Do y’all remember that Living Social* deal that scored buyers half off at Whole Foods? What’s that? You’ve unsubscribed from all daily deals sites because they are annoying/promote offers for businesses you NEVER visit/jam your inbox? Uh, well, I still follow a few sites, and I got that Whole Foods deal, and I’m going to tell you a moderately long-winded story about how that deal spawned my dislike of Justin’s Chocolate Hazelnut Butter.
Like I said, I bought that Whole Foods deal, even though $20 at WF is good for precisely two rolls of free-range toilet paper. What can I say? I’m a sucker for deals, and Whole Foods. My initial plan was this: I’d use my $20 to buy practical basics — rice, quinoa, perhaps a tub of crumbled goat cheese — and would subsequently feel virtuous about stretching my grocery dollars.
That’s not what happened, clearly.
No, instead, I entered the store with the mentality of, “HELL YEAH! I have FREE MONEY to spend!” and I loaded up on basics and a bunch of frivolous crap I’d never have bought had I not had that coupon.
One of my more unnecessary purchases was a single-serving packet of Justin’s Chocolate Hazelnut Butter. I bought this with the knowledge that I had both peanut butter and Nutella at home. BUT, ladybloggerz everywhere tout these single-serve nutbutter packs, raving about how convenient they are and how they make excellent afternoon snacks, &c, and in my moment of weakness, I caved.
For a long time, I didn’t know what to do with the Butter. The foil packet sat on my desk, in a bin with other To-Be-Dealt-With items: a picture frame that needs fixing, an empty butter dish, a tiny plastic Brontosaurus given to me by my sister. I continued eating peanut butter and Nutella as I always had, aware that the expensive Butter languished in my room, waiting.
Yesterday, I brought the Butterpak to work. Somewhere between my apartment and my office, the package sprung a minor leak, and I was unpleasantly surprised by dribbles of chocolately goo inside my bike bag. This isn’t the company’s fault, by any means, but perhaps the fault of the packaging manufacturing facility? This leak didn’t stop me from sampling the product; after all, I’d come this far: I needed to know whether this stuff lived up to the hype.
Long story short, it does not live up to the hype. I ate the Butter on a Vital Vittles roll (which, YUM), and I think I’d rather have eaten the semi-stale bread without any condiments. The Butter wasn’t gross, per se, but neither was it anything special.What were my qualms? Let me explicate.
First, the texture was wack. Whereas Nutella is rich and thick — dense enough to hold a butterknife upright — this Butter was runny. Oozy, even. Kind of mucouslike. I do not like to be reminded of mucous as I am eating lunch.
Second, the taste was so-so. One reason I enjoy Nutella so much is that it’s deeply chocolately without being over-the-top sweet. Justin’s Butter was heavy on the hazelnuts, light on the chocolate; indeed, the hazelnuts were almost all I could taste. This in itself isn’t a bad thing — I like hazelnuts! — but I was expecting chocolate hazelnut butter, not hazelnut butter tinted the color of dark chocolate.
I’m all for trying new products, and I’ll continue to explore the realm of Bobo Nutbutters (especially if coupons are involved). But for the time being, I’ll keep my choco-hazelnut loyalties with Nutella.
*Was it Living Social, or was it a deal sponsored by any of the other 851 Daily Deal Sites I subscribe to? UNCERTAINTY. Note: after a quick google image search, I determined that the deal was, in fact, Living Social.