Silver Chips Online

PRO/CON: creamy vs. crunchy peanut butter

Battle of the textures

By Eve Gleichman, Online Editor-in-Chief and Priyanka Gokhale, Online Editor-in-Chief
December 11, 2006
Priyanka Gokhale says: Creamy is dreamy

Let's talk about applesauce for a minute. We've all eaten applesauce from the little Motts cups with foil tops. Now, imagine peeling back the foil top, expecting some creamy, delicious applesauce inside and instead finding…little chunks of apples! Ridiculous, right?

Well, that's the idea behind crunchy peanut butter – a culinary disaster that undermines the integrity of good old creamy peanut butter.

Creamy peanut butter is one of the few spreads that can be deemed "heavenly" (aside from Philadelphia cream cheese, well, at least according to their commercials!) This ground peanut confection is easy-to-spread and decadent, not to mention a great friend to jelly! And then, there's crunchy peanut butter – creamy peanut butter's evil twin. Half-baked and inferior in taste, crunch peanut butter is essentially creamy filled with little chunks of peanuts.

Crunchy peanut butter has infinite – no, infinite plus one flaws, but here are three that truly illustrate its substandard-ness.
Who can resist the smoothness of creamy peanut butter?
Who can resist the smoothness of creamy peanut butter?

1. Crunchy peanut butter is hard to spread.
No, really. Have you ever tried to smear crunchy peanut butter on a slice of bread? Not only does it lack the smoothness that allows creamy peanut butter to glide on to any surface, but crunchy is simply DIFFICULT to spread. The annoying too-small-to-be-peanuts too-big-to-be-ground-up chunks get stuck everywhere – on the knife, on the bread, on the counter. Not only that, but the end result is often a sandwich with an irregular amount of peanut butter on both sides, making for a not-so-yummy lunch.

2. Crunchy peanut butter can't take gum out of your hair.
One of creamy peanut butter's biggest household uses comes from its ability to unstick gum from hair. If you've ever had the misfortune of getting gum in your hair, then you know that I'm talking about, spreading peanut butter around the gum allows Mommy to work it out without too much hassle (but a lot of grossness!) Users of crunchy lack this multipurpose facet because they run a risk of the peanut butter leaving a trail of peanut pieces behind.

3. Crunchy peanut butter is (not) for lovers.
Unlike Virginia, crunchy peanut butter is not for lovers. Don't believe me? Then take a look at the statistics. According to, creamy lovers outnumber crunchy lovers 60 to 40 percent. What's more, the East coast prefers creamy peanut butter and leaves crunchy to the Californians. And, since we live on the East side (represent!), we've got to stay true and stay creamy. Duh.

So, if you want to be a hater, go ahead. Eat crunchy. But, if you want to stay true to the goodness of peanut butter, make the right choice. Go creamy!

Eve Gleichman says: Creamy is for freedom haters

Let us reflect for a moment on lunchtime during our kindergarten days. Two pieces of smooth white bread. A layer of smooth grape jelly (which is, by the way, inferior to peanut butter – but that's for a later time); don't we need some texture here?

The answer is yes. Yes, yes, yes. Good thing crunchy peanut butter stepped in to save the day. Perfectly salted and delightfully small, these bits of wonder will keep your mouth happy, your body healthy and your ethics up to scratch.

Creamy's infamous stuck-to-the-roof-of-your-mouth factor proves to be pitiful competition against our crunchy hero. These little bits of crispy delight act not only as taste bud stimulators but also as mouth roof cleaners, scraping gobs of peanut butter from your hard palate, unlike its creamy nemesis, which will stick to you like glue. Don't believe me? Take a look at Shel Silverstein's "Peanut Butter Sandwich" an illuminating poem which depicts a king's creamy peanut butter as a "sticky…dripping…stubborn" misfortune. ("Then one day he took a bite/And started chewing with delight/But found his mouth was stuck quite tight/From that last bite of peanut-butter"). Sounds like the gooey mess could have used a chunk or two for de-gobbing.

Now let's talk ethics. Specifically, the ethical treatment of peanuts. If you were a peanut – a crunchy, solid legume – would you want to be grounded so thoroughly that you were considered creamy?. Neither would I. So why support such an anti-legume product?

Now for all you health (pea)nuts: The extra crunch factor gives you a nice hearty workout, a simple way to lose a nice amount of calories via mandibular exercise without overexerting yourself. With no chewing involved, your body could take a turn for the worse if you're a big into peanut butter.
Need I say more?
Need I say more?

I suppose it is important for us refute the pitiful claims of those that dream in cream. Everyone knows there's a no-whining rule for real PB&J makers. If you can't handle spreading delectable bits of peanuts across of piece of bread, than your issues extend far beyond the pathetic woes at the kitchen counter. Besides, spreading crunchy peanut butter poses a nice challenge; a fun, invigorating part of your sandwich preparation. How boring our lives would be if everything was as easy as spreading bland creamy peanut butter. And please, it's nothing compared to spreading jelly, which takes three times as long because of the transportation from the jar to the bread (Don't pretend like you don't know what I'm talking about).

Perhaps the best part of crunchy peanut butter is the after effect. Rarely when you eat the peanut butter which shall not be named do you find yourself enjoying your snack hours after you've swallowed it. But with crunchy, you might find a little peanut surprise hanging out in a back molar, just waiting to make your day later on.

Consider the fact now that if crunchy wanted to, it could become creamy. But no matter how hard it tries, creamy can never become crunchy. It's the sad truth.

On a completely separate note, is it a coincidence that "creamy" begins with the same letter as "communism?" I think not.

If you like the bandwagon, the bland, the boring, then by all means, stick with this creamy nonsense. But if you want to stay true to yourself and to the world, go crunchy. We will not be indoctrinated, we will not conform, we will not eat paste!