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The idea behind peanut butter has been around for centuries. It’s believed that the ancient civilizations of South America ground peanuts into a paste. Modern peanut butter, meanwhile, traces its roots to the 19th century, when inventors in the United States and Canada developed methods for roasting peanuts and then turning them into peanut butter.
Today, peanut butter is a staple in many parts of the world. In the United States, peanut butter is used in everything from sandwiches to desserts, and it is quite popular as a salty counterpart to sweets. That’s no more evident than in the great American sandwich, peanut butter and jelly.
Peanut butter is ubiquitous enough that you can find it in virtually any store that sells food. I’ve seen it in gas stations, camp stores, and, of course, grocery stores. The reason, in part, is because peanut butter is a practical food: it can be stored at room temperature and lasts a long time, holds up well in the elements, and is high in protein. It’s not a superfood, but — assuming you don’t have a peanut allergy — it can be a useful food.
Dollar stores also sell peanut butter. Dollar General is one such example, which can be especially important if you’re in a remote area where Dollar General is one of the only stores you have.
But is Dollar General peanut butter good? I decided to find out.
Clover Valley Creamy Peanut Butter is a Dollar General exclusive and can be found on the room-temperature food shelves in the store. Clover Valley is a Dollar General house brand; the packaging states it is distributed by the Old East Main Co., a Dollar General company. DG also typically sells name brand peanut butter in addition to this private label option.
This Clover Valley peanut butter comes in a 40-ounce plastic jar and currently costs $4.65. That equals out to about 12 cents an ounce. For comparison, Great Value Creamy Peanut Butter at Walmart costs $3.98 for the same size, coming out to around 10 cents an ounce. On the other hand, name brand peanut butter at Walmart currently runs between 15 and 17 cents an ounce.
The Clover Valley peanut butter contains five ingredients: dry roasted peanuts, sugar, hydrogenated vegetable oil, salt, and molasses. It contains one potential allergen, peanuts.
The nutrition information is consistent with what I’ve seen in other peanut butters. A two-tablespoon serving has 180 calories, 15 grams of fat, 3 grams of saturated fat, 120 milligrams of sodium, 2 grams of fiber, 4 grams of total sugars, 2 grams of added sugar, and 7 grams of protein.
We tried out DG peanut butter in the best way we knew how: pairing it with DG jelly. And we liked it. It’s a creamy, smooth peanut butter that goes on bread easily and tastes the way we would expect it to, peanut-y with a moderate saltiness. Our testers would be hard-pressed to tell the difference between this peanut butter and any other store-bought peanut butter we’ve had.
I’m pleased to say that we found Dollar General’s house brand peanut butter to look and taste just like any other standard peanut butter we’ve had. It has a smooth texture and a predictable peanut butter flavor. The price is a little higher than, say, Walmart’s Great Value, but it is still less than your average name brand. If you’re at DG and need peanut butter, we think this works nicely.
Why molasses in peanut butter? Sugar is bad enough, but molasses?
It’s a common ingredient that adds some sweetness. Jif peanut butter has it. So does Aldi peanut butter.