29 June, 2012

Spread Wars: The Return of the Crunchy

Michael D'Agostino of The World As I See It is collecting pro-peanut butter blog-uments to continue (or end) the Spread Wars of 2012, a battle begun between him and fellow Aussie, Rusty of Swinging Like a Rusty Gate. (Those two links are, I believe, the two posts that started Spread Wars. Read the comments to get an idea of the extent of these debates.)
If size counts, we've already won!
~~~


If Rusty posted more often, perhaps he could garner such support for his spread of choice, Nutella. Just sayin'.
~~~

 
Now, I realize the posts that are collecting are all purely opinion, and I assume the goal here is to establish a consensus, not "prove" one is "better". (I'm actually not going to read the other arguments collecting on Michael's blog until I've posted this.) Opinion or not, I really don't see how there can be a debate!

 
I'm not going to cite facts and stats. Calories, schmalories. As far as health goes, neither spread is as good for you as an apple (which is best when sliced and spread with peanut butter, anyway).

 
Although I will mention the fact that peanut butter is much more affordable than Nutella. In the States, at least. Maybe Australia sits in the golden Nutella zone where it is cheapest. But I can't say that price doesn't weigh into my shopping decision!

 
Beyond that, as I started listing the reasons I find peanut butter superior to Nutella, I have to say the big one is guilt. Nutella *feels like* dessert. I know, I know, it's made with hazelnuts...AND CHOCOLATE! Why not grab the Hershey's syrup? Sprinkle it with some ground hazelnuts and you'll have a healthier snack.

 
Which brings me to:
Where's the crunchy Nutella? If it's really made of nuts, there should be a crunchy option.

 
What makes peanut butter superior to Nutella?
Variety. Nutella has no options. In this house, I keep crunchy for myself, my dad likes creamy "with honey", and there is currently Peter Pan creamy because it is the best for baking. I know some moms who like the convenience of peanut butter and jelly blends for use in quick sandwich-making, and of course, the health-nuts organic food eaters can get their kind. Is Nutella organic? I don't think so.

Nuts. See above comment about crunchy Nutella.

Versatility. I get that peanut butter and Nutella can both be spread on just about anything and improve it, but of the two, only peanut butter can be the base. Have peanut butter on your bread? It can stand alone. Feel a need for more sweetness? By all means, add Nutella...or honey... or jam, or fruit preserves. For variety, add cheese (Yes, Michael, I do that too). Or even bologna - something my brother started me on as a kid. The possibilities are endless.

Proven nutrition. (I believe I mentioned this in a comment somewhere.) When I organized a youth event to explore/experience hunger, one of the recipes recommended by World Vision to end our "famine" was peanut-butter based. (The recipe for "PlumpyNut" should be at this link.) Apparently in countries where this charity is assisting starving kids, the product they give to severely undernourished children is this peanut buttery goop. If it's good enough to feed starving children, it must have true value.

 
 
Remember these? From a few posts ago?
All that said, let me say, I am not "anti-Nutella" as I have been accused. I enjoy Nutella, who wouldn't? It's sweet! It's like dessert...and it accompanies peanut butter beautifully. Twice now I have brought different types of peanut butter cookies to the home of my Internet Fiance, and we have spread them with Nutella, and it was good. However, my peanut butter cookies stand alone. They do not require Nutella to be sweet, melt-in-your-mouth goodness. Nutella, frankly, is  superfluous.

I do enjoy both, but can see many more benefits to peanut butter. Given a choice of only one, I take peanut butter. In fact, I make that choice every time I go to the grocery store. I haven't had Nutella in my pantry in years but I always buy a new jar of peanut butter before the current one runs out. You want proof of a winner of Spread Wars? Follow the money.


(On a side note, is the yellow font easier to read? I read someone saying about the difficulty of reading blogs with black backgrounds, and suddenly remembered a study we found when I was captioning videos, about the easiest reading being black on yellow or yellow on black. Let me know if this change helps.)

 

32 comments:

  1. I've never had Nutella. I can't have sugar. But I can do low sugar, natural peanut butter, because the protein is high. I LOVE peanut butter. Love. It.

    I'm sure I would love Nutella too, but I'll just drool over your cookies from afar.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That's what I'm saying: variety. Everyone can find a peanut butter, but elitist Nutella is designed for it's secet few.

      Do you use non-sugar sweeteners? You inspire me to try to modify my recipe. ...although brown sugar is hard to replace. How are you with molasses?

      Delete
  2. Agree on the Nutella/peanut butter debate. I've been totally obsessed with almond butter lately... it's way healthier and just as good as peanut butter (albeit a bit different).

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ooh, that sounds delicious! I'll have to look that up!

      Delete
    2. Again: variety! (I feel so vindicated.) You should write a blogument and link over to Michael.

      I would imagine almond butter is a bit sweeter than pb. It's supposed to be healthier.

      Delete
  3. Well said! You're spot on about Rusty not posting enough to really go on the offensive. He tells me he's working on a Nutella Strikes Back post though. Everyone has a jar of peanut butter in the pantry, but not many people (especially outside australia) have any nutella. And yes you're right, those pages were where the war started.

    Thanks heaps, I'm adding you to the clan!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes! I'm in the clan! Sweet. Glad you liked it.

      Nutella Strikes Back, huh? That's equating Nutella with the Empire... the losing team.

      (I'm really not anti-Nutella. Brett can vouch for me. This debate just brought out my competitive side.)

      Delete
    2. That's fine, I'll take that. I'm exactly the same.

      Delete
    3. Not many out of Australia? Its from Europe...

      And as for being associated with the empire, The empire had health care and didn't have to camp in a ton-ton. :p

      Delete
    4. Yeah, the Empire had health-care: the Death Star!

      and what's the temperature of a Taun-taun?
      ...Luke Warm!
      bwahahahaha! (this is why I'm not the comedian here.)

      Delete
  4. All Nutella ALL the time. And I LOVE the yellow font - I hate reading white font on black backgrounds. Gives me a headache.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you - I'll keep using yellow then.

      ...and you are entitled to prefer whichever spread you want!

      Delete
  5. I don't understand this debate at all! Both Nutella and peanut butter are delicious and interchangeable! As for crunchy Nutella - blechk! If anything I am anti-crunch!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Well, clearly you know my view now. I have to question "interchangeable". I would never want Nutella on cheese, or on a sandwich with bologna and mustard.

      If there can't be crunchy...and there are clearly no other brands available, then obviously the lack of variety will have to continue on the Nutella side.

      Delete
  6. You know it didn't click in my brain until you mentioned the font color why I had a weird feeling about this entry. Apparently my brain sees that color of yellow and thinks "oh boy Sesame Street." So um yeah. Why brain why?

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    Replies
    1. That's funny. Yeah, this yellow is kind of orangey. I'm not sure I have an option for a butter-yellow, and was trying to avoid the highlighter look.

      Delete
  7. First . . . yes to the yellow. Much easier on the eyes.

    Second, I recently discovered Nutella. And really, I only started buying peanut butter for my boys now that they are older. I love love love nutella, but I agree that it feels like a dessert. I don't use it to make sandwiches for the boys. I think of it as a dessert, so sometimes give it as a special treat, or have some myself. But not often. And it IS hella expensive compared to peanut butter.

    Interestingly, I just wrote a piece about Nutella. Didn't know this debate was going on. Kinda funny.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Good! Glad to be easy on the eyes.

      I'll be interested to read your take on Nutella. As long as you're not joining Rusty's ranks!

      Delete
  8. Nutella is not expensive here. It's just that everything is expensive here. It cost the same as a jar of peanut butter.

    Peanut butter is used as anti-famine paste as it is incredibly energy dense (more energy dense than Nutella by approx 400 odd KJ per 100 grams). And because we live in the west and have a huge problems with obesity, and not on the starving desert plains, I don't think this is a positive. As I said on my blog, trying to compare two evils is a lose-lose situation.

    But that is what makes them both tastey

    You are right in stating that this is a debate on opinion, but only mine matters :D

    Viva Nutella!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The anti-famine thing only proves that peanut butter is *more nutritious* than Nutella. A bonus, for sure.

      Yes, they are both tastey, but one is tasty without guilt.

      And you are right that this is a debate on opinion, but only mine matters. :P

      Delete
    2. No, it only proves that it is more energy dense per weight per cost. I guarantee that nutrition is not the first factor in determining aid packages.

      Delete
  9. At my local grocery store, Nutella goes for $2.38, while the smallest jar of peanut butter goes for $2.89. For that reason alone, I want to pick Nutella, but I am loyal to peanut butter. It's been with me since childhood.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Wow, really? I've never seen a grocery store with Nutella cheaper than Peanut butter. Dude, I'd keep both in my pantry if that were the case.

      ...but I'd go through peanut butter faster.

      Because it's more nutritious.

      Delete
  10. Good point about all the varieties of peanut butter. My veg market grinds up honey roasted peanuts to make the most scrumptious fresh peanut butter. Although I always go back to my Jif!

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    1. Here in the midwest, we have Kroger grocery stores, and as picky as I am about peanut butter, Kroger brand is the best. Weird to prefer a store brand, but there you have it.

      (It's secretly the real reason I moved here.) ;)

      Delete
    2. Oh! I live in Michigan and we have Kroger. I'll have to try their peanut butter. Thanks for the tip!

      Delete
  11. Hi there what I dont get if rusty and Michael are Aussies - where the hell is the vegemite in this competition - it totally beats both - must have some every day

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I wondered that, too. But the war seems to be more about mainstream spreads. Maybe they just figured none of their international followers would join in if Vegemite was a part of it!

      ...I'm not anti-vegemite, but really, it lacks the versatility of PB and Nutella.

      Delete
    2. I did mention in the first pro-nutella post that vegemite is awesome but it doesn't have universal appeal, and as you say, versatility.

      Delete

I enjoy a good debate. Feel free to shake things up. Tell me I'm wrong. Ask me why I have such a weird opinion. ...or, just laugh and tell how this relates to you and your life.