Argentina!

How Argentine nuts got into your peanut butter.

Over seven trillion peanuts drowned in the 2011 Queensland floods, threatening cold turkey for thousands of Pic’s Peanut Butter addicts like you.
A worldwide hunt for replacements took Pic to Cordoba, a western town at the top of Argentina and the dusty office of Marcelo, a handsome Spanish nut broker and his sultry assistant Paula.

 

A tiny cantina just outside of La Laguna. On the right is Greg Bain, an employee of the Peanut Co of Australia. Greg is Australian. On the left is the lovely Paula, who was sitting next to Pic until he got up to take the photo. That may be Marcelo second from right, but we can’t decide. The thickset chap beside Paula is not her husband. He is Jose, the guy who paid for the lunch.

 

After days of driving across the endless plains in Marcelo’s tiny Citroen, they found Jose, a grizzled peanut grower with a row of silos made from decommissioned WW2 aircraft.  Inside a Lancaster bomber bearing the faded colours of the Columbian air force they hit gold – fifty tonnes of the finest hi-oleic peant kernels ever seen outside Australia.

They struck a deal and the malbec flowed that night in Jose’s hacienda. Marcelo and Paula (an accomplished mandolinist) sang a mournful song about a gaucho whose  horse broke its leg on a discarded bed stead after which Pic regaled them with humorous anecdotes about his customers at the Nelson Market.

The next morning Jose sent word to his neighbours that a kiwi gringo had bought his crop and needed a hand to unload the Lancasters. A hundred farm workers arrive to help load Pic’s nuts onto a waiting truck.  Payment would be in Maria’s tortillas, spread with the best peanut butter in the world. Nearly a hundred people turned up, and in two hours Jose’s nuts were securely loaded.

Lured by the promise of Maria’s tortillas, nearly a hundred labourers descend on Jose’s silo to load peanuts for New Zealand.
Off to the Wharf! Jose’s chum’s 1948 International Harvester, skillfully stacked with nearly fifty tonnes of Jose’s peanuts.

 

  Pic and Greg Bain, International Peanut Agent, march across the windswept forecourt of yet another huge peanut emporium in Argentina. Note the paper hats keeping their hairdos looking good.

Taster’s Notes

The Argentinian Hi Oleic peanut is a cheeky little fellow, produced in enormous quantities and sold throughout the world. The Argentine growing season is a little shorter than in Australia, and the peanuts never reach the level of maturity of their Australian cousins, which results in a slightly sweeter flavour and slightly less aromatic complexity.

Where to Find It

1. The Argentinian nuts were processed and used in all Pic’s peanut butters made from January 20th 2012 until mid April, and the country of origin is noted on the front panel of the label.

2. We now have a Smooth variety of Pic’s Really Good Peanut Butter. It is made with Argentinian nuts and ground twice for a super smooth texture.

Distribution: All outlets.