What Makes a Great Creamy Peanut Butter?

Dipping apple slices into a creamy peanut butter makes for a fun easy snack! A high quality reduced fat creamy peanut butter should lead with a roasted peanut intensity in both the aroma and flavor. There may also be oil, peanut skin and earthy notes present, but they should not exceed the intensity of the roasted peanut. The texture should be smooth, with little or no grittiness. There may be some graininess from the peanuts. There should also be some richness and adhesiveness – which will lead to a fairly long dissolve. There should not be any astringency. The taste profile should lead with saltiness, followed by sweetness and a little bitterness. The sweet intensity should not exceed the salt intensity. When the peanut butter is consumed in application with jelly and bread, the peanut butter intensity and smoothness should remain.

Tasting terms

  • aroma

    The smell that emanates from food. Along with appearance, texture, flavor and taste, aroma is one of the five dimensions used to evaluate a product. Example: Brownies should have an aroma that includes chocolate as well as egg, toasty and sweet notes.

  • flavor

    A combination of a food's basic taste and its accompanying aroma, flavor is the distinctive taste of a food or ingredient while it is in the mouth. Along with aroma, appearance, texture and taste, flavor is one of the five dimensions considered by ChefsBest Master Tasters. Example: Chocolate chip cookies should have a moderate chocolate flavor accompanied by a slightly lower level of complex dough flavor that includes egg, flour, vanilla and brown sugar notes.

  • texture

    A dimension used to organize attributes like mouthfeel, graininess and initial bite, it is one of the five dimensions used by ChefsBest Master Tasters to evaluate food. Example: Glazed popcorn will have a crunch texture. The texture of milk chocolate should be creamy and smooth.

  • richness

    Associated with creamy and dense mouthfeel; often evident in products containing significant amounts of butter or cream. Example: Alfredo sauce, coffee and super premium ice cream can be described as rich.

  • adhesiveness

    The degree to which some foods stick to the tongue, teeth or upper palate; not to be confused with "cohesiveness," which is the degree to which food sticks together. Example: Peanut butter sticking to the roof of the mouth; white bread sticking to the teeth.

  • astringency

    The tendency of some foods to cause the mouth to pucker; often associated with the presence of tannins or acidity. Example: Red wine, tea, grapefruit juice and pickles can be astringent.

  • taste profile

    The expected levels of each basic taste in any given food; defines the overall taste balance. Example: The taste profile of baking chocolate is led by bitterness that is balanced by a low amount of sweetness.

  • sweet intensity

    Measures the perceived natural or artificial sweetness in a particular food. Example: Apple cinnamon cereal will have a high sweet intensity.

  • salt intensity

    A measurement of the perceived saltiness in a particular food. Example: A regular tortilla chip will have a higher salt intensity than an unsalted tortilla chip.