Peanut Butter

March 30th, 2017 Sections: Economy, Food and Drink, Plants
A thoughtful gift

A thoughtful gift

The other day I was given a jar of Peanut Butter … (Arekivcovoye Maslo).

“I know it’s not your loobeemiy Marmite,” (your favourite Marmite), I was told, “but I thought you might like it all the same.”

Apparently, for many people Peanut Butter seems to be a bit like Marmite … in that “either you love it or you hate it“.

In fact, to be honest, I don’t really fit into either camp … I neither ‘love it‘, nor ‘hate it‘.  I suppose it is a case  of, ‘I can take it or leave it‘.

The taste is fine … you can definitely make out the taste of peanuts (or Ground Nuts as they are sometimes known), but I find that the texture is also a little ‘nutty’, powdery or grainy – and there are other, smoother, spreads that I prefer: Marmite of course, different types of meat or fish paste (or pashtet as it is known here), and jams (djem or vareniya, here) and cream cheeses like Philadelphia, (or plaveniy seer).

My mother , on the other hand, loved it … and I have to admit that she guarded the jar very carefully.  (Not that she had to because, as I said, it was never a great favourite for the rest of us.)

As a result, when I received the jar, my mind immediately jumped back to my dyetstva – my childhood – but on examining the jar a little more closely I got another surprise  … It was a local product … made here in Kyrgyzstan.

Now, I knew that Peanuts were grown here in Kyrgyzstan, and although we are not really a major producer.  According to one set of statistics that I have seen, the fifty odd hectares under cultivation produces over a hundred tons of the crop annually – which is apparently 0.0% of the global production of the crop (!) and places us about 100th in the world league table of producers.  Much more impressive, perhaps, is that the yield per hectare raises the country’s ranking to about 30th.

labelThe label on the jar contained not only the basic nutritional information, but there was also an address for the manufacturer based here in Bishkek, and an email address, hosted on the website www.peanut.com.kg.

This is a single page site, all in Russian, and designed for ease of access whether using a computer, a tablet or a telephone.

It stresses the natural ingredients, ecologically grown without chemicals or additives; rich in proteins , vitamins and fibre; which makes it a healthy food as well as being both filling and satisfying.

They feature three basic varieties … natural, with chocolate and with (added) nuts … I must give them a try.

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Incidentally, the country’s most famous Jazz Group is called Salt Peanuts … but I don’t know if that choice of name is related to the local crop in any way).

 

 

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