The Official Snack Food of South Carolina, boiled peanuts (“BP’s”) are an addictive treat made by boiling un-roasted peanuts in heavily salted water for a long period of time. Depending upon the quantity, a boil can go on for 2 to 4 hours.
Varieties of peanuts grown for boiling are referred to as "green peanuts" as opposed to "roasting peanuts." Green peanuts are usually grown in small quantities for local use, whereas roasting peanuts are grown, usually under contract, in more expanded areas. The result is a very soft peanut in the shell, invariably quite salty and easy to open.
Boiling peanuts has been a folk cultural practice in the south since the 19th century. When the peanut crops would come in, usually in late August, unsold surplus peanuts would be boiled. Extended families, friends and neighbors would gather together around the peanut boil for a celebration of the harvest.
Every August in Pelion, SC, the annual South Carolina Peanut Party
is just one of the many places you can enjoy our tasty official snack and other delicious things “peanutty”. When in season, “BPs” can be found at roadside concessions, festivals, produce stands and in convenience stores.
Since they are very salty and eaten when still hot and wet, boiled peanuts are best enjoyed outdoors with sweet ice tea or your cold beverage of choice. You may also see a few folks dropping the shelled peanuts right into a bottle of ice cold cola. It makes a tasty drink.
Throw a peanut boil for your family and friends and enjoy good company and South Carolina’s tasty official snack!
BOILED PEANUTS RECIPE
- 1 lb. green peanuts
- 1 qt. Water
Wash peanuts with their shells on and place them in a large kettle. Add water until the water is an inch about the floating peanuts. Push the peanuts down with your hand to make sure the water is at the right level above the peanuts.
For each quart of water, add a rounded tablespoon of salt. Bring water to a rolling boil. After the water comes to a boil, turn down the heat and allow peanuts to simmer, as long as two hours or more, depending on how crunchy you like your peanuts.
Allow peanuts to sit in the brine as they cool to eating temperature. Place peanuts with shells on in a large serving bowl and serve immediately with cold beverages and extra bowls for shells.