A Taste of Summer

June 2011
Written By: 
Sara Sobota

They may not be pretty, but boiled peanuts remain a trusted Southern staple



Summertime in the South means boiled peanuts.

Whether they’re cooked at home in a big pot and shared with the neighbors, scooped out of a Crock-pot at a convenience store, or purchased at a roadside stand on a country highway, the visually unappealing snack nonetheless delivers a flavor—and a mood—that’s hard to resist.

Aficionados disagree about the perfect formula for a batch of boiled peanuts, but all are confident that they can simply call up Grandma for advice on their favorite recipe. The best candidates for a boil are “green” or “raw” peanuts, rather than fully mature nuts, and they’re boiled in brine for a period of anywhere from four to seven hours. In the end, the shell should be soft enough to split easily with one’s hands (or teeth), while the peanut must possess the right texture, a fine balance between crunchy and soft.

May 1 marked the five-year anniversary of the boiled peanut’s noble status as the official snack food of South Carolina, so residents and visitors alike may munch their treats with pride. Yet even the most ardent fans of the snack are likely unaware of its distinctive health benefits: boiled peanuts pack four times more antioxidants than their dry roasted kin. Tell that to the transplanted Northerner who holds an aesthetic grudge against the homely legume.

A summertime peanut harvest at area farms means the snack is most plentiful in these hot months, and best enjoyed with friends, under a shade tree, and washed down with a glass of sweet tea. However, fans may get their fix at any time of year with Peanut Patch boiled peanuts, grown and canned locally at the 2,000-acre, family owned and operated McCall Farms in Florence County. Peanut Patch peanuts can be found in most area grocery stores and online at www.peanutpatchboiledpeanuts.com.

Whether you boil them yourself, find them at a roadside stand or in your grocery store, boiled peanuts are a tasty bite of pure Southern culture.