This is Highly Recommend, a column dedicated to what people in the food industry are obsessed with eating, drinking, and buying right now. Here Wilder Davies writes about the peanut butter for dogs that he can’t get enough of.

Wag Butter is almost certainly peanut butter for dogs. There are several clues to suggest this: the embossed silhouette of a dog on the lid, the list of nutrients included for the stated purpose of promoting “a healthy coat,” and the phrase “peanut butter for dogs” printed on the label of the jar. I myself am not a dog, and while I’ve cohabitated with several in my life, I currently do not live with one. (I have a cat, but that’s not important right now.) With these facts in mind, logically speaking, there should not be a spoon and an almost empty jar of banana flax Wag Butter next to me. But there is, and pretty soon, that jar will be empty.

I already loved Big Spoon Roasters nut butter before I’d ever heard about their Wag Butter. Their lemon coconut cashew and almond wildflower honey flavors—both seasoned with Jacobsen sea salt—are some of the best nut butters I’ve ever eaten. I assumed their Wag Butter was merely a marketing tactic to sell already dog-safe peanut butter in a more explicitly dog-centered way, like what Dove does by adding “For Men” to their regular soap. But after doing a little label comparison, I learned that Wag Butters lack sweeteners or salt and, depending on the flavor, have added flax or coconut oil, which are beneficial for both dogs and humans. Still, none of these minor differences really barked “for dogs only.” And when their online product listing described Wag Butter as “peanut butter so delicious, you’ll be begging your dog for a taste,” I considered that an invitation.

Big Spoon Roasters Wag Butter Banana Flax$20 at Amazon

Wag Butter comes in three varieties—Coconut Chia, Pumpkin Spice, and Banana Flax—all of which sound like standard topping flavors at your local smoothie bowl joint. Yet, Big Spoon Roasters does not offer any human versions of these flavors in their product line up. If you wanna try ’em, you gotta eat with the dogs.

Banana Flax intrigued me the most, mostly because I wasn’t quite sure in what way the banana would be involved. Would it be in the form of a puree? I mixed in the separated oil and gave it a taste. I recognized the savory, just-roasted flavor I’d come to expect from Big Spoon’s butters, and the lack of salt or sugar didn’t phase me; many natural peanut butters I’ve eaten are pure, unseasoned nut. As for the banana, my guess was way off. What I first assumed to be conventional bits of crunchy peanut were actually dehydrated pieces of banana. Unlike peanuts though, the banana bits had an airy, freeze-dried shatter similar to astronaut ice cream with a subtle sweet whisper of Cavendish.

After a couple of thoughtful spoonfuls, I could see how this textural quality might be really appealing to a dog. It was also really appealing to me. I prefer eating peanut butter straight off the spoon as a snack (much like a dog), but I could see it adding unexpected intrigue to a PB&J, and couldn’t PB&Js stand to be a little more surprising? The lack of added sugar and salt also means it plays well with foods that have enough seasoning to share. A spoonful adds nutty friction to a bowl of ice cream or a parfait, but the best pairing may simply be on top of more banana.

I’d always wondered what pet food tasted like, mostly because my childhood home was located near a [redacted] dog food factory, and when the wind blew in just the right direction, a yeasty, fleshy miasma would descend on our neighborhood like a Biblical curse. But pet food is different now. Wag Butter is part of a number of brands like Smalls or The Farmer’s Dog, which hinge their marketing on whether their food appeals to you, the pet owner. “Human-grade ingredients” are a must, and some go so far as to test their product on people.

That said, the Coconut Chia and Pumpkin Spice Wag Butters were perfectly pleasant and inoffensive, but I’m content to leave them for the dogs. The Banana Flax flavor, however, I will keep on hand, at least until Big Spoon Roasters puts the banana bits in some of their for-human offerings. Don’t knock it ‘til you try it, but if you do try it and find that you hate it, I’m sure there’s a dog nearby who will gladly finish the rest.

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