I have lived in the peanut regions of the United States for about 15 years of my adult life. And for the record, I am including my two visits to the Jimmy Carter presidential library in Atlanta.
But it wasn’t until a recent drive through southern Alabama did I decide, on a complete whim, to stop by a roadside stand and try boiled peanuts -- just peanuts boiled in water and salt.
Awesome stuff! How can one not like a huge bag of salt and fat for $5?
The peanut-stand lady said I should just throw the shells into your mouth and toss the shells out the window. Everyone else does, she said.
In retrospect, I don’t know what took so long to try boiled peanuts. In the South,
peanut stands are as common as Baptist churches. Or Chick-fil-As. I am usually the type of a traveler who is unafraid of local foods. But for whatever reason, I just ignored the peanut stands for years.
Again, ignoring peanut stands for years makes no sense especially considering peanut butter has been one of my favorite food groups since childhood.