Peanut Butter and Jelly Grows Up
We’ll admit it. Sometimes we get nostalgic for the lunch pails of our youth, and nothing screams childhood like a good old peanut butter and jelly. But thanks to two North Carolina-based outfits, Big Spoon Roasters and Farmer’s Daughter Preserves, you can give the classic PB&J a grown-up Southern revise.
Big Spoon owner Mark Overbay spent a decade searching grocery shelves for the perfect peanut butter before deciding he could do better. The resulting nut butters (classic peanut and blends of peanut–pecan, almond, and cashew) are roasted and ground by hand, using local peanuts, wildflower honey, organic coconut oil, and sea salt. “The fresh natural ingredients taste of this place and this time,” Overbay says. “They connect to the land.” Less sugary than the average store brand, the butters make an ideal accompaniment to April McGregor’s modern riffs on old-fashioned preserves, drawn from recipes learned in her mother’s Mississippi kitchen. McGregor make some three-dozen-odd varieties throughout the year, including such Southern flavors as fig, and peach with vanilla bean and bourbon. We’re particularly fond of her muscadine preserves matched with Overbay’s peanut-pecan butter. With crust or without, the cafeteria classic never tasted so good.