Boiled Peanuts at an IGA in Georgia
Scoboco just got home after spending a beautiful week with lots of family in, of all places, Georgia. But because we vacationed in a beach community—specifically, Jekyll Island—and didn't really interact with anyone other than ourselves, there really wasn't much Georgia-ness to the experience. Except for the Boiled Peanuts, sold in big cauldrons right up front in the local IGA grocery store.
Now, neither I, nor Bo, nor Co had ever sampled this ubiquitous Southern snack before, so I have no way of knowing whether the Vidalia brand peddled at the IGA represents a typical version, but I must say we were totally impressed. It seems that, when boiled, the peanut's shell remains hard, but the meat becomes surprisingly tender, even mushy... in fact, it becomes very bean-like, unmasking this so-called "nut" to be the legume it really is. And it's not like they've been boiling there for God-knows-how-many-hours in plain old water—no, these legumes have become saturated by a smoky, tinged-with-sweetness and amazingly delicious marinade, adding a whole 'nother level of addictiveness to this already hard-to-resist snack.
So this is the scene, around 5:30 in the evening: a crowd of kids and me, hands fighting for position around little Styrofoam buckets of steaming nuts, hot liquid splattering everywhere, no one's talking, just cracking and sucking and chewing and going back for more. Nice.