Boiled peanuts are a traditional snack in much of the American South, but they are still rarely found outside of the region. They are most commonly prepared during the summer and early fall months since they are best when the unshelled nuts are newly harvested or "green." Boiled peanuts are easy to cook at home, so it's a bit of a curiosity why there are so many roadside stands and gas stations selling them during peak season in states like Alabama, Georgia and South Carolina. Raw peanuts for boiling are easy to find in grocery stores in the South, but outside of the region it can be more of challenge. Natural food groceries, Chinese markets and online sources are possible options. Outside of the United States, boiled peanuts are popular in China and parts of Latin America. Once cooked, leftover boiled peanuts should be refrigerated. They also freeze well. Did we say how good they are? Make plenty, because most people have more than a few once they start shelling and eating boiled peanuts.
5 quarts of water
5 tablespoons of salt
5 pounds of peanuts of raw peanuts in the shell (the fresher, the better)
Stir the salt into the water in a large pot. Wash the unshelled peanuts and let them sit in the brined pot of water overnight. The next day, bring the pot to a boil, then reduce to a simmer and cook about four hours. Adjustments can be made for additional salt and water as the time passes. The nuts and the shells should both be soft when done. Some boiled peanut aficionados believe the nuts should only be served chilled, while others swear that warm boiled peanuts are the only proper way for them to be eaten. We like them both ways.
SouthernAirs developed some of these recipes, aiming as always for authenticity. Others are on loan from cited friends and relatives, or from authoritative sources with permission.