You may have caught on to the fact that I love the south and especially a certain peninsula. Part of that love is an appreciation of foods I think of as inherently southern. Blogging (you) have taught me that some things I thought of as "southern" ... like putting peanuts in your Coke, are actually more "rural" than southern.
I think it's safe to say that boiled peanuts are a southern thang. I know we are all blending into a happy "one world" boring sameness, but for we holdouts, the boiled peanut is as much a symbol of the south as magnolias, dark water, and armadillos. Not only that, but good boiled peanuts were always something you either made yourself or bought from the roadside guys with their propane burners and huge pots of hot, salty peanuts.
Oh, there were canned boiled peanuts in the stores, but they were a sad substitute for the real thing.
That changed for me this week and I'm not sure I like it.
Mrs. FC brought home a big bag of boiled peanuts from the Publix grocery store a few days ago.
The label said, SC Johnson ... the floorwax company is making boiled peanuts??
"Try these," she said, " You won't believe how good they are."
She was right, I didn't.
I tried one.
I tried another, then I tried about 30 just to be sure.
Later, I went back and tried a few more ... trust, but verify.
Okay, they're great. They're uniformly big, full fleshed, and perfectly moistly salty.
Aha! I bet they are full of preservatives!
Peanuts, Salt, Water ... same as my home made ones and darn it, just as good.
It was still bothersome to think of a giant corporation taking over such a good southern traditional food.
Not that boiled peanut making is rocket science or anything. Can you boil water? Can you add alot of salt to it? Can you dump in fresh "green" peanuts and let them boil and soak for a few hours?
The fine print on the bag says they're a product of Hardy Farms in Hawkinsville, Georgia.
I was afraid they were being made in NEW YORK CITY.
(Coincidently, there's a shipwreck in the Suwannee near here called, "The City Of Hawkinsville")
I have a lot of happy memories associated with boiled peanuts, but my favorite is of Emma when she was about 4 or 5. We were somewhere and a friend offered her a boiled peanut. She worked and worked, and finally asked me, " Daddy, will you unzipper it for me?"