SAVANNAH, Ga. (WSAV) – Although some call them boiled, while others call them “bald” and even the caviar of the south, there is one thing many Georgians can agree on — boiled peanuts are an addictive treat that generations have enjoyed.
Former United States President Jimmy Carter, who is now in hospice care, grew up in Plains, Ga., and peanut farming was one of the foundations of his upbringing.
Tony Clark, the public affairs director of the Jimmy Carter Presidential Library told WSAV News 3, “In his book ‘An Hour Before Daylight’ Carter writes about farmers in the South facing low sales of cotton, and cotton production moving west to avoid boll weevils. In its place, peanuts were grown.”
In “An Hour Before Daylight” Carter said, “…this was the crop that made the greatest impact on my life, both when I was a child and much later when I returned home with a wife and family.”
Carter also wrote, “I began selling boiled peanuts on the streets of Plains when I was 5 years old.”
He also gives a bit of a recipe for boiled peanuts.
“He describes pulling a load of peanut vines from the ground, taking them home…soaking them in salt water overnight, boiling them for a half hour and filling 20 half-pound paper sacks (40 on Saturdays) and selling them in Plains,” said Clark.
According to the National Peanut Board, no one knows when or why southerners started boiling peanuts. However, from Labor Day on into the holiday season, boiled peanuts are abundantly available at roadside stands, gas stations, ball games, festivals and anywhere else people gather for fun.