So, yeah, like pretty much any good redblooded American, I love me my PB. I've kinda evolved with it over the years, though. As a young ginger kiddo, Jif or Skippy or whatever was just fine. Not so much anymore. I mean, not that those brands are horrible, but peanut butter is capable of so, so much more than those.
Like Trader Joe's Valencia Peanut Butter with Roasted Flaxseeds, for example. It's such a simple product, with literally three ingredients - valencia peanuts, flaxseeds, and sea salt. That's all there is, folks. It's so basic it reminds me somewhat of the grind-your-own PB you can do at some health food stores/co-ops. But man, what a combo it is. Each bite is full of roasted flavor from the nuts, and there's some little bits and pieces here and there for a little crunch action. The flaxseeds and sea salt do their job, too, though they can be a little heavy without a good stir beforehand. Texturally, it's a marvel of sorts: it's crispy, and no, not in that "crispy PB in a candy bar" kinda way. Those flaxseeds in there, aside from helping me hit homeruns like Barry Bonds, are all roasted and toasted and cannot help but be all crispied up, in every bite. Yet the main peanut portion is that deliciously stubborn kinda goop that sticks everywhere it can on the roof of your mouth. I cannot think of a single wrong thing to say, and I would use this in anything I'd put peanut butter in.
This isn't Sandy's kinda thing, though. She still likes the aforementioned basic brands enough to not move on from them. That's okay, we all got our hang-ups and guilty pleasures. For me, I have an unnatural affinity for anything resembling a fastfood breakfast sandwich, which I'd be getting much more often if I didn't smash together a PB sandwich almost every morning for the drive in. Anyways, she's giving it a pass. More for me, so I win. Like I said, I can't think of anything I'd change, but I'm not giving it a perfect score. I don't want to make too much of a habit of unilaterally granting something Pantheon-level status, and the one time I did, the product in question was promptly discontinued, so I'm not gonna tempt the powers-that-be in the deep, dark world of TJ's here. Let's just "say" I'll give it a nine, but, well, interpret as you will.
Bottom line: Trader Joe's Valencia Peanut Butter with Roasted Flaxseeds: 9 out of 10 Golden Spoons