OT: A nutty southern tradition


The sort of canned boiled peanuts you would find in fedoralady's pantry.

Eating boiled goober peas--a slang term for peanuts--is popular in the South. (Image courtesy of southernplate.com)

Luverne, Alabama, longtime home of the World’s Largest Peanut Boil and now a Boiled Peanut Festival.

A charming painting by Ann Caudle from anncaudle@blogspot.com.

I could not resist adding a distinctive southern flavor to my first Sloth Fiction entry. Guy has managed to eat his way through the supply of snack food (he has one hollow–and extremely shapely–leg and the ever-obliging Harry proceeds to visit the pantry and take a peek at what we have on hand. He comes across a can of boiled peanuts. Well, all the chaRActers are scratching their heads over the concept–I don’t think poor Guy even knows what a peanut IS–but Harry opens the tin, follows the direction on the label, and soon the lads are partaking of this culinary favorite of the South.

When he was still in the Air Force, my husband always used to stock up on certain canned goods unavailable in the midwest when we made visits back to Alabama. Castleberry’s Brunswick Stew, Barbecued Pork–and boiled peanuts, cooked in the shell to a soft, salty goodness.

Of course, as with so many other foods, the fresh peanuts are better than the canned variety. The Wiregrass Region of Alabama produces a lot of peanuts–so many, in fact, we have what is likely the world’s largest festival devoted to peanuts in Dothan.

In Luverne, which is only 12 or 14 miles from my home, the World’s Largest Peanut Boil has morphed into their very own Boiled Peanut Festival, complete with live music, arts and crafts, kid’s activities and festival food. And lots and lots and LOTS of peanuts. The Shriners, which is a fraternal order with ties to the Masonic Lodge, holds the annual boil and the funds they raise go to a wonderful cause–their hospitals for crippled and burned children. Our niece, who was badly burned in a grease fire, was the recipient of their services, provided free of charge to these families.

Once cooked in large black cauldrons, the raw “green” peanuts of Luverne’s annual event, held each September, are now cooked in large tanks with salt added for flavor. My dad used to drive over each year and buy a few bags. He adored them, as did our middle sister, who was typically a picky eater in her youth. But how she loved boiled peanuts!

Many people from other parts of the country frankly find the boiled peanut revolting and nasty. while I like them fine, I have to confess I prefer my peanuts parched. Hubby, however, still loves to get a bag of fresh boiled peanuts every so often. Sometimes he buys extra (they fresh well). And just in case he misses a local peanut boil, he keeps a can or two in the pantry.

That is, he does if Sir Guy doesn’t beat him to the punch. He’s always starving . . .

About fedoralady

I'm an LA native--Lower Alabama, that is. My husband of more than 30 years and I live here on a portion of my family's former farm with two gorgeous calicos and a handsome GSD mix. My background is art education, and over the years I've been a teacher, department store photographer, sales associate and a journalist. My husband, his business partner and I have Pecan Ridge Productions, a video production company, for which I shoot & edit video and stills and manage marketing. I also still write part-time for the local paper. I love movies, music, art, photography and books, and my tastes in all of them are eclectic.

10 responses »

  1. Boiled peanuts…yummy…haven’t had any for yonks!

    The Kingaroy district in Queensland is where peanuts are mainly grown in Australia. About the only people who seem to understand the lure of eating boiled peanuts are those people who’ve visited Kingaroy (or were born near there as I was). And I think it’s about the only place in Australia where you ever see them!

    • Oh, wow, so at least one part of Australia knows about boiled peanuts! We used to get strange looks when we lived in the midwest and mentioned boiled peanuts. Just not something they are familiar with.

  2. Angie, I just received an email from Amazon.co.uk – they have series 3 boxed set of “Miss Marple” for 14 pounds 99 = about $20. There’s 4 episodes in the set and “Ordeal by Innocence” is one of them. I bought the set just before Christmas at our local Post Office for $24.95.

    This note is just in case anyone doesn’t already have it. I think you should be able to get it by using the link provided on richardarmitagenet.com today

  3. I have to admit that I’ve always loved peanuts. But when I moved to Southern Virginia and discovered the roasted Virginia peanut, I was hooked for life. When I go back home to Pittsburgh, I have to take bags full to all of the relatives. I eat a handful everyday, and you might thinks I’m nuts, but they keep me regular!! They are bigger and tastier that your average Planters peanut! I have to say I haven’t tried the boiled ones. They sell them at the little hole in the wall country store and gas station where I buy my peanut fix, but I haven’t had the guts to try them! Anyway, we have a Peanut Festival every Fall here in Emporia, VA. Home to the Sadler Racing boys. (If you know Nationwide or Sprint cup racing.) Elliot just won the Nationwide on Saturday. I don’t really watch too often but his wife used to teach with me:)

    • The roasted Virginia peanuts sound delicious. You should try the boiled peanuts just to say you have given them a go. šŸ˜‰ I’ve heard of the Sadlers, even though I don’t follow racing (we have some folks here who are great enthusiasts).

  4. Interesting. I see them from time to time in gas stations when I’m traveling — usually in crockpots. Have never been tempted, I admit.

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