Boiled peanuts are one of those delicacies where you either love them, or you don’t. You can find them all over the south. They’re boiled because they are cooked in salted water, and are then kept warm in their juices in an electric casserole or crock pot.
I first encountered them in a gas station between Birmingham and Montgomery, and dipped up a cupful to try in private. I wound up with a mouthful of hull, which I spit out, and peanut, which I liked. But until I got to Georgiana, Alabama, I didn’t know I was doing it wrong.
I spotted the signs first: “boiled green peanuts.” Then I spotted The Peanut Hut. Venturing inside, I was offered a sample of boiled green peanuts – green, because they’ve just come out of the ground, where other boiled peanuts are made from dried peanuts. Green, I was assured, are superior.
I also received instructions. You don’t bite a peanut in the middle, and peel it, as I was doing. You take a peanut, and place it horizontally between your top front and bottom teeth. Give it a gentle bite. The hull ought to break open the long way, in two, revealing the peanuts inside.
Here’s a recipe for boiled peanuts and a little more history. They are an acquired taste. But now you know the right way to eat them.
Did you know that a Planters Nutmobile exists? It’s a vehicle shaped like a nut and riding in it is the Planters mascot, Mr. Peanut. Mr. Peanut toured around the USA in this wacky vehicle throughout 2011 and I didn’t even know about it. And I, of all people, sometimes feel like a nut. The vehicle is eco-friendly and unique. Complete with a recycled glass windshield, interior wood flooring sourced from an 1840 Pennsylvania barn, and solar panels on the roof, Mr. Peanut has been touring around in style, completely off my radar. Watch this video and tell me you too don’t hope to catch the Planters Nutmobile on the road.
Most travelers love Moleskine notebooks – and everyone love Peanuts. Which explains why I’m so excited about a new line of pop culture Moleskine notebooks celebrating 60 years of Peanuts.
The notebooks come in two sizes – small ($14.95) and large ($19.95) and each is full of fantastic Peanuts treats. Inside the covers you’ll find the characters talking, and every page has a funny quote. Best of all, in the rear of the notebook is a set of stickers to help decorate your own personal Peanuts Moleskine notebook.
The new Peanuts Moleskine notebooks will be available at Barnes & Noble retail stores and barnesandnoble.com.
The Canadian Transportation Authority has ruled that Air Canada needs to create a “nut-free” zone on all of its flights, to accommodate those passengers who are severely allergic to nuts. The order came after two passengers complained that the airline had failed to properly accommodate their allergies, which the CTA ruled should be treated as a disability.
According to Toronto’s National Post, the airline has “30 days to come up with a plan to create a ‘buffer zone’” to separate those who have nut allergies from the rest of the passengers, who may receive a snack with nuts in it.
I feel for people who have severe nut allergies, really I do. The constant worry that something you eat may contain nuts, the fear that someone may eat a nut near you and cause you to have a bad reaction, the pain of not being able to enjoy all the delicious nuts out there in the world. I mean, have you ever had a macadamia nut? Those things are pure heaven.
Should passengers be denied the right to eat something delicious because there is a chance that another person on the plane might be allergic to it? It’s tempting to say no, but really, when you think about it, is offering a peanut-based snack so important that it is worth risking someone’s life? Some allergies really are that severe and there are plenty of other snack options out there that don’t involve nuts. I actually have to side with one of the complaining passengers on this one – it just makes more sense to get ride of nut-based snacks altogether.
Columnist Jeremy Clarkson, at The Sun, has come up with a brilliant airline concept: take it easy, and play the odds. He laments the fact that it takes “about six years” to check in and considers the security process to be troublesome. They won’t even let you keep your toothpaste!
Of course, we have all this security in place for a reason. There are many threats to safety … and it’s not just terrorism. We’ve had smokers on Saudi flights, and drunk passengers remain a perpetual problem. Yet, what are the odds of being killed by international terrorism? Clarkson puts it at about the same as drowning in a bathtub. Since the 1960s, he continues, eating peanuts and being struck by lightning have proved more lethal. Worldwide, there are approximately 70,000 flights every day, with only 50 or so hijacked in the past 40 years.
With no security, this number is likely to increase. Even if thousands of planes are hijacked a day, he observes, more than 60,000 will land as usual.
This leaves the unfortunate question, though. Mr. Clarkson: are you willing to take those odds? One in seven?