, turning occasionally. Transfer the bacon strips to a paper-towel-lined plate and blot the strips dry with more paper towels. Set aside.
Place the peanut butter, bananas, butter, and honey in a food processor fitted with a chopping blade. Process until very smooth, scraping down the sides of the bowl as necessary.
Chop the bacon, then add it to the food processor and pulse two or three times to get it evenly distributed in the mixture. Scoop the bread into a bowl or container, cover tightly, and store in the refrigerator for up to four days; bring the spread to room temperature before using.