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Behind the review, Local Three: Boiled peanuts?

Photo by Becky Stein

Photo by Becky Stein

In my review today of Local Three, I mentioned that chef Chris Hall prepares an excellent rendition of boiled peanuts — cooked just to that creamy-bursty point and deeply flavored with chile, garlic and bay leaf.

I’ve also noticed boiled peanuts show up on the menu at Sprig — the new neighborhood joint in Oak Grove.

Could boiled peanuts be this year’s pimento cheese — the simple Southern snack rethought and gussied up for gourmet-minded menus?

I’m going to have to duck to avoid flying objects after saying this, but I have to admit, as a non-Southerner, I’ve never really enjoyed boiled peanuts until I tried this version. I’ve dutifully picked up bags on road trips just for “when in Rome” ’s sake, but I’m the only one in the family who can even stomach them.

Are there any fellow non-Southerners out there who’ve developed a taste for boiled peanuts? And is anyone noticing them showing up on other menus around town?

65 comments Add your comment

catlady

January 23rd, 2011
1:04 pm

rebeldawg, although that dear man is gone now, there is a fellow who does good ones on that same stretch of road, right outside of Dawsonville on the left when you get to the wide straightaway. Try his!

David Hoffman

January 23rd, 2011
1:13 pm

When I first moved to Warner Robins GA from Chicago IL 23 years ago, I was introduced to room temperature many days old boiled peanuts by my coworkers. They tasted like damp cardboard. I had grown up on dry roasted nuts and surmised that boiled peanuts were for older people who had dental problems. I avoided boiled peanuts for years. One year ago at Smiley’s Flea Market in Macon GA a friend purchased hot freshly made boiled peanuts. What a delicious food they were. Some foods must be made from quality ingredients, prepared by attentive chefs, and eaten as soon as possible after cooking is finished. Boiled peanuts are in that category.

Sweet Patootie

January 23rd, 2011
1:48 pm

Do I love boiled peanuts? Are you kidding me? I am an official “peanut afficianado” !! I grew up in South GA, and we just pulled them out of the ground and boiled them. Do not, I repeat, do not runin any peanut by putting anything on them like this article mentioned. That is the “yankee way” and is downright sacrilegious! Another way of ruining them is eating them hot as some mentioned. They MUST BE COLD. Taken straight from the pot and put in the refrigerator. That gives you the pure unadulterated taste as it should be. And, they are best with sweet tea. I live in TN now and found them a while back at Fred’s (high class dollar store). The label says “Peanut Patch” and they come from McCall’s Farms in Effingham SC. They used to come from Roddenberrys in Cairo, GA, and surprisingly enough they are better now from SC. Only a dollar a can and I stock up on them monthly.

[...] John Kessler wrote an interesting post today Here’s a quick excerpt Are boiled peanuts the new trend on Southern menus? [...]

ASD

January 23rd, 2011
5:04 pm

LOVE THEM! They replace the complimentary bread basket at THE BIG KETCH in buckhead. I love starting out the meal that way!

david c

January 23rd, 2011
7:03 pm

Boiled peanuts are just beans that you shell after you cook them. Nothing wrong with them, just not worth the bother.

Bald Nuts

January 23rd, 2011
10:34 pm

Oh lord, here we go again. The foodie d-bags have gone hijacked a great down home southern snack. Look ya’ll, back off with the bay leaves and garlic. It’s salt and water, maybe some Cajun seasoning or chicken broth if your going in that direction. It would be best if you just backed off entirely because half of ya’ll don’t really like them anyhow. Most of you are just learning how to tolerate sweet tea. Baby steps, baby steps.

Becky

January 24th, 2011
11:28 am

Born and raised in GA. and love boiled peanuts..Love raw peanuts..Love green peanuts..Have a coworker (from Alaska) that tried to tell the correct way to eat them..Hello? I have been eating them for 47 of my 49 years, don’t need any words of wisdom from someone that has no clue of what she’s talking about..lol..

I would try them with garlic, because I like garlic..Not sure about the bay leaf though..

Caren Goode

January 24th, 2011
1:28 pm

In the February 2011 issue of Southern Living, there is a recipe for Hot Spiced Boiled Peanuts:
2 lb. raw peanuts in shell, 1/2 C. Salt, 3/4 c. hot sauce, 1 (3 inch) piece fresh ginger, sliced, 1 tbsp.black peppercorns, 2 tsp. coriander seeds, 2 bay leaves. Bring all ingredients plus 1 gal. water to boil. Cover, reduce heat to medium-low and cook stirring occasionally about 4 hours. You may need to keep adding water. Remove from heat, let stand, covered 1 hour. Enjoy!!!!!

foodfight

January 24th, 2011
4:14 pm

Canned boiled p-nuts should be illgal. I recommended boiled p-nuts to a Boston transplant who had asked about a local stand in Roswell. She tried them but coudnt understand what the appeal was. I had forgotten to tell her to get them out of the shell before she ate them. Duhhh.

Bodine

January 24th, 2011
8:39 pm

Fl. panhandle guy here, been eatin boiled penders all my life.
The way we do em, is bring a pot of green nuts to a boil in salted water. Boil em for bout an hour or so, then let them sit until they have absorbed the proper amount of salt, then drain. When done they should still have a bit of crunch to them, a mushy peanut is ruined.
Road side stand p nuts are the worst, they overcook them by keeping them warm all day, I never buy them there.
I too freeze a mess in quart ziplocks for enjoyment throughout the year.

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Local girl

January 26th, 2011
3:11 pm

Twains in Decatur has recently hired a new chef and the re-vamped menu was introduced this week. I haven’t had anything off of it yet, but I did notice that boiled peanuts are now available. Sitting on the patio with a cold beer and some boiled peanuts sounds like a fine way to spend an afternoon…

Jane Garvey

January 26th, 2011
7:23 pm

David’s Produce on LaVista Rd. about 2 miles inside I-285 has green peanuts in season, and they’re great for boiling, but also does “boil’ peanuts” and dishes them up hot. Talk about addictive!!!

But this ex-Pennsylvanian with a half century plus now in Georgia has a few other boiled peanut discoveries to share:

The boiled peanut hummus at Empire State South, which is worthy of official state dish status, comes from the hand not of a Southerner but someone who’s born so far north they call people like him Canadians! Hugh Acheson definitely plays nice with Southern ingredients. Another Yankee who’s keen on the legume is Michigan native Chef Dave Snyder of Halyards on St. Simons Island. Chef Dave did a positively genius special one day, and I was lucky enough to be there for the pleasure of his “boil’” peanut succotash with grilled scallops. OMG!!! He may kill me for sharing this stunning dish with everyone and causing them to clamor for repeat tastings, but too bad. It was great.

Anson Mills’ founder Glenn Roberts, a real Southerner and South Carolina native, tipped me off to boiled peanuts with tête de cuvée Champagne. Of course, I’ve now tried it with just about every sort of bubble known to God and man, but brut traditional method sparklers work best. And I use David’s Produce boiled peanuts for the purpose.

ATLcracker

January 28th, 2011
10:33 am

I remember going to Atlanta Cracker Baseball games on Ponce de Leon and there were street vendors selling boiled peanuts. It seemed to be a prerequisite for going to the game. I didn’t like them then and don’t like them now. They even look nasty.