Eliot’s Adult Nut Butter, garam masala


Flavoring peanut butter is challenging

A memorable project assigned to me is grape flavored peanut butter. A large peanut butter manufacturer asked my company to supply some grape flavor samples for the project. My mentor, Mr. Takeda, who entered the United States from Japan on a work visa, was confused about the project. Peanut butter and peanut butter and jelly sandwiches are popular in the States, but not Japan or other countries. Since I grew up on peanut butter and grape jelly sandwiches and not Onigiri (Japenese rice balls) my input on the project was needed.

Mr. Takeda went to his formula book and selected a few grape flavors for me to collect and try in peanut butter. He chose the strongest artificial oil soluble grape flavors for the project and gave me a suggested usage level. I doubled, tripled, quadrupled the suggested use rate and barely tasted grape. Since peanut butter has a strong roasted note and lingers in the mouth, it’s difficult for any added flavor to make an impact.

We decided to use a flavor “key”, which means the flavor is mostly aromatics and no diluent. In contrast to a “key”, flavors for beverages can be 5% aromatics and 95% diluent. Finally, by using the “key”, we tasted grape. Not a good grape flavor, but a cheap artificial tasting grape.

My mentor decided not to send flavors for this project. We backed out of the project because our flavor would be expensive (possibly adding over $25 per pound to the cost) and taste would not be improved. Just because you can do something; doesn’t always mean you should.

Like most people, I do not like to lose. I scanned the peanut butter aisle for years looking for a successful grape flavored peanut butter product, but there were none. Flavoring peanut butter is challenging.

Eliot’s Adult Nut Butters overcame these challenges by developing adult flavors for peanut butter: espresso, garam masala, spicy Thai and honey chipotle.  The price is a bit frightening, $7.99 for a 12 oz container, but I still decided to give it a try

I tried the garam masala flavor on my rice bowl. Traditionally, garam masala includes fennel seeds, cinnamon, caraway seeds, black peppercorns, cloves and cardamom. Since I do not have this spice blend in my pantry, a peanut butter flavored with this blend is convenient.

A few spoonfuls of nut butter on my rice bowl increased my protein intake as well as my enjoyment. The garam masala flavor came through beautifully and added excitement to my sweet potato and cauliflower brown rice bowl.







Things have changed a bit since the grape peanut butter flavor project (circa 1995). Peanut butter is now flavored using “global” seasonings. I wonder if they are using these nut butters in Japan to make Onigiri for lunch boxes?


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