We think every merchant we work with for Provisions is special -- but when we find one with a great story, we'll be featuring them here. Because we want to tell the world about our favorite makers.
Today: We're going nuts -- over almond butter from Big Spoon Roasters.
It's hard to imagine a world without nut butter: We put it in sandwiches and spread it on toast; it’s the ideal pick-me-up in the afternoon; and yes, we still make ants on a log. It’s good and good for you.
But we don't stop with toast. We bake with it (almond butter makes an excellent cookie); we put it in pavlovas; we make it at home, without a recipe. We’re really in deep.
But not all nut butters are created equal. Since it’s such a simple equation -- nuts + salt + sweeteners -- the quality of ingredients really matters. Which is why, for every batch we don't make ourselves, we turn to Big Spoon Roasters.
Big Spoon Roasters, run out of Durham, North Carolina, makes handcrafted nut butter from scratch in small batches with ingredients sourced from local farmers -- that means no palm oil or soybean oil or words we can't pronounce.
Founder Mark Overbay was working in the Peace Corps in Zimbabwe when he first tasted freshly made, just-ground nut butter. He never looked back: When he couldn’t find it back in the States, he made his own.
We got hooked and stocked their peanut, almond, and peanut cocoa butters in our Provisions shop (yes, peanut cocoa; take that, Nutella).
But like any good relationship, once it started getting really serious with nut butter, we asked ourselves: Where is this going? Can we spice this up a little bit? Turns out, we could -- enter Big Spoon Roasters' latest flavors: almond ginger and almond Brazil nut.
The first blends Mission-variety almonds with young Fiji crystalized ginger and a pinch of sea salt. The second mixes rich Brazil nuts with a little bit of raw wildflower honey for sweetness. Brazil nuts are actually seeds (from a tree that grows in the Amazon Basin) and they’re prized for their nutritional value (including lots of vitamin E, minerals, and the anti-inflammatory selenium). Consider that a mandate to eat this butter morning, noon, and night.
As the company name suggests, we recommend eating it straight from the jar -- with a very big spoon.
Tell us, how do you like your nut butter? PB&J? Almond butter smoothie? We want ideas!
Photos by James Ransom
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