You never know what you’ll find at the Dollar Tree. I’ve scored on Bellina’s Gourmet Red Sweet Pepper Strips from Peru, Sweet & Spicy Juanita Piquante Peppers from South Africa, La Limonera Lime Juice Substitute from Mexico, Galen Sun Dried Tomato Halves from Turkey, and Beach Cliff Sardines from Poland. A month ago I bought a can of okra and corn for a southern born friend, Donna Templin. And this week I bought a can of Peanut Patch Real Southern Style Southern BBQ Boiled Peanuts – “The caviar of the South.”
I’ve dined on Caviar in Beverly Hills at the La Maison du Caviar, but somehow I missed out on La Maison du Peanut.
Of okra, and boiled peanuts, Donna says, “In the South you find them mostly at fairs, and on the road side on the way to college foot ball games. In Florida I could also get them at my Saturday Market, which was perfect for SEC season.”
My friend John Truman introduced me to eating unshelled salted peanuts at a Seattle Sonics game in the King Dome years ago. I figure the roughage is good for you. I feed them to our yard deer as well. They nearly inhale them like a vacuum cleaner sucking up floor debris. So, with that history I thought nothing of popping a boiled peanut into my mouth fresh out of the can.
I opened the can and just looked at them. There was dark brown liquid with peanut shells peeking out at me. I spooned out a few peanuts from the can. I ate a whole one as did Peg. We didn’t like the texture. It was the shell. With regular unshelled peanuts there is a crunch. With boiled peanuts it’s more of a munch. In reality . . . it was like chewing on a wet burlap bag. You couldn’t wait to swallow, or spit them out. Traditionally boiled peanuts are eaten outside so it doesn’t matter if the wet shells are tossed or spit on the ground. It mattered in our kitchen.
Boiled peanuts are a traditional snack food in South Carolina, North Carolina, Georgia, northern Florida, Alabama, and Mississippi. Donna is from Alabama. Donna shared her tastes, “I love boiled peanuts. Especially those cooked with jalapeños in the liquid. I eat them hot, shell, and pop them in my mouth.”
After choking down the shell of my first bite, I tried a couple more without the shells and enjoyed the taste. I hear they make a great hummus. I bet they would be good with the sweet and salty taste . . . a couple drops of Tabasco . . . with a hard pita chip. I’ll have to try that. I think that would be really good.
From what I have read, Southerners say boiled peanuts should always be accompanied by a beer, sweet tea, or a Coke. I asked for input on Facebook. “Best beer to go with boiled peanuts?” Bubba Tom from Jacksonville, Florida says “Funky Buddha.” Those from Georgia claim, “Hoppin’ Frog Barrel Aged DORIS The Destroyer.” I think it’s a personal thing.
I checked out eBay for boiled peanuts and found Hardheadjohn and his Hot Boiled Peanuts. “YOUR BIDDING ON TWO QUARTS OF PEANUTS. (APROXAMATE WEIGHT IS 2.0 POUNDS.) (ALWAYS A LITTLE EXTRA SENT) FRESH FROM OUR NORTH GEORGIA ROADSIDE PEANUT STAND TO YOUR HOME !!!!! – Boiled in open flame pots. Salty Regular !!! OR Spicy cajun !!!
Hardheadjohn is from Lula, Georgia – population 2,938 (2018). Lula is about sixty miles from Atlanta. I’ll have to tell our friend Donna about the two quarts of hot boiled peanuts. She’s a mighty fine southern cook, however, I doubt I would find Funky Buddha around here to accompany the boiled peanuts. But I bet Peaks and Pints in the Proctor District could make some good suggestions.