The Great Peanut Butter Debate: Smooth v. Crunchy

November 13, 2012 | By | Comments (11)

Let’s get down to brass tacks here. Why chunky peanut butter exists, I do not know. Smooth is the only way I’ll eat my PB. Sure I had my crunchy phase (we all experiment at some point), but I found my way back to smooth peanut butter and have stayed there since. JIF Natural Creamy Peanut Butter is king at my house.

With November being National Peanut Butter Lovers Month, we at Cooking Light had to take sides in the great peanut butter debate: smooth? or crunchy? Naturally, I was surprised we had so many crunchy fans around here. Though they are mistaken in their preference, in my opinion, their vote counts. Here’s our total, and a few interesting—and very passionate—defenses of those choices.

Chunky – 5
Smooth – 8
Bi-partisan – 2

“Condemning one versus the other is like declaring a victory of red over white wine, IMHO. For maximum mouth-stopping, throat-closing, peanut butter textural wham, it has to be smooth. But when crunchy texture adds pleasure, such as when you pair a PB with a fine apricot preserve in sandwich made with crusty country bread: then I think chunky comes into its own.” — Scott Mowbray, Editor

“Oh, I’m all for chunky. Super-chunky. (Skippy SuperChunk, to be exact.) Creamy peanut butter is too, well, creamy for my taste—gumming up things too much. I like a little something to chew, some crunchy bits that scream, “I am PEANUT butter, damnit!” Give me texture! Give me more real-nut goodness! Whew. Had no idea I was had such strong opinions.” — Ann Taylor Pittman, Executive Editor, Food

“Call me un-American, but I don’t really like peanut butter on its own.  I do, however, cook with in… using it often in sauces and dressings.  So for me, smooth is the way to go!  It stirs more easily into my recipe!” — Sidney Fry, Assistant Editor, Nutrition

“I can’t go a day without peanut butter.  It’s the breakfast spread on my bagel instead of butter (more satisfying and I get some extra protein).  On Saturday, there’s usually a PB & J on whole-grain bread in my purse or glove compartment for a quick snack or lunch when I’m out doing errands all day. Sometimes I cut the sandwich into squares and put them a zip-top bag. It’s small enough to fit into my cycling back pocket to nibble on during a long ride or as a mini snack after a run to tide me over to a “real meal.”  And if I still haven’t gotten my PB fix, I’ll spread a little on a few vanilla wafers for a bedtime snack. I keep a jar in my desk when I need a pick-me-up in the afternoon or lunch didn’t fill me up (yes, I admit, I sneak a spoonful or two straight from the jar). AND I’m a creamy gal—tried to go down the extra chunky road but always came back.” — Mary Creel, Special Publications Editor

“I’m against all peanut butters that aren’t Skippy Creamy!” — Phoebe Wu, Assistant Editor

“Miss Wu’s rejection of the chunky PB is typical of the youth of today—the lost generation. Their general malaise renders them too lazy to either chew or floss.” — Susan Roberts, Assistant Copy Chief (And she’s only kidding.)



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    […] two main forms of this comes in smooth and chunky, according to the great peanut butter debate ( people are very passionate about it. I myself prefer the chunky variation due to the unique […]

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  2. Mike

    Chunky, extra chunky give me bits and textures both for eating straight or to cook with. The smooth sticks to the roof of my mouth and has no crunch…

    May 2, 2013 at 6:26 am
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  5. Sardoni

    Both, just like Cindy said it depends on what I’m eating it with.

    November 14, 2012 at 5:53 pm
  6. Andrea Ramirez

    Crunchy peanut better always seemed like a treat of a much older generation. My dad grew up in the 30s and 40s with smooth peanut butter as the only option, and one day crunchy was available. For him, it was an amazing, exciting new thing, full of delightful texture. For me, it is nothing more than a nemesis bent on cutting up the roof of my mouth.

    November 14, 2012 at 5:45 pm
  7. cher

    Chunky! But…all the recipes that require PB deem to say smooth …

    November 14, 2012 at 5:44 pm
  8. Gail

    Crunchy only! I want the peanuts!

    November 14, 2012 at 5:43 pm
  9. Esharat

    Wow! Awesome your post! Thanks for your sharing.

    November 14, 2012 at 8:04 am
  10. cindy hogan

    I liked both equally depending on what I was eating it with. smooth for on bananas and chunky on bread or toast. Smuckers natural is the only one I will eat

    November 13, 2012 at 11:37 pm
  11. Super Chunky

    Super Chunky All Natural Teddie Peanut Butter is My favorite!

    November 13, 2012 at 9:08 pm

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