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Boiled Peanuts

2002-02-28 15:36:39+00 by Dan Lyke 18 comments

Now I feel like I've been missing out on something really important. First David Chess mentioned boiled peanuts, then Diane mentiones a a place that'll FedEx them to you. But given David's response to peanuts the morning after, maybe I'll just wait 'til I'm in the south again.

[ related topics: Food ]

comments in ascending chronological order (reverse):

#Comment made: 2002-02-28 15:54:33+00 by: Diane Reese [edit history]

Do not make the mistake of assuming that everyone reacts as David did to boiled peanuts. Heck, I'm from NEW JERSEY, and I love boiled peanuts. I was introduced to them in Maryland by my boss in my first job after college in the mid-'70s. He was from Japan, and made his own boiled peanuts. (Is it an Asian specialty, too?)

Then again, I think I was a suthnuh in a former life: among my favorite foods are greens, boiled peanuts, black-eyed peas, okra (in almost any form: pickled, gumbo, fried..), hush puppies, grits, butter beans, pecan pie, iced tea, RC Cola, and most Southern specialties that don't involve meat. I'm gonna order me up some boiled peanuts this week: if you feel like trying them, you're welcome to take a sojourn to the South Bay after they arrive. (A convenient excuse, should you need one! I am also now the proud owner, until mid-March when I give it to Charlie for his birthday, of an Acme Klein Bottle, which is suitably cool and comes with the funniest "agitprop" I've seen in years. I'd say the visitation excuses are just piling up.)

#Comment made: 2002-02-28 16:10:15+00 by: Larry Burton

Uhh, Diane, true Southern specialties always involve meat. Fatback gets dropped into everything. ;-)

#Comment made: 2002-02-28 16:20:42+00 by: Diane Reese

Yeah, I knew that, I figured someone would call me on it. :-) I'll eat the fat, no sweat. I just gravitate to the stuff that doesn't have big chunks of chickens or pigs in it. Or I'll push those aside to get to the greens.

#Comment made: 2002-02-28 17:38:51+00 by: Dan Lyke

Ya know, Larry, I used to think meat was required, but back when my mom was in her heavy Macrobiotic stage I heard a Dunlop good ol' boy talking about being raised right, on "greens and grits", and thought "hell, with a pickle this boy's a health food faddist".

Of course southern collards require fat, and grits traditionally gets a big load of at least butter, if not bacon grease, so maybe I'm just being too restrictive in my definition of greens and grits.

#Comment made: 2002-02-28 18:39:32+00 by: topspin [edit history]

There'll be cider up near Helen on the roadside,
and boiled peanuts in a bag to warm your fingers;
the smoke from the chimney meets its maker in the sky
with a song that winter wrote whose melody lingers.

-- The Indigo Girls "Southland in the Springtime"

I gotta agree with Larry-- good southern cooking involves a dead animal. Lard, bacon grease, fatback, etc.

Give me Lipitor or give me death!

#Comment made: 2002-02-28 20:05:51+00 by: Dan Lyke

I think learning to like okra in non-fried forms softened me up for natto. And a friend who didn't respond to the various prescription cholesterol medications eventually discovered that a little extra niacin did everything right.

So, Diane, I'll take that as an invite, but I'll also ask: Can we just fill up a big stock-pot, heat that puppy up, slap some peanuts in and maybe toss on a few spices?

#Comment made: 2002-02-28 20:24:35+00 by: Jette

Diane: Have you tried putting the peanuts in the RC Cola yet? That's truly Southern.

#Comment made: 2002-02-28 20:28:07+00 by: Larry Burton [edit history]

Okra should either be served fried or in gumbo. As much as I love fried okra the slick, slimey boiled variety that isn't in a gumbo or the pickled variety just does not appeal to me.

As far as cholesterol and Southern eating is concerned, it's the cornbread. You have to have cornbread with any Southern meal to

  1. Sop up the pot likker and,
  2. Bind the cholesterol.

Oh, and as for the spices with the boiled peanuts? One spice, Dan. Cayenne pepper.

#Comment made: 2002-03-04 17:20:31+00 by: other_todd

Boiled peanuts are an acquired taste. Even among Southerners. I lived in the South most of my life and I never could really get into them. The problem is that they don't taste peanutty enough. It's like eating peanut-shaped lima beans. Not that I dislike lima beans, you understand.

That said, if you want to spice up peanuts real good, you get some of the liquid crab boil concentrate that Zatarain's and a couple of other people sell in the south. This is a bottle of thick viscous red oils, improbable Campari red. You add a very small amount to the boiling water. It's used to flavor hard-shell boiled seafood (despite the name, the "seafood" is usually crawfish). A few drops in the peanut water will add a lot of flavor and all the fire you could ever want.

Jette, by the by, is not talking about putting BOILED peanuts into the cola bottle, but a little skinny bag - what used to be called a "nickel bag" - of salted peanuts. I've never really understood this either, but I have actually seen people do it. It's damned hard to get the peanuts out of the bottom of the bottle :)

#Comment made: 2002-03-04 18:24:08+00 by: Jette

Todd is right. You put the *salted* peanuts in the glass Coke bottle, right after you open it. This makes the bottle foam over wonderfully. So you get foamy cola goodness and, er, wet peanuts.

Don't ask me why people do these things. But I agree on the crab boil idea.

#Comment made: 2002-03-05 16:10:29+00 by: petej

Oh my God! Boiling crabs! The horror! Crabs should be steamed with Old Bay.

#Comment made: 2002-03-05 17:23:56+00 by: other_todd

Well, yeah, Pete. I SAID it was a misnomer, didn't I? The liquid people in Louisiana call "crab boil" really should be "crawfish boil." We have crabs in Louisiana, but I'll be the first to admit that the Maryland way is superior. But you wouldn't want some of the seasonings in Old Bay in your crawfish. I think that celery-salt taste would be kinda strange there.

#Comment made: 2002-03-05 19:44:20+00 by: petej

I've never had crawfish, and now that I have gout (shellfish and booze strictly prohibited) I guess I'm not going to find out how they taste in a boil. Bummer.

But I can try boiled peanuts!

These days the Chesapeake has been so overfished that most of our crabs come from Louisiana and Texas anyway.

#Comment made: 2002-03-05 21:39:29+00 by: Diane Reese

Pete, I was thinking that it might be interesting to use Old Bay in a batch of boiled peanuts. I always keep a tin in my pantry for recipe emergencies. Bummer to hear that MD crabs aren't coming from the Chesapeake much anymore...(One more day until the boiled peanuts arrive FedEx from SC: report to follow.)

#Comment made: 2002-03-07 04:50:58+00 by: Diane Reese

FedEx delivered my boiled peanuts today. 5 pound sack. Delivered cold, but easily warmed in the microwave.

Oh. My. God. I am delirious. They are even better than I remember. They're more like beans than what we think of as peanuts: true, they don't have that peanutty taste, but that's a good thing! They're a legume, they might as well taste legumey, huh? My kids don't think there's anything special about them. More for the adults. :-)

What this will do to my new-found weight loss is quite the question. Good thing I have a vacuum sealer so I can partition this huge sack of ambrosia up into smaller portions for freezing and allocating to myself in small batches over time.

#Comment made: 2002-03-07 19:26:45+00 by: alecmarlow

WTH is this bord about?

#Comment made: 2002-03-09 23:53:56+00 by: petej

Like so many other things on Flutterby, it's about sensual pleasures.

#Comment made: 2002-03-10 00:04:12+00 by: Dan Lyke

Petej, I would have to read that wonderful summation immediately after adding a comment to the Gauss Rifle thread.