The South is full of goobers

I like peanuts, especially the honey roasted ones the airlines (still) offer passengers. I like peanut butter more than I do whole peanuts. I eat peanut butter almost every day – on a banana, sandwich, crackers, apple, celery, or even with a spoon. However, it wouldn’t bother me if I never ate another whole peanut again. Actually, I’d miss them in a Snickers candy bar. Southerners love peanuts. I’m proud to say that my city is home to the renowned Cromer’s P-nuts Inc., where you can buy fresh roasted peanuts that are “guaranteed worst in town.”

The food culture in the South can be peculiar to us Northerners, but nothing is quite as bewildering as the Southern penchant for hot boiled peanuts. I couldn’t HotBoiledPeanutsbelieve my eyes the first time I saw someone eating hot boiled peanuts. They’re in the shells. They’re wet and slimy, like slugs or raw oysters. They’re eaten much like raw oysters, too. You pop the shell open, slurp the juice down and then roll the nuts onto your tongue. That’s what I’ve witnessed. I refuse to eat them.

The worst part about hot boiled peanuts is that consumers simply toss the empty shells on the ground. I don’t know why that’s acceptable, but it is.shells I realize they’re biodegradable, but look under the bleachers of any outdoor sporting venue and you’ll see piles of discarded shells still not composted between events.

They’re sold everywhere down here: retail shops, roadside stands, off the backs of trucks, and at ouSigntdoor events. I’m surprised the Boy Scouts don’t sell them door to door. The S.C. General Assembly designated hot boiled peanuts as the state snack in 2006. That was signed into law by former Gov. Mark Sanford, arguably South Carolina’s biggest goober.


“The Peanut Man,”
George Washington Carver

George Washington Carver, probably the foremost expert on the peanut, cooked peanuts in dozens of recipes. I wonder if he ever imagined the lowly peanut would become a regional obsession. Me? I’m sticking with peanut butter.


7 thoughts on “The South is full of goobers

  1. I’m with you; I have never tried a boiled (or “balled” as it is likely to be pronounced here) peanut and I don’t intend to!

  2. I enjoyed your article it was thorough and humorous. I am though a lover of boiled pranuts — even the spicy ones.

  3. I grew up eating boiled peanuts. My grandparents lived on a peanut farm. When we went to visit, we were greeted with a huge pot of boiled peanuts. We would eat them until we were sick! Your story makes me hungry for some good ole boiled peanut!

  4. Remember when Dad went out of his way to get a huge bag on the way to the beach? I tried to tell him what they were but he didn’t seem to get it. NO BODY ate them. Especially not him. What did we do with the awful things? Feed them to the gulls, trash ’em? Probably would’ve gotten in the birds’ craws and done them in! Guess who.

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