Creamy vs. Crunchy: The Great Peanut Butter Debate

Colleen Shaffer
Jan 19, 2018 · 5 min read

This is the hill I will die on”

Buzzfeed/Nathan W Pyle

We have many strong feelings about peanut butter. It’s one of those things that can totally change your perception of even your closest friends — like finding out they don’t believe the moon landing was real, they hate kittens or that they face the showerhead when they shower. You can’t go back.

So that’s why we asked you, our discerning readers, for your thoughts. To settle the Great Peanut Butter Debate once and for all.

Except…it’s not really settled. Let’s dig in.

We love peanut butter. (Or at least, the folks responding to a survey about peanut butter do.) Of the 515 people who answered the call, 94% of you rated it 6 out of 10 or higher. Yes, over 100 of you have it coming it at 10, or “most important food group in my life.”

Now to get into it. With so many peanut butter fans, where do we fall on creamy vs. crunchy, one of the great dividing lines of our culture?

Squarely half and half. Cheers to the ONE person who said their favorite kind is the one with jelly swirls in it.

This 50:50 breakdown of creamy vs. crunchy is somehow comforting. There are still some mysteries in the world that can’t be decided, some cultural debates we can innocuously keep on having, some wonders of this earthly life that can continue to fuel our human curiosity.


Unless you’re these people:

Only monsters eat crunchy peanut butter — butter is in the title, it should be smooth. You don’t want lumps of fat in your regular butter do you?”

“People who like smooth peanut butter are serial killers”

We asked you to choose your most loved PB brand. No wishy-washing here, it’s time to stick to your guns. And the winner is **drumroll** Jif! Followed by Trader Joe’s brand (who knew, maybe for convenience sake) and Skippy behind that.

Apparently we missed something called Teddie (which is hard to get around here so good luck on that anyways) and Whole Foods peanut butter that’s artisanally hand pressed before your eyes.

But you all had much more to say than just casting your vote. Here are some of the best comments we got:

From the natural peanut butter lovers:

  • “Peanut butter should not have added sugar, this is the hill I will die on.”
  • “Whole Foods Honey Peanut butter is manna!!!!!!!”
  • “That jif shit is hella gross. I just want some peanuts crunched up, no sugar, no weird texture.”
  • “I buy the “peanuts and salt only” kind, but that inevitable layer of oil at the top ruins me. If you pour it off, your peanut butter turns to chalk. If you attempt to mix it in, oil goes everywhere and your peanut butter stays just a smidge too oily. There’s got to be a better way.” (←someone help this poor soul)
  • “Do not be afraid of oil separation. It isn’t alien phlegm.”

From the sugar/trans fat appreciators:

  • the best pb has a little bit of sweetness, unsweet pb is basically like eating sandy paste”
  • “I think people who like crunchy are more open to compromise because you still get the butter part no matter what. Also natural peanut butter is gross and is on a total different level than sweet processed PB.”
  • “Crunchy and whatever is cheapest! Trans fats= worth not having to stir my PB”
  • “Organic PB is disgusting and shouldn’t be considered the same food group.“

From the salt-lovers:

“Unsalted peanut butter is an abomination.” (Yes, yes it is.)

From the person who took a survey on peanut butter because they hate peanut butter:

“Peanut butter is one of the most vile substances known to man. If you held a gun to my head I’d choose crunchy over smooth, but I would still only barely be able to choke it down.”

Insights from one astute Jif Whips fan:

“Jif Whips (easier to spread, in a wide-mouth tub) is the PB of the future. Much like Beta video tapes, Apple computers, and Pepsi, though, it seems doomed to also-ran status despite superior quality.”

Ad slogans we ❤ from the one person who truly loves Peter Pan:

“Peter Pan peanut butter, makes you young like forever buy it

Peter Pan peanut butter, you can fly if you eat it and wear tights

Peter Pan peanut butter, buy it those other shmears are pirates

Peter Pan peanut butter, Peter Pan peanut butter

Peter Pan peanut butter, your dog Nana will love that shit

Peter Pan peanut butter, now an animated film beloved by millions

Peter Pan peanut butter, because everyone needs some whimsy on their sandwich”

Some heated thoughts on almond butter:

“Look. Totally unrelated but not: almond butter is incredibly offensive and if it was up to me I’d set the every single jar in existence on fire.”

Some pro-tips on consumption:

  • “What’s the best way to eat PB? on a spoon”
  • “PB + banana sandwiches are legit. Don’t @ me.”
  • “When my brother and I were little, Mom used to occasionally give us “peanut butter lollipops” as a treat — which is a fancy way of saying “peanut butter on a spoon”. It’s delicious any way you eat it”

Some pro-tips on how NOT to consume, thank you:

“One time as a child I lost a tooth while eating a PB&J. Any time I’ve accidentally had crunchy since then it evokes the sensation of eating my own teeth — take that crunchy lovers!”

The way we should live our lives:

‘My PB Rule: If I trust you with driving my car, you may double dip a spoon into my peanut butter jar.”

A new controversy arises:

“JIF and GIF are pronounced the same way. Get over it. “

A question we’ve contemplated many times:

Why doesn’t it come in even bigger jars?”

Finally, something we can all (mostly) agree on:


We think so too.


Connecting Washingtonians to their city, to their…

Medium is an open platform where 170 million readers come to find insightful and dynamic thinking. Here, expert and undiscovered voices alike dive into the heart of any topic and bring new ideas to the surface. Learn more

Follow the writers, publications, and topics that matter to you, and you’ll see them on your homepage and in your inbox. Explore

If you have a story to tell, knowledge to share, or a perspective to offer — welcome home. It’s easy and free to post your thinking on any topic. Write on Medium

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store