Yesterday I was given a bag of raw (green) peanuts.
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.