August 2, 2006
I Wouldn't Eat It: Boiled Peanuts (or maybe I would...)

It's been a while since we've had a good I Wouldn't Eat it post, but I found the perfect candidate at a farmer's market a week or so ago. Boiled peanuts. In a can.

Boiled peanuts are a staple of Southern cuisine. The most classically correct way to eat these goobers is to drop one in a bottle of Royal Crown cola and drink it down along with the cola. Well, I didn't have any RC laying around, but I did have a serving suggestion on the side of the can - "Heat in brine from can".

So first, we know that the peanuts inside this can have been boiled. Second, we know they've been canned. Third, we know they've been sitting in brine. Fourth, they're described as GREEN peanuts. What's not to like? (Shudder.)

The pop top on the can suggests that for many, heating the peanuts is something optional. Once I pop the top, I see some sad looking wet peanuts, with a not altogether pleasant smell. They don't look green, just ordinarily brown. Science must advance and so, into the pot with the brine the contents of the can goes.

By this point, I'm pretty sure this is going to be a bad experience, though not as bad as my Pennywort or Marmite experiences.

The nuts are hot by now, and I drain them. I'm left with damp peanuts in the shell. I take a bowl for the shells and a paper towel over to the table and prepare for an unpleasant experience.

The first nut. I usually eat about half my dry roasted peanuts in the shell with the shell still on. I try that here and the shell doesn't break crisply but wilts between my teeth before issuing the mildest crunch ever. The nut inside tastes like a salty peanut, but softer, more malleable. It's not unpleasant, but there's no way I'm swallowing this shell and nut mess like this. The strings would choke me. I spit it out.

The next nut, I crack open with my teeth (OK, pry open gently more than crack open). The nut inside is salty, soft, and flavorful. I continue. Not so bad. The peanuts themselves are definitely softer and moister than the dry roasted nuts I'm used to. Sometimes the nuts are almost mushy, which is disturbing, but overall, they're pretty tasty, and I don't get that dry nut dust cough that often accompanies a round of peanut eating.

So, basically, peanuts, salt - I guess I Would Eat It. What I'd worried would be a gross mushy mess turned out to be not bad at all. I don't get the same satisfaction of eating the shells that I do from dry roasted peanuts in the shell, but as their own thing, these were pretty good. I'm not sure I'll go out of my way to find these again, but I won't avoid them either. As for the green thing, it turns out that "green" in this context is a term used for freshly picked peanuts, and not for underripe actually green legumes. If I'd known that going in, I might not have been so apprehensive.

Good lord, am I becoming Southernized?

I will try to find a good recipe to make these fresh myself. Canning rarely does any favors for the flavor of food, so I'm sure that if I found this canned version of boiled peanuts acceptable that the fresh version might be quite tasty. If I find and try that recipe, I'll be sure to let you know how it goes.

History of Boiled Peanuts
Wikipedia entry
Lee Brothers Boiled Peanuts Catalog

Posted by Barrett in Maryland at August 2, 2006 7:48 AM Print-friendly version

You really have to buy them fresh from a roadside cauldron that has been boiling for God only knows how long. Readers that like edamame should give this "lowcountry caviar" a chance.

Posted by Forrest O. on August 2, 2006 at 10:45 AM

I agree--freshly boiled is different than canned.

And, Forrest--I never really thought about it, but freshly boiled peanuts -would- be kind of like edamame! Great analogy!

Posted by Barbara on August 2, 2006 at 11:45 AM

Once you try the fresh, you will never want the canned. Fresh is so much better!

Posted by Beverly on August 2, 2006 at 11:54 AM

OK, I'm convinced I need to try fresh. Now, anyone have a spot in Maryland where I can go for fresh boiled peanuts?

Posted by barrett on August 2, 2006 at 12:59 PM

I believe that when the term 'Green' is used, it means not cured, which roasting does. RC Cola unlike the other colas does have a memerable flavor, in which 'salted roasted' are placed, not the boiled ones. If you don't like raw beans or peanuts, you will not like boiled ones.

Posted by Gino on August 2, 2006 at 1:08 PM

Well having been born in Charleston, SC, my first real food was a boiled pnut and I seriously cannot think of anything I long for more than a brown paper bag full of hot boiled pnuts...there is nothing better.
Canned ones are like trying to compare canned asparagus to fresh.
Easy to just need a little Southern patience. Take raw peanuts (we called them green) put them in a heavy pot with water to cover and a more salt than you think you need. Keep them on a slow boil until they are the "doneness" you like them. I prefer them still a bit firm. But you have to keep testing them. Then Drain them. Store them in the fridge. When first cooked I like them hot, but on a hot day- they are perfect cold.
Now who wants to talk about Scuppernong and Muscadine grapes....
ohhh I miss the South after being in LA for 2 years!

Posted by Melissa Lillie on August 2, 2006 at 4:52 PM

I snickered out loud when I read your account of approaching and tentatively eating boiled peanuts like they are an alien lifeform.

I grew up with my father growing peanuts in our backyard garden. Not your typical backyard garden either - Dad was a NASA scientist and never did anything in a typical, small-scale way. He grew *lots* of peanuts. I can remember sitting outside in the summer picking peanuts off the roots. Now let me tell you, green peanuts newly dug are a real treat. Very fresh.

And, in my opinion, the only truly correct way to eat them is on a Saturday while watching SEC football, preferably the Alabama Crimson Tide. Drinking a Coke *with* them. You never put boiled peanuts in your drink. Yik.

I enjoy reading this blog. Please keep it up!


Posted by Anne P. on August 2, 2006 at 6:04 PM

An alternate way to eat boiled peanuts is to enjoy them on a fine Sunday afternoon, sitting in the stands of your local pro football stadium. Although I'd imagine that the stadiums down here in the south would be more likely to have guys shouting "Peanuts! Boiled peanuts here!" than stadiums in other parts of the country.

Most people I try to get to eat boiled peanuts have the same initial reaction as you did, but like you, they discover that they're not so bad after all. Might take a little getting used to, but I think people must believe the peanuts will be slimy, mushy kernels of nastiness, and they're pleasantly surprised.

Posted by Annette on August 3, 2006 at 5:19 PM

My husband brought back a can last year after a trip to Nawlins. I was indeed skeptical, but I actually became addicted to the suckers! I believe he bought the spicy ones. Definitely not "haute cuisine," but what the hey!

Posted by Ovens2Betsy on August 3, 2006 at 10:34 PM

Boiled or not but peanuts and wine make a great combination. uummmmmnnnnn, my mouth is lickering now.

Posted by Jeremy on August 4, 2006 at 6:22 AM

Growing up in Texas I had friends who would dump a little sack of salted peanuts-no shells-into their bottle of coke and eat/drink that. It did nothing for me. I became addicted to Dr. Pepper in Texas. To my sorrow, it is impossible to find in many other states, not to mention Europe. They used to serve it hot at football games in TX. Waco, TX is the home of DR. Pepper.

Posted by Linda on August 4, 2006 at 11:38 AM

In response to Linda's message ... I am British but currently living in Spain, Europe. We have had Dr Pepper in the UK for years and it's readily available here in Spain too. I can't comment on where you can buy it in the States, it's definitely around on this side of the pond. :)

Posted by Alison on August 5, 2006 at 1:42 PM

Where do I start? I'm a Georgia girl who regularly reads your blog. When I saw your post on quinoa, I thought oh there's an ingredient that I can't relate to. Imagine my surprise when the next post was about BOILED P'NUTS. Now you're talking about a serious delicacy.

Your other posters have made many excellent points. The first time I had edamame, I said oh that's just Japanese boiled p'nuts.

I have to disagree that the best p'nuts are from a roadside stand that's been cooking for god knows how long. My dad who was the ultimate expert on boiled peanuts would always ask a roadside vendor how long the peanuts had been boiling.

I did have to smile when I saw the yellow can in your photo. If ya gotta eat them out of the can, that's definitely the brand to get. It brought back childhood memories for me. Note: the only time we ever cracked open a can was during the dead of winter when we were seriously jonesing for some nuts. And we never heated them.

Finally...never, never eat the shells. As we say in South Georgia...that ain't right.

P.S. if you decide to cook some for yourself, my mom discovered that the pressure cooker was ideal for cooking boiled peanuts.

Thanks for bringing a smile to my face!

Posted by Carol on August 5, 2006 at 6:15 PM

I just looove boiled peanuts. Discovered them at the Madras Club ages ago and it has become a regular snack at home. I have never known a bowl of them to last for more than 5 minutes.You can make them with the shells on or without them.
Here is my recipe:
250 gms shelled raw peanuts
2 1/2 cups of water
1/2 tbsp salt.
Put all the ingredients in a pressure cooker and cook for 7 minutes at medium heat after it reaches full pressure.
Serve hot.

Posted by Jyotsna aka deccanheffalump on August 6, 2006 at 8:30 AM

Here's a tip my grandmother gave me as a young child for eating canned boiled peanuts (hey, sometimes it the only option available!). Open the can and drain all the brine out. Pour the peanuts in a pan and cover with fresh water. Add salt till it tastes like ocean saltwater. Bring to a boil.

The amount of time you boil it is up to you. Generally, just a few minutes works wonderfully. It removes any "slickness" that may be there and also heats the peanuts so that they much more like "fresh" boiled peanuts.

It's great for Southern transplants like me when you live in an area where they've never even heard of boiled peanuts (faint...).

Posted by varaonaid on October 22, 2006 at 3:59 PM

I recognized that can right away, I'm from Opelika, Aalabama, but I moved up to Wisconsin about 15 years ago. I can't find Boiled peanuts anywhere so I have been making my own, unfortunately I can't get green peanuts, just raw. They still work ok, but they aren't anywhere near as good as green. I ain't ever seen someone put boiled peanuts in a coke, that's always roasted peanuts. As far as preparation for canned peanuts, open can, drain and rinse nut, eat. And most Yankees look a bit sick when you describe boiled peanuts btu when they actually taste them they tend to like them okay. BTW I always add a pouch of "crab boil" to mine it adds a bit of kick to them.

Posted by Travis La Koduk on November 9, 2006 at 5:25 PM

I recognized that can right away, I'm from Opelika, Aalabama, but I moved up to Wisconsin about 15 years ago. I can't find Boiled peanuts anywhere so I have been making my own, unfortunately I can't get green peanuts, just raw. They still work ok, but they aren't anywhere near as good as green. I ain't ever seen someone put boiled peanuts in a coke, that's always roasted peanuts. As far as preparation for canned peanuts, open can, drain and rinse nut, eat. And most Yankees look a bit sick when you describe boiled peanuts btu when they actually taste them they tend to like them okay. BTW I always add a pouch of "crab boil" to mine it adds a bit of kick to them.

Posted by Travis La Koduk on November 9, 2006 at 5:52 PM

Great post. I'm a little late, but...
I know some people prefer the green, briefly-boiled variety. They'll do in a pinch though I really can't stand the Roddenbery's.
I like my boilers made from raw peanuts (that means they've been dried a bit for long-term storage), not green (freshly dug of the earth, only a seasonal option). If you use raw, you should soak 'em overnight and then boil them for six to eight hours. Salt's a matter of taste. Valencia are perfect, but I also make 'em from raw Spanish peanuts. Enjoy!

Posted by Thomas on August 16, 2007 at 7:37 PM

Man I've eatin boilled peanuts all over the south.I discovered that its a whole lot easier to buy them raw,blanched green already a 5-10 lb. bag.Raw Virginia are superb.Man I'm serious, you can chugg em down without foolin with the shells.I used to be a shell man.But when your hungry for em.Why wait.And you can roast em just as easy.Try it!

Posted by Joe Man on September 28, 2007 at 4:09 PM

I live in New York. My boyfriend is from South Carolina. He introduced me to boiled peanuts. At first I was alarmed because I had never heard of them before. But after the first taste I was hooked. I first tasted them from canned ones his sister sent him from the south. Recently he found a grocer that has green peanuts. We quickly boiled them and had them as a snack. Everyone should try boiled peanuts.

Posted by Lourdes on December 15, 2007 at 6:33 PM

I've been eating boiled peanuts for years. They're easy to find in Georgia but down here in Fort Myers they're rare because all the Snow Birds don't know about them. You only put salted roasted ones in your RC Cola, not boiled. I boil my own now, but can hardly find the green raw nuts so I have to settle for the dried raw ones from the grocery store. They're not as good and take longer to cook. I never drain the brine after cooking because you'd risk the peanuts drying out and wouldn't get that delicious salty "likker" from inside the hull when you eat them. You should pry the shell open carefully to avoid losing the brine and then suck the nuts and brine out together. Mmm - Mmm!

Posted by Gary on December 29, 2007 at 12:42 PM

My grandmother lived in Columbus.I'm in KS.As a child, I remember going to the market to buy the peanuts,then the afternoon waiting, while they cooked.Delicious. Of course, these can't be found in KS.One time when my mom went to visit, my aunt sent back several cans of Rodd's.I was delighted.I asked the special order department of our grocery store if they could order them.They came in, and each can was marked $2.65 cents. I protested & said, "These sell for $.50 a can!"They didn't flinch and marked the cans$.50.I took the whole case home.Not knowing any different, I put some in a covered bowl & microwaved them. Worked just fine.The microwave bowl can be stored and reheated, no pan to wash.

Posted by Tira Kay on April 22, 2008 at 7:08 AM

They are an acquired taste to be sure. I love boiled peanuts and do eat Peanut Patch brand all the time. I have never heard of putting them in a soft drink, either. Thats for salty roasted nuts, I think. I grew up in South Mississippi where we had boiled peanuts all the time. We grew the things in our back yard. To eat them I put the whole peanut in my mouth and shell it with my teeth, a real Southerner can do that.

Posted by Brad on May 26, 2009 at 5:20 PM

I live in South Georgia and have been eating boiled peanuts since birth. I bought a 5 pound bag of fresh green peanuts yesterday. tossed half of them in a pot with a large amount of salt and water. Set the heat to high and boiled, while replenishing with more water every 20 minutes, for about 1.5-2 hours.... Boy, are they great. I can see how folks who aren't from the south would be a bit thrown off at first. Just give em a try! My girlfriend ( i think she was a yankee in a past life ).. she swore she didn't like boiled peanuts, only roasted. She ate some of mine today and she's changed her mind! Rock on Boiled P'nuts! Long live Southern foods!

Posted by Rocky on June 7, 2009 at 2:21 AM

You don't need to go anywhere for fresh peanuts. Just e-mail me and I will tell you. My uncle has been making them for me since I was young and there is really nothing to it. They are WAY better fresh and very pleasant with time.

Posted by Becca on July 22, 2009 at 1:46 PM

Fresh is best, but canned will do if you're up in the far north and can't get fresh. While some people say "NO WAY" I think they taste fine in the summertime right out of the can.

I give Peanut Patch canned peanuts a SEVEN in the South, and a TEN in the North.

Posted by 917786 on July 29, 2009 at 11:56 AM

Put them in a big pot (or crock pot) with enough water to cover them. Put in a cup of salt for every gallon of water used. Boil for about 8 hours. This is coming from a Southerner. Trust me, this isn't something you can screw up. Don't make it more complicated than it is.

Have you tried fried pickles yet?

Posted by Karie on December 20, 2009 at 7:15 PM

I love fried pickles! They are easy to make as well as the boiled peanuts. I put other spices like garlic & onion powder & red pepper flakes in the water with the nuts. Cook them in the crock pot for a couple of days on low.

Posted by Beth on July 29, 2010 at 3:07 PM

you are an idiot....

Posted by tonya on August 9, 2011 at 9:51 PM

The cajun ones in the can are much better. And that rc cola thing, thats disturbing. But yeah canned boiled peanuts arent so bad. I eatem at room temp mostly. And nearly always the cajun ones. All that said, fresh ones are off the chain but ive had some that werent as good as canned in many parts of the south.

Posted by toddxfideaux on October 11, 2012 at 11:19 AM

Hey there! Do you know if they make any plugins to protect against hackers?
I'm kinda paranoid about losing everything I've worked hard
on. Any recommendations?

Posted by free movie downloads on October 15, 2013 at 2:53 PM

My family members always say that I am wasting my time here at net,
however I know I am getting experience everyday by
reading thes fastidious articles or reviews.

Posted by on October 20, 2013 at 1:20 PM

Hi would you mind sharing which blog platform you're working with?
I'm planning to start my own blog soon but
I'm having a difficult time deciding between BlogEngine/Wordpress/B2evolution and Drupal.
The reason I ask is because your layout seems different then most blogs and I'm looking
for something completely unique. P.S Apologies for getting off-topic but I had to ask!

Posted by naples credit card processing on October 21, 2013 at 1:05 PM

I ddo trust aall of the ideas you have offered for your post.

They are very convincing and can certainly work.
Still, tthe posts are too short for newbies. May you please lengthen
them a bit from subsequent time? Thanks for the

Posted by Teresita on December 8, 2013 at 2:04 PM

I think this is among the most important information for me.
And i am glad reading your article. But want to remark on few general things,
The website style is ideal, the articles is really great :
D. Good job, cheers

Posted by buy Instagram Likes Fast on February 23, 2014 at 9:10 PM

These are generally smadt ways to bring in a little extra money when
you've ggot a fundawmental grasp of exactly what they are and how they can
meet your needs. com: Promote your business on Entrepreneur Magazine's own social
network. Keeep your tone professional, but include enough information too generate interest.

Posted by buy facebook likes on March 12, 2014 at 1:46 PM

Unprofessional This kind of goes hand and hand with offensive, if
you make people uncomfortable they will stop following you.
This content links back to your site as a reference increasing your credibility
and improving your SEO importance. However, if your video
is not viewed by a lot of viewers then it is
not of much use.

Posted by free twitter followers on May 9, 2014 at 12:51 AM

I like the helpful info you provide on your articles. I will bookmark your weblog and check again right
here regularly. I am slightly certain I will
be informed many new stuff proper here! Best of luck for the next!

Posted by Karmaloop codes on May 9, 2014 at 1:31 AM

I've been surfing online more than 4 hours today,
yet I never found any interesting article like yours.
It's pretty worth enough for me. Personally, if all website owners and bloggers made good content
as you did, the web will be a lot more useful than ever

Posted by Karmaloop on May 9, 2014 at 2:14 AM

Hey there! Someone in my Myspace group shared this website with us so I came to take a look.

I'm definitely enjoying the information. I'm bookmarking and will be tweeting this
to my followers! Wonderful blog and great design and style.

Posted by PLNDR on May 9, 2014 at 2:39 AM

This is the right blog for anyone who wants to understand this topic.

You understand a whole lot its almost hard to argue with you (not that I really will need to_HaHa).

You certainly put a brand new spin on a subject which has been
written about for years. Great stuff, just wonderful!

Posted by karmaloop promo codes on May 9, 2014 at 6:45 AM

Hello friends, how is all, and what you want to say regarding this
piece of writing, in my view its actually remarkable designed for me.

Posted by PLNDR Codes on May 9, 2014 at 10:29 PM

Hello friends, its enormous article concerning educationand completely
explained, keep it up all the time.

Posted by best karmaloop rep code on May 10, 2014 at 1:31 PM

Hello! I could have sworn I've been to this website before but after
browsing through some of the post I realized it's new to me.
Anyways, I'm definitely happy I found it and I'll be bookmarking and checking back often!

Posted by best Moose Limited coupon code on May 10, 2014 at 3:14 PM

Simple House Plans

Posted by Simple House Plans on July 12, 2014 at 4:30 PM

Great blog here! Also your web site loads up fast!
What web host are you using? Can I get your affiliate link to
your host? I wish my website loaded up as quickly as yours lol

Posted by hidemyass iphone 4 on July 24, 2014 at 8:25 PM

I do believe all of the ideas you have introduced to
your post. They are very convincing and can definitely work.
Nonetheless, the posts are too short for beginners. May just you please lengthen them a little from next time?
Thank you for the post.

Posted by local home addition contractors Texas on August 7, 2014 at 12:21 PM

hello there and thank you for your information _ I have certainly picked up anytfhing new from righht here.
I did however expertise some technijcal issues uing this site, since I experienced to
reload the web siote a lott of times previous to I could get it to load properly.
I had been wondering if your web hosting is OK? Not that I am
complaining, but sluggish loaading instances times will sometimes ffect
your placement in google and could damage your quality score if advertising and markeeting
with Adwords. Well I am adding this RSS to my e-mail and could look
out for much more of your respective interesting content.

Ensure that you update this again soon.

Posted by Overdrive_Strategies on September 6, 2014 at 7:08 AM

I've been surfing online more than three hours today, yet I
never found any interesting article like yours. It is pretty worth enough for me.
In my view, if all webmasters and bloggers made
good content as you did, the web will be much more useful than ever before.

Posted by Overdrive-Strategies on September 6, 2014 at 10:53 AM

I am in fact grateful to the owner of this web page who has shared this wonderful
post at at this time.

Posted by search engine marketing atlanta on September 6, 2014 at 11:23 AM

Pretty! Thiss has been an incredibly wonderful post. Thank you for providing these details.

Posted by Overdrive_Strategies on September 6, 2014 at 11:48 AM

I've read a few just right stuff here. Definitely price bookmarking for revisiting.

I wonder hoow so much effort you place too make this ype of wonderful
informative web site.

Posted by columbus Seo on September 6, 2014 at 12:43 PM

Howdy would you mind stating which blog platform you're using?
I'm looking to start my own blog in the near future but I'm having a difficut time decidinbg between BlogEngine/Wordpress/B2evolution annd Drupal.
Thee reason I ask is because your design seems different then most blogs and I'm looking for somesthing unique.

P.S My apologies for getting off-topic but I had to ask!

Posted by seo company miami on September 6, 2014 at 1:01 PM

Hello, i think that i noticed you visited my web site thus
i came to go back the prefer?.I am attempting to find issues to enhanche my
site!I guess iits ok to use a few of your

Posted by Fort Lauderdale SEO on September 6, 2014 at 1:17 PM

Magnificent website. Lots of helpful info here. I am sending iit to
several friends ans also sharing in delicious. And obviously,
thanks on your sweat!

Posted by seo bakersfield on September 6, 2014 at 1:39 PM

Hello just wannted to give you a quick heads up.
The words in your article seem to be running off the screen in Opera.
I'm not sure iff this is a format isue or something to do with interet browser compatibility but I thought I'd post to let you know.
Thee style and design look great though! Hope youu get
the problem resolved soon. Kudos

Posted by Cleveland SEO on September 6, 2014 at 1:53 PM

This is my first time pay a visit att here and i am really happy to read all at alone place.

Posted by buffalo ny seo on September 6, 2014 at 2:17 PM

When I initiallyy left a comment I appear to have clicked the -Notify me when new comments are
added- checkbox and from now on every time a commentt is added I get four emails with the exact
same comment. Perhaps there is an easy method you can remove me from
that service? Many thanks!

Posted by Overdrive_Strategies on September 6, 2014 at 2:54 PM

I loved ass much as you'll reeive carried out right here.
The sketch is tasteful, your uthored subject matter stylish.
nonetheless, you command get bought an edginess over thaqt you wish
be delivering the following. unwesll unquestionably come further formerly again as exactly tthe same nearly a lot often inside case
you shield this increase.

Posted by Overdrive-Strategies on September 6, 2014 at 9:51 PM

Right here is the perfect blog for anybody who hopes to understand this topic.
You know so much its almost tough to argue with you (not that I actually will need to_HaHa).

You definitely put a new spin on a topic which has been discussed for years.
Excellent stuff, just great!

Posted by on October 12, 2014 at 2:47 AM

May be vital in terms of visitors.

Posted by organique trafic on October 29, 2014 at 6:00 AM

You actually make it seem so easy with your presentation but I
find this topic to be really something which I think I would
never understand. It seems too complex and extremely broad for me.
I'm looking forward for your next post, I'll try to get the hang of it!

Posted by generating traffic on November 23, 2014 at 8:11 PM
Post a comment

Remember personal info?

Please be sure you read and agree with our ADVERTISING POLICY before posting.