19 November 2011
For a long time Black Cat peanut butter was the only brand in the South African market.
Then other brands began appearing, which tasted horrible. One of them was "Yum Yum". It was American-style peanut butter, with added sugar and other nameless ingredients.
Then Black Cat was taken over by Tiger Foods, and they too started producing the horrible American-style version. Some people objected, like The Black Cat | andrewdotcoza: "They changed my favourite peanut butter and they made it taste like crap!"
I stopped buying peanut butter.
Then I saw a new and unfamiliar brand, Thokoman.
I looked at the list of ingedients: peanuts, salt.
I bought a small pot, and took it home, and rejoiced that it tasted like the real thing. After that, whenever we went shopping, we looked for Thokoman. If we couldn't find it, we didn't buy peanut butter. We bought both smooth and crunchy varieties because some members of the family liked one, and some liked the other.
Then one day I opened a new pot of Thokoman, spread it on bread, tasted it, and gagged. It tasted horrible. I looked at the list of ingredients, and saw that sugar had been added. I threw my slice of bread, and the whole pot of peanut butter in the dustbin. Once again we stopped buying peanut butter.
Then my wife noticed that Black Cat were advertising the "original" peanut butter.
We bought some, but the taste and texture were different from the original.
Instead of the ingredients being "peanuts, salt" they were now listed as "peanuts, stabiliser".
So it still has a weird taste and texture, not quite as revolting as the ones with added sugar, but not pleasant either.
At this time of the year (the Nativity Fast) we used to eat peanut butter several times a week, but now I have it only once every 2-3 weeks. Instead of peanut butter, I spead my bread with hoummous or chakalaka. They are probably also made by Tiger Foods, so it's no skin off their nose.
And I still wonder about the mysterious "stabiliser", and why they are so coy about what it is. It was certainly no part of the real original Black Cat peanut butter (as opposed to the fake "original" that they are selling now). I suspect that it may be something very unhealthy, like this: Ban Trans Fats: The Campaign to Ban Partially Hydrogenated Oils: Trans fat (which means trans fatty acids) is the worst kind of fat, far worse than saturated fat.
So if anyone knows where one can buy real peanut butter, with nothing other than peanuts and a little salt, please let me know.