Thursday, November 17, 2011

Boiled Peanuts

Yesterday I was given a bag of raw (green) peanuts.
Boiled peanuts are a tradition here in the South and I had never eaten them before I moved here. There are roadside stands and old men with little carts around who sell paper "sacks" of them though not as much as there used to be. They are sold here at the marina on the 4th of July along with sausage dogs. We always get a couple of bags. The bigger groceries stores sell the raw peanuts in bags but they are much better fresh like the ones I got yesterday.
No one knows when or why Southerners started boiling peanuts but it may go back as far as the Civil War when General William T. Sherman led his troops on their march through Georgia and the peanut was an important nutritional source for them. Soldiers roasted the nuts over the fire or boiled them.
Peanuts were originally thought to come from Africa but they actually originated in Brazil and Peru.

Boiled peanuts are easy to make. I put ours in the crock pot and just leave them for the day because they take about 4 hours when boiled in a regular pot anyway so the crock pot is just simpler.

Sort through your peanuts and take out any sticks, trash, broken nuts, shells etc. then wash them well. Put them in the crock pot and add enough water to cover (keep track of how much water you put in). Then add 1 cup of salt for each gallon of water you use. For this crock pot I only needed a half a cup of salt. I also added a good bit of cajun spice since Phil likes the spicier boiled peanuts.

By the time we get home tonight the peanuts will be ready to eat. You peel off the shell and the inside nut is soft like a legume.

They are usually eaten outside where the shells can just be thrown on the ground.

*On May 6, 2008 Governor Mark Sanford officially made the boiled peanut South Carolina's official state snack food.


  1. I know they're popular here in Ky but I sure don't like 'em!

  2. I think when you first eat them you don't expect the peanuts to be so soft but as you eat more of them you get used to it.

  3. I have never ever eaten boiled peanuts. They sound wonderful. The next time we go down south, I'm going to have to give them a try!

    I guess that I could grow some too!

  4. Boiled peanuts. Wow! That's something I'd like to try.

  5. Just wanted to mention that we are home now and the peanuts are still not done. They will be in the crock pot on "keep warm" overnight and we'll see if they are done in the morning.

  6. I find it really funny that South Carolina has an official state snack food! I think if Melbourne has one it would have to be the meat pie - boiled peanuts seem far nicer! Although I have never eaten one but now I desperately want to try them.

  7. Lol, it does seem funny. At least it was a fairly healthy snack food although with the amount of salt in it, I am sure it wouldn't be good for you to eat all the time.

  8. Sorry, but I prefer peanuts fried with salt, pepper, garlic and chilli powder!

  9. Fried? You HAVE to do a blog post about that!