Charming, roadside boiled peanut stands pepper the southern towns of Georgia, Mississippi, Alabama, Florida and the Carolinas. Fragrant, delicious, fresh-boiled peanuts can be easily purchased during the summer months. Boiled peanuts are often enjoyed at southern football games, while picnicking at a park or at country festivals. Peanuts are packed with vitamins, minerals and protein. No matter the flavor--from original to Cajun--eating boiled peanuts can be a messy experience. Knowing the best way to eat boiled peanuts will help you to remove the tasty legume from the shell (and keep your clothes clean).
Purchase only freshly made boiled peanuts. Inquire when the peanuts were made and the length of the cooking process. If you don't have a stand nearby, you can cook your own with a tried-and-true recipe (see Resources below). The shells of the boiled peanuts should be soggy from soaking in the pot; the legumes inside should be soft and tender in the mouth. Eat boiled peanuts when they are hot or warm.
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Crack open the peanut shell with your fingers. Split the shell along the length of its body, and it should break into two halves. One, two or three neatly cooked legumes should rest inside the halves. Some people halve the shell with their teeth in order to taste the juices, but doing so can damage your teeth.
Prepare for peanut juices. Peanuts are boiled in water--often flavored with spices, salt and oils--for many hours before consumption. Have plenty of napkins available and a bib, if necessary. When the peanut shell is opened, liquid will be released.
Eat only the cooked legumes inside the shell. While some people enjoy eating the peanut shells, a representative of the Peanut Institute stated, "There is no nutritional value in peanut shells, and we do not recommend eating them."
Store leftover boiled peanuts properly. Freeze the leftover boiled peanuts, as they will only keep in a refrigerator for a few days. When you are ready to eat them, defrost the peanuts. Reheat the defrosted, shelled boiled peanuts in the oven (350 degrees for 10 minutes) or microwave (5 minutes as 50 percent power in most microwaves). Allow peanuts to cool a few minutes before eating.
Avoid eating canned boiled peanuts, as they do not taste as fresh (or have flavors as regionally authentic) as homemade boiled peanuts.