The first time I tried almond butter, I was appalled. Maybe I was prejudiced due to it’s price tag, but I think it was more related to the fact that I found it to have a gritty texture and a less-appealing-than-peanut-butter taste. It should be noted that I’ve always quite liked almonds in their whole form, so it wasn’t as though I simply disliked the taste of almonds all together, that would make too much sense.
Through college and beyond, I dated a wonderful guy who had a bad peanut allergy. We tried almond butter, but neither of us liked it enough to continue throwing $20 bills at 16-ounce jars, so I swore off nut butters for many years. In more recent years, during my ever-increasing need for calorie-dense foods, I started putting down jars of peanut butter with extreme casualness.
During the racing season last year, I spent a great deal of time with one of my teammates who had a strong affection for almond butter. I might have spent more time with her than any other person last year, so almond butter became a common food item in my daily life. She also told me that peanut butter isn’t that good for me and another teammate corroborated her attack on my nut butter. I scoffed at the time, but it’d be a damn lie if I said her comments didn’t stick with me, slowly eroding my life-long allegiance to the most reasonably priced nut butter. I held fast my peanut butter buying tendencies until very recently, it fit nicely into my budget and I had a sincere enjoyment for the taste and hunger-suppressing abilities of America’s most common nut butter.
My new-found appreciation for almond butter hit hard and fast. Recounting most recent events, I can see one possible suspect for my absolute addiction: the New Season’s Almond Butter with a hint of Jacobsen Sea Salt. I first laid eyes on this perfect food item about nine weeks ago. Maybe I missed my teammate, Olivia, or maybe I was looking to spice up my daily habits. Whatever it was that lead me to browsing the row of alternative nut butters, I haven’t looked back. I prefer the chunky version, each bite adequately salty with just enough crunch. The almonds bits are the perfect size, the creamy part the perfect texture.
My almond butter addiction has some terrifying commonalities to my coffee addiction. Even though I have about half of a jar left at home, I still had some anxiety when the New Season’s Almond Butter with a hint of Jacobsen Sea Salt shelf space was empty last Saturday on my grocery run. I was going to just pick up another jar or two so that I wouldn’t ever be without it. Much like how I purchase coffee every time I go to the store, even when I have enough at home for at least five days, live a short five-minute walk from the coffee shop, and have an employer who believes in an endless supply of Stumptown Hair Bender. I feel compelled to at least glance at the almond butter shelf and consider whether or not to throw another jar in the cart, just in case.
I had a theory that maybe it wasn’t the fact that it was made of almonds. Maybe it was the addition of Jacobsen Sea Salt to the nut butter that brought me so much delight. Full of optimism, I grabbed a jar of New Season’s Peanut Butter with a hint of Jacobsen Sea Salt and brought it home. After my ride yesterday, I sat down with some toast and both jars of nut butters. My short-lived theory has been debunked, my preference forever altered, almond is my new nut butter and my commitment is fierce.