What Makes Haitian Peanut Butter So Special

While nut butter aisles in American groceries are packed with crunchy and sweet peanut butter varieties and alternative butters made from nuts and seeds, there's one version missing: mamba. Mamba hails from Haiti, and if you're obsessed with all things peanut butter, you need to give this one a try.

Haitians eat peanuts more often than any other food outside of their main midday meals – peanuts are not only an artisanal industry but an established market that keeps locals growing, roasting, and selling peanut products in markets, on roadsides, and out of their homes (via Schwartz Research Group). The unique taste of mamba has become so closely associated with the country that mamba-missing Hatians make their own batches to share with friends around the world; as reported in the Montreal Gazette, one Montreal man hunted to find the necessary ingredients so that he and his fellow Canadians could add the spicy spread to peanut butter-enhanced recipes.

What exactly makes the elusive mamba different from the other peanut butters found easily in stores?

A spicy Haitian recipe

Traditional mamba-making begins by roasting peanuts in a large pot over an open fire. Next comes the shelling, which Atlas Obscura explains, requires a practiced technique: a series of repetitive movements that removes peanuts from their shells by tossing and catching them in a tray.

When it's time for the nuts to be ground, spices and peppers are added to the mixture — dried cayenne might be sprinkled into a batch meant for storage, while fresh peppers can be folded into servings that will be eaten immediately (via 196 Flavors). Scotch bonnet chiles or habanero peppers are most frequently used to add heat to Haitian peanut butter, and an assortment of spices can be first fried in coconut oil to help bring out richness in the mamba flavor (per SBS). Once prepared, Haitian peanut butter is eaten alongside bread or crackers, according to Food52. We're drooling already.

Can't find mamba where you live? Try whipping up your own batch of this spicy peanut sauce to enjoy with your next snack.