A few weeks ago at my Pilates class, there was a discussion, in between the stretching and bending, about peanut butter. Everyone seemed to be a peanut butter lover, with some of the group even confessing to being peanut-butter-spoon eaters. During the discussion, one person described her visit to Fix and Fogg, a Wellington based peanut butter manufacturer. It sounded so interesting that I decided it had to be added to my ‘must do’ list.
Fix and Fogg is tucked away down Eva Street, a most unlikely looking street to find artisan food and drink manufacturers, and yet also host to the Wellington Chocolate Factory and Six Barrel Soda, both of which I have mentioned before. It isn’t easy to find, but if you look carefully you can see a sign reading ‘Peanut Butter’ in front of a window just below street level.
The company was formed by husband and wife team, Roman and Andrea Jewell, who have been joined by Tom Brooks to help keep up production. I spoke to both Roman and Tom who were busy at work labeling new jars and checking the latest batch of Super-Crunchy peanut butter. Two more enthusiastic and passionate food producers is hard to imagine. They showed me the grinding and roasting machines and the vibrating exercise platform they have adapted to shake the jars of butter to remove any air pockets. The jars are filled by hand, and labelled with a simple labeling machine (when they first started, they were sticking each label on with glue). The peanuts come from Queensland Australia, and are “extra-dark roasted to bring out the full nutty flavour” as it says on their website. They make two types, a smooth and the aforementioned Super-Crunchy.
Of course, I just had to taste some, and went for some of the Super-Crunchy. The tasting spoon was produced from a specially made roll to store the spoons, proper spoons being preferable to just wooden sticks. Gosh was it good! So full of flavour and crunchiness, a true gold star amongst peanut butter. Naturally, I bought a jar of some that had just been made that day, and was actually still slightly warm to the touch. I had some on toast for breakfast today and in all honesty, don’t anticipate the jar lasting very long!
Production has increased by ten times in just a few months as more people discover it. Pick up the August-September issue of Dish magazine for more pictures and information or check out their website, and if in Wellington, go and have a taste and chat to the owners.