Adams choices of organic peanut butter: crunchy, creamy, no-stir creamy and unsalted crunchy. (Kevin Clark / The Herald)

Adams choices of organic peanut butter: crunchy, creamy, no-stir creamy and unsalted crunchy. (Kevin Clark / The Herald)

Northwest’s Adams peanut butter celebrates its 100th birthday

Not Skippy, Jif or Peter Pan. Nope, we were an Adams family.

Adams Peanut Butter, that is. Our 92-year-old matriarch still won’t buy anything else.

Adams is celebrating its 100th year this fall.

Rex Adams founded his Tacoma peanut butter company in 1916, bragging that his nut butter was the “freshest thing in town.” In fact, he sold freshly packed hot peanut butter, rushed on special days, to local grocery stores.

In 1965, Cecil and Inga Nielsen bought the company, and it operated under the name Adams Food. The company began to prosper after upgrading its processing machinery. In 1974, production of Adams peanut butter moved to a new plant in the Port of Tacoma area. In 1998, the J.M. Smucker Co. bought the Adams Peanut Butter business from Agrilink Foods.

In the Northwest, Adams has been part of lunch box meals, race day snacks and hiking trip picnics for decades, said food writer Ashley Rodriguez.

Rodriguez, whose Not Without Salt cooking blog and “Date Night In” cookbook have garnered regional and national recognition, says peanut butter is her go-to ingredient for family snacks. She suggests putting a heaping spoonful or two in the blender with ice, coconut milk, dates and a pinch of salt.

For sandwiches, the classic PB&J is not the only way to go. The folks at Adams suggest these open-face peanut butter sammies, complete with names:

The Elvis, with banana; the Picnic, with grape jelly and plain potato chips; the Beard, with bacon and brie; the Trail, with chia seeds and avocado; the Morning, with bacon; the Northwestern, with fresh strawberries and honey; the Grown Up with berries and sea salt; and the Happy Camper, with chocolate sauce and marshmallows.

For our family, there’s nothing like a piece of dark chocolate and a spoonful of peanut butter, or apple slices dipped in peanut butter.

You also can try whisking peanut butter into beef broth for beef stew; add peanut butter to butternut squash and quinoa or couscous with peas; and make peanut sauces with garlic and ginger for pork, chicken and shrimp.

Find more recipes at Here’s one from the Adams website:

Thai peanut burgers

½ cup Adams crunchy peanut butter

1 tablespoon lime juice

½ tablespoon soy sauce

½ tablespoon finely grated fresh ginger

½ tablespoon chopped cilantro

¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper

1 pound lean ground beef or turkey

4 hamburger buns

Whisk together the peanut butter, lime juice, soy sauce, ginger, cilantro and cayenne pepper, in a large bowl until well blended. Add the ground meat and mix well.

Form four patties. Grill, broil or pan fry.

Serve on buns with your favorite Thai hot sauce and other condiments.

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