I was never one of those American expats who lugged Peter Pan and Skippy overseas in the dark days of the early aughts before you could buy decent peanut butter in Prague.
It wasn’t until my first pregnancy a few years ago that I developed intense feelings for peanut butter (preferably eaten at 3am with Czech plum jam on dark bread and washed down with an entire liter of milk).
Luckily peanut butter had reached Prague supermarket shelves by then. I tried them all: Lidl’s “Mcennedy American Way” which to me resembled the color of pantyhose and had a faint, inexplicable graininess, Tesco smooth and crunchy varieties, a more palatable texture but way too salty, and the gold standard to which I owe many excess pregnancy kilos: M&S Simply Peanut Butter Smooth.
While none of these European brands really stacked up to my childhood favorite Jif (which tastes like the inside of a peanut butter cup), my PB&J habit stuck.
So when a co-worker told me about a new Czech-made peanut butter I had to try it.
Based out of Olomouc the Šufánek company is helmed by brothers Marek and Matěj who first tasted this “unusual delicacy” on a trip to Vancouver, Canada and quickly become obsessed with it. Upon returning to Europe the duo—like most expats—couldn’t find a satisfying local peanut butter and set about making their own.
Šufánek peanut butter is made from ground natural or roasted nuts. It is gluten-free, sugar-free, and vegan-friendly, terms that in many circumstances are code words for inedible.
I started out with a large jar of the Arašidy jemné (“Peanut Butter fine” as opposed to the “křupavé” or crunchy variety).
Šufánek is never going to stand up in a blind taste of supermarket brands; the texture is too different as it isn’t as processed. But it’s not like those natural peanut butters that you have to stir either. The flavor and texture are fantastic—pure peanuts with no distractions, blended to a thick, spreadable butter.
The peanut butter ranges in price from 109 CZK (330 g) to 249 CZK (1000 g).
The company also makes a line of nut butters that includes raw coconut butter and almond and cashew butters.
I tried the unroasted almond butter (149 CZK/190 g) which had a nice aroma and a bit oilier texture than the PB but with a surge of almond flavor that makes it a nice addition to hummus in place of tahini or salad dressings.
Truth be told the peanut butter blends were the biggest hit in our household. We quickly devoured the chocolate peanut butter (95 CZK) a simple spread of peanuts, high quality cocoa, dried cane juice, and Himalayan salt.
If you are looking for a better peanut butter Šufánek is a respectable choice that is available at a number of shops in Prague (including Sklizeno and Stodola) or for delivery.
While the company did not respond to requests for an interview, if they are reading, I’d like them to know that their peanut butter gets the empty-expat-suitcase seal of approval.
To order visit: www.sufanek.cz