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June 2, 2004

The Quest: For the Love of Bama

I go on quests. I have since childhood, and the tendency has remained static with age. Same desire, same drive, same insane lengths that I will go to learn about or obtain something that my brain deems essential to my existence. It is perhaps an obsessive compulsive trait swirled with general inquisitiveness, with a dab of “me want now” for extra flavor.

Whatever it is, quests have taken up chunks of my life, both large and small. Some occur and are quickly satisfied (Step 1: I must have this new book, Step 2: Research all book sellers nearby, Step 3: Call to inquire as to whether each has it, Step 4: Visit all stores until I find one that a) reports that they have the book and b) actually have the book, Step 5: Buy the book, read it, done) while others can last weeks or months, resulting in either consistent dead ends (Brown Puma Californias: Quest time: 5 months—finally found by accident in a Foot Locker, now they’re everywhere I turn) or a final Do I really care about this?

Of course, The Quest doesn’t end there. It’s easy to shrug off an obsession and tell yourself that you don’t care, but let’s face it, folks—once obsessed, always obsessed. The Quest is always lurking somewhere, whispering in your ear when you take a peek into eBay, gnawing on a tiny nerve when you play with Google or visit a stoop sale. No, it never truly goes away. Especially when your quest involves peanut butter.

Yes, peanut butter. Bama Butter, to be exact. In 1990, my family spent two weeks in the Outer Banks with my uncle, aunt, and cousins. We frolicked, swam, cooked, and ate. We went to the Food Lion a lot. We consumed a mofo amount of peanut butter. BAMA BUTTER. And it kicked PB&J ass.

Did I mention that packaging determines a great deal of my quests? Let it be said. Bama Butter came in the coolest glass jar with a handle that, when the container was bereft of peanut butter, made it a savable mug. Packaging aside, Bama Butter was the best tasting peanut but I’ve ever had. When family went back to North Carolina four years later, I commissioned that several jars be brought back to me. I left for college that fall with more peanut butter than any freshman should have. I ate it with a spoon right out of the jar.

Now let’s backtrack slightly. I searched for Bama Butter between 1990 and 1995. I looked in as many local supermarkets as I could. I asked friends who were going on vacation. It was nowhere in the northeastern United States. After reuniting with the brand in 1995 (it now came in plastic jars and I was crestfallen), my obsession was rekindled. I asked friends who lived in the South to look when they went home on summer break. After graduation, if some one went on vacation to the South, I begged them to check the stores. When the internet became big, I looked online.

Where in Bama’s name is my peanut butter?

I say this with more melodramatic tears than one blogger could possibly express. I’ve looked everywhere and cannot locate this Bama Butter. And not just the peanut butter, but also the glass jar with the handle that contained the joyous legume paste. It simply does not exist.

Yesterday I conducted yet another Google search. No, I don’t want Bama Jelly. No, I don’t want Bama Apple Butter, and no, I certainly do not want Bama Sea Products. Finally, after several minutes of my life wasted, The Quest hit an unexpected turn—Pig On Wheels, Columbus, Georgia’s Online Shopping and Home Delivery System.

Pig on Wheels (part of Piggly Wiggly, I think) sells Bama Peanut Butter (both the creamy version and the smooth—does anyone know the difference?). Oh god yes, they sell my peanut butter. But not in the jar. They lost points for that. Then they lost all points when I tried to add 5 jars to my basket and the java didn’t work. Then they dropped sub-water table level when I realized that, even if the java script did work, there was no way that they would deliver 5 jars of smooth and 5 jars of creamy Bama Peanut Butter to Park Slope, Brooklyn.

Someone needs to find me a Bama Butter connection. Until then, The Quest continues.

Other Quests:

Oh Boy Notebooks
My most favorite notebooks in the world, gone, wiped from the internet, all local Kate's Paperies, and everwhere else.

Posted by callalillie at June 2, 2004 8:12 AM | Food


sounds like you need to find a reader in the south who is willing to accept the delivery and then send it on up here.

and i spent a good 3 months looking for my red puma californias. before i found them on amazon of all places. why it didn't show up on my first google search i'll never know.

Posted by: dahl at June 2, 2004 8:37 AM

Hmm...where to find a southern (deeeep southern) reader. Maybe I need to take out an ad.

Pumas are so odd. They're everywhere, but it's rare that you find the pair that you actually your size...and color.

Posted by: corie at June 2, 2004 8:46 AM

You have to go to one of those midtown places that plastic-wrap their display shoes and put the cashier on a platform so you're eye-level with the counter. I got my Puma Suedes (red!) at one of those places for $30, which is what they cost when I had them in high school.

Posted by: mp at June 2, 2004 9:30 AM

It's funny, when I was in my quest for the brown Pumas, I looked everywhere-- and first and foremost I went to the epicenter of plastic wrapped shoes-- Fulton Street. But alas, not a one. They arrived in an invasion a few weeks later and I had many a Foot Locker to choose from.

But we're talking about peanut butter here, people. PEANUT BUTTER. Much more important.

Posted by: corie at June 2, 2004 9:34 AM

I once paid $8 for a jar of Skippy when I lived in Japan. Desperate times call for desperate measures.

Posted by: mp at June 2, 2004 10:06 AM

Actually, it wasn't just once.

Posted by: mp at June 2, 2004 10:10 AM

Did you try contacting the manufacturer? A friend of a friend's favorite Bath and Body Works flavor got discontinued, so he wrote them in distress and they sent him several huge industrial sized jugs of body wash that were left over from production. Extreme quests call for extreme measures.

Posted by: Cynthia at June 2, 2004 11:09 AM

I can't seem to find the exact manufacturer. I think the parent company might be Welsch's...I should contact Adam.

Posted by: corie at June 2, 2004 11:17 AM

you know, there are tons of stores in chinatown that sell shoes, puma's too. really, not fake shoes. midtown. psh.

anyway, did you try calling the supermarket in the south? maybe they can charge it to your credit card anyway and send it. you never know. maybe they are really nice and stuff.

Posted by: tien at June 2, 2004 11:23 AM

Well, Ceci who you know through Sean is going to school down in Savannah. You could ask her to check around for it, and depending on how far Colombus is from Savannah you might have a hook-up.

Posted by: Brian at June 2, 2004 11:28 AM

No, its across the state about 200 miles. Literally on opposite borders. But,, also part of piggly wiggly (?), ships anywhere via ups. So here:

Posted by: Brian at June 2, 2004 12:00 PM

Maybe you could join Friendster? Interests: peanut butter, Bama, Bama Butter, creamy, smooth...

Posted by: matt at June 2, 2004 12:04 PM

I just came across your blog today. I'm from Alabama and live in Florida now. I will check around and see if I can find the Bama peanut butter and I'll get in touch with you if I do!

Posted by: sandy at June 2, 2004 7:32 PM

I love Duke's mayo...which is a Southern brand which you can find in the DC area. Not really a quest on the level of BAMA butter. I have a quest for a antiseptic that my family bought as a child called APINOL. It's so amazing...much better than Neospoirin...made from pine oil of all things. I think it's gone away...but it was awesome.

Posted by: Sue at June 3, 2004 10:24 AM

Hello -- My name is Mike Milligan, and I am with Piggly Wiggly. I create the and web sites. They're crude, but affordable, and the site works well for ordering from out of town. If you're having trouble with the site, just call the store we use for that site @ 706-682-1222, ask for Katina, tell her Mr. Mike Milligan referred you to her, and she'll take your order over the phone. I hope this helps satisfy your craving for Bama Peanut Butter... it's good stuff!

Posted by: Mike M. at June 19, 2004 9:02 AM

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