Going by my social media network, everyone seems to be hooked to Masterchef or some such culinary show, whether they are cooks or not. The show is surely inspirational but more so aspirational, as everyone from novices to seasoned cooks seem to want to churn out exotic cuisine in their kitchens. But exotic foods demand exotic ingredients, and that's where The Gourmet Company comes in. Established in 2009, this online store is your answer to many gourmet product questions, as they stock the finest things from around the world. You'll find hand-made gourmet pasta, exotic and rare teas and coffees, organic honeys and jams, cheeses, healthy cereal bars, muesli and of course CHOCOLATE PEANUT BUTTER!
Actually, a tweet by the Gourmet Company (@gourmetcompany) about chocolate peanut butter and chocolate chai (Yes! There is such a thing, but more about it later) caught my eye. I expressed interest in reviewing them and they were kind enough to send me some samples. The chocolate peanut butter is by Sain's Market, a brand owned by The Gourmet Company and contract manufactured by Mumbai-based by i2cook.
There was everything to look forward to this product, since it was peanut buttery, chocolaty AND organic! The ingredients, including (dark) cocoa solids, raw sugar, and cinnamon among other things, looked different and promised to be exciting.
I am used to peanut butter from brands like American Garden and more recently, Sundrop, and the I'm a big fan of the chunky variety. So the thing I found unappealing at first was the grainy texture of the butter. The peanuts are finely ground; so it's neither like the smooth peanut butter, nor like the chunky one. It is also very viscous when one tries to eat it plain (isn't that how peanut butter is eaten?). The chocolate bit is also a little disappointing. It is so subtle, that one barely registers it.
The chocolate adds a measure of sweetness and colour to the product, but it clashes with the natural flavour of peanuts and the end result is a bland-tasting product. That said, one must remember that this is an organic and healthy product and does not have those criminal amounts of sodium our dear FMCG companies shove into their goods.
The Sain's Market Chocolate Peanut Butter takes a little getting used to, and tastes much better when had on toast. Priced steeply at INR 295 for a 200 g jar (as all health foods must; sigh!), it is a great alternative to those looking for healthy things in their kitchen, but it is not something a chocolate aficionado will delight in.