J is a big fan of bananas, so I recently picked him up a jar of Yumbutter‘s Ethical Elvis. One of several nut spreads from a small Madison start-up, the ingredient list for this particular variety is just what you might imagine: “USA-grown dry-roasted peanuts, bacon (from pigs raised locally on pasture), Fair Trade organic bananas, sea salt, love.” Or as the promotional copy on the Yumbutter website reads,
The King lives! We’ve prepared his divine treat with an ethical twist. Our bacon is from happy pastured pigs raised by a local farmer, our bananas are pure organic Fair Trade bananas. Yeah, we’re all shook up!
Try Ethical Elvis peanut butter on … well, everything. Get fancy with an Ethical Elvis BLT – fresh, organic tomato, some lettuce or spring greens, and crumbled feta cheese sandwiched between Ethical Elvis and some sourdough toast.
J and I had a hard time detecting the banana in the Ethical Elvis, but the savory taste of high-quality bacon shines through beautifully. So, if you want the full Elvis experience, I recommend topping your Yumbutter spread with some sliced banana to add those beloved sweet tropical notes.
A recent article in Isthmus by Linda Falkenstein tells the backstory of the Yumbutter brand and Om Boys, the company created when Adrian Reif and Matt D’Amour banded together. As Falkenstein writes,
Along with the five kinds of Yumbutters, they also make four varieties of Food Your Body Likes sprouted cereals based on buckwheat groats and coupled with such ingredients as quinoa, amaranth, aronia berries, blueberries, pumpkin seeds, local raw honey and maple syrup. In late summer, they use local apples; in fall, butternut squash from Highland, Wis.; in winter, Wisconsin cranberries….
D’Amour started Food Your Body Likes in 2010, working out of the Innovation Kitchen in Mineral Point. Reif started selling Yumbutter in 2010, at first using the kitchen at Middleton’s Bloom Bake Shop on the days it was closed and vending at farmers’ markets. The two met, discovered a kindred ideology, and decided to join forces, adopting the Om Boys moniker (rhymes with “home boys”). They moved into space at the Main Street Industries incubator in June 2011.
For more, check out Falkenstein’s full piece. As she notes, their products come with “a side of idealism.” For example, Om Boys’ commitment not only to feed customers healthful food but to be a force for positive change in the world can be seen in their “Buy One | Feed One” program. As their website describes, “We work directly with some amazing, reputable non-profit organizations in the developing world working to stem and over time end malnutrition in young children. Currently, we directly purchase and distribute a RUTF (ready-to-use therapeutic food) made by our non-profit friends to children diagnosed with and suffering from malnutrition.”
You can find Yumbutters around Madison — I picked up ours at Bloom and recently spotted the pictured display at Whole Foods — or order online at their website. (I’m eager to try the Asian Jazz peanut butter.) Bon appétit!