Home Household & Pantry Woollies vs Yum Yum: who makes the best caramel peanut butter?

Woollies vs Yum Yum: who makes the best caramel peanut butter?

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A beautiful close-up of peanut butter

Forever keen to offer consumers more options, and to be more profitable, peanut butter makers have taken to flavouring the much-loved nut butter. We decided to pit Yum Yum’s caramel peanut butter against the Woollies alternative. By Martha van Zyl.

I have recently rediscovered my love of peanut-butter-and-syrup sandwiches, the food of the gods. If you were a fan as a child, I dare you to try it again and not be overwhelmed by nostalgia. When I spotted caramel peanut butter on the shelves, it got me thinking: if caramel and syrup are such close relatives, could this spread be a convenient alternative to the delicious but often messy peanut butter (PB) and syrup combo?

The contenders

To test this hypothesis, I got hold of a 390g jar of Yum Yum Caramel Dreams  caramel crunchy peanut spread (R35.99) and a 250g jar of Woolworths Food smooth caramel flavoured peanut butter (R47.99). Note that they’re only available in these sizes. Also, Yum Yum’s caramel PB is crunchy by default and Woollies only makes smooth caramel PB.

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First impressions

When I bought the Woolworths peanut butter, the cashier expressed concern. “Is it meant to have oil on top?” she asked.

It’s common for oil to separate in a container of processed nut products. A notice on the label reads “Due to the nature of this product, some slight oil separation may occur. Stir well before each use.” Still, the colour of the oil seemed artificial and a bit odd, and resembled the contents of a tin of wood varnish before it is stirred.

The Yum Yum peanut butter was as dry as the Woolworths Food PB was oily. Neither looked particularly appetising. I employed some elbow grease and was eventually rewarded with a glossy, silky-smooth spread from the Woolworths Food jar.

The taste

The Woolworths Food PB, shown above left, has a subtle caramel taste with a stronger peanut aftertaste.

The Yum Yum PB (above on the right) has a more balanced caramel-peanut taste. In addition, it contains bits of crushed peanuts. I like the taste, but to make this more spreadable, I mixed it with a bit of butter, but this muted the flavours, unfortunately.

Verdict and rating

I suspect that these caramel flavoured peanut butters contain less sugar than my own peanut-butter-and-syrup combination. It’s obviously more convenient too.

I like my peanut butter crunchy, but Yum Yum is simply too dry, ripping a slice of bread to pieces. In an ill-fated experiment I tried mixing the two peanut butters together but was left with a chemical aftertaste that had me binning that effort faster than you can say nitroglycerine.

Yum Yum scores 2 out of 5 and Woolworths scores 3 out of 5.

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