I find that Filipinos either love or hate peanut butter. Iâ€™m in the first camp.
I grew up on peanut butter and strawberry jam sandwiches and though my mom wasnâ€™t – and still isnâ€™t – a fan of the stuff, sheâ€™d make homemade peanut butter for me and my two sisters. I still remember coming home from school to see her laboring over a large wok-like pan stirring the peanutt-y paste into submission. As an adult, Iâ€™ve graduated (or is regressed?) to peanut butter-banana sandwiches drizzled with honey and cinnamon and I bake peanut butter pies during my unguarded moments of unspeakable indulgence. (See below for the rest of my posts on peanut butter).
Peanut Butter Company (PBCo.) is a tremendous, courageous concept that fulfills the desires of people like myself whose hearts pitter-patter for peanut butter. I say tremendous and courageous because itâ€™s a ballsy move to open a single concept store. Filipinos adore variety even though most of us end up choosing the same thing over and over again. Think back to all of the one-food kiosks/establishments of the past (caramel apples?, cupcakes?, sugar free cafÃ©?), the subsequent copycats and the withdrawal into obscurity or demise of the weaker ones. Interestingly enough, single-concept establishments like Chocolat and Bibingcrepe are thriving. I hope that PBCo. gets the chance to follow their example.
PBCo., whose tagline â€œSpreading lifeâ€™s simple comfortsâ€ (clever!) is the first peanut butter restaurant in the Philippines. A fun, little store its menu offers sandwiches â€“ hot ones and riffs on the classic pb&j -, pastas, and specials. I admire the ingenuity of those who developed the food; they obviously did their homework when it came to utilizing peanut butter as more than just a spread. At PBCo., peanut butter is an enhancement instead of a distraction. To wit: a smear is spread with a sparing hand of the Chili peanut butter, an accent to the Chili Fried Chicken Sandwich (P160). The ensuing heat and sweet is a foil to the super crunchy chicken breast fillet.â€Itâ€™s like the best McChicken of my life!â€ My friend exclaims. Who knew peanut butter got along with poultry?
Aside from the chili variation, there are 11 more different peanut butter incarnations: creamy, crunchy, curry, dark chocolate, green tea, cinnamon, white chocolate, sun-dried tomato, butter, cardamom, and sesame. Ask for a taste (or two or three) of the butters you like. Costing approximately P210 per 590-gram bottle, theyâ€™re the stars of PBCo.â€™s playful inventiveness.
The Cold Asian Noodles has the sesame peanut butter as its base coating a tumble of toothsome noodles. A refreshing summer dish, it’s something I want to keep on going back for. But there are other dishes that require some stretches of the imagination. The Crunchy Sardine Jelly Sandwich is a mishmash of crunchy peanut butter, sardines, and grape (!) jelly – only for the gutsy. On the other hand, peanut butter is neither a star nor a support but a garnish as in the BBQ Wings (chili peanut butter glaze) or the Fish nâ€™ Chips (peanut-cucumber dip).
I appreciate the heft of the sandwiches here that are as large as those served at Oliverâ€™s Super Sandwiches. I drool at the possibility of the Fluffer Nutter, marshmallow cream and peanut butter, a copyrighted term so itâ€™s called Marshmallow Peanut Butter Sandwich. The Cinnamon Apple Sandwich is promising and the straightforward PB&J is goofproof, but itâ€™s the Elvis, The King sandwich that I zero in on. A favorite of the legendary rock â€˜nâ€™ roller, the peanut butter- banana on white fried in butter has inspired countless interpretations. PBCo.â€™s take on it involves bacon and bananas on a smear of peanut butter. Though this sandwich requires no brain power to make, it disappoints on a few counts. PBCo. uses Cavendish bananas, a hardy variant thatâ€™s unfortunately one-dimensional in flavor. Cut too thickly, theyâ€™re the size of fingerling potatoes. I believe that lacatan bananas would be a definite improvement here. In addition, the bacon is a surprising, pleasing ingredient but the entire sandwich would benefit from some sweetness â€“ honey perhaps, to round out the sandwich’s components.
Peanut Butter Company
SM North Edsa Main Mall near the IMAX theater.
Another branch at SM Clark.
Other peanut butter posts:
Nutter About Peanut Butter
Peanut Butter â€œLarvaâ€ Cakes
A Peanut Butter Lover And Her Pie