Who are we in northeast Florida to deny the efficacy of the peanut?
Floridians and Georgians produce some of the world’s finest peanuts, many of which end up boiled (See recipe below.) or roasted and served with cold beer at baseball games.
According to the National Peanut Board, as early as 1500 B.C., the Incans of Peru used peanuts as sacrificial offerings and entombed them with their mummies to aid in the spirit life.
Since at least then, people have used peanut pastes for medicinal and mechanical purpose as a food and lubricants.
Pound for pound, peanuts provide 30 essential vitamins and minerals – Vitamin B, Vitamin E, magnesium and folate – and are an excellent source dietary fiber and protein.
Yes, that’s right!
March is National Peanut Month.
And March 1st is National Peanut Butter Lovers Day.
Peanuts and people go way back.
Indigenous to the New World, peanuts are native to Peru and Brazil.
As peanut cultivation moved north, people kept looking for better and better ways to grow and eat peanuts.
Today, US citizens spend about $800 million on peanut butter alone.
- First important peanut factoid: Peanuts are groundnuts. They grow under the dirt.
- You harvest them with a tool called a fork that scoops up peanuts, plant and all.
- Peanuts are cholesterol free.
- Peanuts have more protein than any other nut.
- Peanuts have more antioxidants than spinach, tomatoes or broccoli.
- Per 1-oz. serving, peanuts and peanut butter contain 7 grams of protein, 4.5 grams of polyunsaturated fat, 8 grams monounsaturated fat and 2 grams of saturated fat.
- Peanuts are grown commercially in 15 states including: Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, North and South Carolina, Tennessee and Texas.
- Most US peanut farms are family-owned and -operated.
- The 4 varieties of peanuts grown in the US are: Runner, Spanish, Valencia and Virigina.
- It takes about 540 peanuts to make a 12-ounce jar of peanut butter.
- There are enough peanuts in one acre to make 30,000 peanut butter sandwiches.
- Peanuts contribute more than $4 billion to the US economy each year.
- Two peanut farmers have been elected US President – Thomas Jefferson and Jimmy Carter.
- Dr. George Washington Carver researched and developed more than 300 uses for peanuts in the early 1900s.
- The term "peanut gallery" was coined in the late 19th century and referred both to the cheapest seats in a theatre and to the poor people relegated to them. Occupants of the peanut gallery were wont to throw peanuts at those seated below them in the better seats. The term also applies to the first row of seats in a movie theater, from which occupants can easily throw food at the screen during lousy movies.
Celebrate National Peanut Butter Lovers Day Responsibly
National Peanut Butter Lovers Day is the United States’ celebration of our favorite sandwich technology bar none.
And on a holiday as big as this, it’s easy to run off the ass-end of the earth because peanut butter is just that yummy and all you need is a spoon or a finger to enjoy it.
While it’s true that, like bananas, peanuts are a near-perfect food, they’re also almost all fat.
And even though peanut butter contains very, very healthy fat, gratuitous eating of it will pack the pounds in short order.
Forewarned is forearmed.
Learn your peanut butter trivia now.
About Peanut Butter
- U.S. Patent #306,727, the patent for peanut butter was issued in 1884 to Marcellus Gilmore Edson of Montreal, Québec, Canada.
- The Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup was invented in 1928 by H. B. Reese, a former dairy farmer, and shipping foreman for Milton S. Hershey in Hershey, Penn.
- By law, US peanut butter must be at least 90% peanuts.
- Smooth peanut butter is more popular than crunchy.
- Americans eat enough peanut butter in a year to make more than 10 billion peanut butter and jelly sandwiches.
- The average child will eat 1,500 peanut butter and jelly sandwiches before he or she graduates high school.
- Grand Saline, Texas, holds the title for the world's largest peanut butter and jelly sandwich weighing in at 1,342 pounds.
- Arachibutyrophobia is the fear of getting peanut butter stuck to the roof of your mouth.
Other reasons to love peanut butter: It can be used to make homemade birdfeeders, and it helps get bubble gum out of hair.
GJE’s Recipe for boiled peanuts
You can’t make too many boiled peanuts.
And it’s easy, if time consuming and, as always, a matter of taste.
- Green peanuts – either the big ones, usually Valencia, that most southerners called “goober peas” or the much smaller Spanish peanuts.
- Sea salt
- Green peanuts for boiling are sold by the pound at most Greater Jacksonville grocery stores, green grocers and farmers markets. Buy enough to fill your largest pot at least twice, maybe ten pounds.
- Fill your big pot with peanuts two-thirds to three-quarters full, then add water to cover. Please be advised – peanuts float.
- Add salt until the salt is right for you.
- Bring pot to a roiling boil, then reduce heat for a slow boil.
- Simmer for at least 2 hours.
- Check and stir often because the water boils off, and the peanuts can burn.
- Add more water as necessary.
- You may not need to add more salt, as it clings to the pot and the peanuts as the water evaporates. You decide how salty is salty enough.
- At about 2 hours, test a big peanut. The shell of a properly boiled peanut is soft enough to peel open easily with your fingers. The meat the peanut is also soft and slightly sweet.
- If the peanut meats are tough or they still taste green, add more water and cook so more.
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OFFICIAL BIO: K Truitt is a second-generation, native Floridian born in Jacksonville. Truitt worked in public higher education for 25 years and knows newspaper publishing, printing and graphic design. Contact: email@example.com