According to historians, peanuts originated in South America, where they played an important part in the Aztec diet. However, these days the countries of India, China, Nigeria, Indonesia and the United States are the leading commercial producers of this nutritious legume. Of course, the focus is on quantity. Edible they may not be.
But it is at the City Peanut Shop (www.citypeanut.com) in the heart of downtown Boise, Idaho where the culture of peanuts takes on the challenge of foodies by focusing on freshness, flavor, and mixing them with crazy seasonings. This is coupled with the family-owners insisting on direct connections with local farmers and suppliers so that they know where their food comes from. And they do this while incorporating sustainable processes whenever possible. As might be expected, the focus is on quality.
Much like the brewpub Dogfish Head is known for its experimental and crazy brews, the City Peanut Shop is known for its barmy seasonings and a willingness to try bold and unique flavors. The result is that they have developed quite a following for their peanuts of all sorts, from fresh, dry-roasted, salted, and honey roasted to more unusual concoctions like garam masala-flavored Virginia Redskins, bacon-flavored Virginia Redskins, and Cajun-flavored peanuts.
Their focus is on creating hand-crafted, small batch production on a daily basis so that the customer can be guaranteed the ultimate in freshness. They also grind fresh peanut butters such as honey-roasted, organic, regular, and spicy as well as an almond butter.
However, the City Peanut Shop – despite its name - is so much more than just peanuts! While peanuts are definitely a mainstay, they also feature tree nuts (pecans, walnuts, almonds, cashews, and pistachios), seeds, popcorn, and a wide variety of snacks. From wasabi sunflower seeds, chile lemon pistachios, and jalapeno peanuts to Bavarian almonds, caramel popcorn, and maple syrup cayenne pecans (careful, because they can be addictive) the choices are many. The family business, headed by patriarch and proprietor Dan Balluff, is all about the nostalgia of fresh peanuts with a modern-twist that includes nuts, seeds, and snacks.