Review: Mighty Maple Peanut Butter from Peanut Butter and Co.

When you say “fall foods” my mind usually jumps right to pumpkin, but begging some recent disappointments in the fast-paced world of processed pumpkin food products (ahem, Dunkin Donuts), I felt getting a little more “real” with my autumn-inspired treats was in order. Don’t get me wrong — I’m still actively on the hunt for Pumpkin Pop-Tarts — but I’d be remiss if I didn’t celebrate that hallmark of October and November condiments, maple syrup. I’d also be remiss if I didn’t get my fill of crisp apples and warm, cinnamon and brown sugar-roasted butternut squash. Which is probably why I went all out for dinner the other night, busting out the knife skills, the non-stick skillet, and a secret weapon I had in my pantry that I had been saving for just such an occasion.

I’m talking about Peanut Butter and Co.’s Mighty Maple Peanut Butter.

You’ve no doubt heard that peanut butter prices are expected to rise in the coming year, and at roughly $6 for a standard 16 oz. jar now, Peanut Butter and Co.’s products are on the expensive end of the peanut butter spectrum. But with a cult following and a successful New York City sandwich shop it’s easy to understand why people are willing to splurge on founder Lee Zalban’s products, especially considering the shop offers no less than 10 varieties of all-natural peanut butter.

All that being said, Peanut Butter and Co.’s Smooth Operator finished behind Peter Pan Natural and Skippy Natural in a past GrubGrade taste test, and until recently I had forgotten about the extra jars of flavored peanut butter Lee had graciously sent me to try. That was until my fall food cravings kicked in, and I turned to Mighty Maple.

The possibilities for maple-flavored peanut butter seem endless, but before I combined it with anything else, I did what any American in their right mind should do: I stuck my spoon in the jar and ate a large glob. Immediately I was impressed by the smooth and creamy viscosity, albeit one broken up by what appears and tastes like small crystals of raw sugar. One mighty call the little pieces of crunchy sugar “grainy,” but as I munched on the peanut butter out of the jar, I found them to add a lip-smacking quality which left me salivating for more. Unlike your typical peanut butter concoctions with honey, the sweetness comes through as heartier and bolder, at the same time multifaceted in that it hits you immediately but also on the back-end. It’s that deep, almost smokey-sweet peanut flavor with hints of fruit that lets you know you’re not just messing around with pancake syrup stirred into some store-brand peanut butter.

Recognizing I liked it, and liked it a lot, I set out to roast a butternut squash to pair the maple peanut butter with. Canned pumpkin has been tough and expensive to come by these days, but I’ve had great success in copying the texture of canned pumpkin by pureeing butternut squash following a roast in the oven with brown sugar and cinnamon. I did so in this case, then spread a spoonful of the mixture on some multigrain bread. Grilled up with another slice of bread that had been slathered with Mighty Maple, my “harvest panini” had a wonderful earthy sweetness about it, with neither the squash nor the peanut butter overpowering each other.

I wasn’t done, however. Not an hour later I cut up a sinfully crisp Granny Smith Apple to dunk into the peanut butter. The tart and astringent apple slices paired exceptionally well with the deep and slightly smokey peanut butter, while the textural contrast of creamy and crisp is the kind of experience that would make kids want to eat fruits.

I don’t think I’ve ever enjoyed the guilty pleasure of eating peanut butter straight from the jar like I have with Mighty Maple. Therein is the essential problem though. While the maple flavor is restrained, it’s still prominent enough that you wouldn’t pair it with anything outside the spectrum of fall “comfort” foods, including just about every non-American or savory flavor profile you can think of. The result is a drastic cut-down in versatility. Can I still stir it into maple brown sugar oatmeal? Sure, but considering the price of peanut butter these days, is that really a use I was to devote my peanut butter to? I guess that’s up to the buyer, but for me, the answer is an unfortunate “no.”

Without a doubt, this is really one of the most flavorful and enjoyably textured peanut butters one could ever hope to acquire. But with limited versatility, it’s something you’ll want to save for a special treat. And by ‘special treat,’ I fully mean the good old late-night, spoon-to-jar snacking method we Americans proudly call our own.

Pros: Strong and sweet maple flavor doesn't overwhelm natural smoke flavor of the peanuts. Creamy. Doesn't separate after stirring if kept in a fridge. Caramelized crystals of cane sugar. Doing fall foods right.

Cons: Expensive. Limited applications and versatility. Might be a tad bit "grainy" for some. Realizing that the third of a jar you just ate in one sitting in something like four or five servings.

Price: $6 online for a 16 oz. jar (free sample provided by Peanut Butter and Co

Overall GrubGrade: 8.00/10

More Info: Ilovepeanutbutter.com
Nutrition Facts:
ighty Maple Peanut Butter from Peanut Butter and Co. (32 g)
Calories: 180
Total Fat: 14 grams
Saturated Fat: 2.5 grams
Sodium: 3%
Total Carbs: 12 grams
Fiber: 1 gram
Sugars: 8 grams
Protein: 6 grams

23 comments on “Review: Mighty Maple Peanut Butter from Peanut Butter and Co.

  1. Lisa says:

    I love this peanut butter. SO GOOODDDDD. especially on toast. and on a spoon. mmmm

  2. Jrdunn says:

    I love all these except the bees knees is a bit runny for me…. My fav is the raisons!

  3. Keith says:

    The idea of maple syrup in peanut butter is AWESOME, but I really like mine chunky…. but if PB prices rise like they say, I think I can live without it.

    I think this is Nutella’s chance to jump in and steal some market share.

  4. Keith says:

    Adam, you should disclose – is this review for a jar you bought, or for a free sample provided by Peanut Butter & Co.?

    • Ryan says:

      He did disclose sample for review

    • Keith says:

      Mmm, thanks for that Adam… this might just be me, and please forgive my inferior reading comprehension if it is, but when I see “free sample,” I think of a sample as less than a typical container. You say it’s a 16 oz jar, with pictures of said jar, but then indicate that you provided with a free sample. To me, a sample is not the 16 oz retail jar, it’s less than that. It’s like a single serving… like those little packets of shampoo you get in the mail, or when the guy at Panda Express gives you piece of orange chicken on a toothpick. Sample, by definition, is a “small quantity” or “specimen” of something whole.

      So when I saw pictures of the jar, and then that the review was of a free sample, I – in my opinion – was understandably confused over whether this review was for a jar you purchased for $6, or for a smaller, free-sample provided to you by the company.

  5. Chris says:

    I like the texture of this peanut butter brand, it reminds me of the Peter Pan reduced fat, which could be called ‘grainy’ as well but I love it.

  6. Meg says:

    This jank is the bomb diggity!

  7. Rodzilla says:

    @Lisa, if you think PB on toast and spoons is good wait until you try it with Jelly!

    @Adam – I liked the flavor, but the texture threw me off. It was almost like they blended up those maple sugar candies

    • Crucifist says:

      Call me crazy, but your comment about the maple sugar candies just kind of makes me want to give this a try even more. I love those things.

  8. Rick says:

    I’ve seen the PB&Co brand at Wal Mart AND Wegmans for 4-6 bucks a jar, but not the entire product line

  9. Karee says:

    I’ve never had this product exactly, but I grew up eating “Peanut Butter and Syrup” mixed in a bowl, and eaten with a spoon. My mom grew up eating it that way.

  10. Scott says:

    That stuff looks GOOD – I wonder if we get Peanut Butter & Co. at any of our local stores here in Florida. Definitely have to check now!

  11. Claire says:

    I find that the tropical traditions coconut pb is wonderful as well. So coconutty!

  12. Marie says:

    I thought the bee’s knees was waaay too sweet…I did not even finish 1/4 of the jar before tossing it. This seems to have more depth of flavor with the maple running through it.

  13. Rick says:

    “…I had forgotten about the extra jars of flavored peanut butter Lee had graciously sent me to try.”

    Is everyone happy now? “Samples” were jars. It’s still delicious.

  14. Charlotte says:

    Your squash sandwich sounds delicious

  15. Roger C. says:

    Yeah, they’ll try and raise the prices, then when they see a massive drop-off in sales, back off. Crooks.

  16. ChrisLad says:

    Another well-written and interesting review Adam. I’m not sure if I really like the idea of maple with peanut butter. Your remark about it being a deeper kind of sweetest makes me tempted to try Mighty Maple.

    @ Keith. Let it go man. You misunderstood, nobody cares.

  17. Emily says:

    Where are you getting canned pumpkin from?

    At CVS they’re like $1.

  18. Jenna Z says:

    Wow, I HATED the gritty texture of this. It’s interesting that it was a pro for you!

  19. lz says:

    But maple syrup is harvested and boiled in the spring… How is it a fall flavor?