Most folks from middle America – especially southerners – know what a goober pea is, but for the benefit of the city-slickers I probably should elucidate. The humble goober pea is also variously known as a groundnut, pindar, monkey nut, and. . .peanut.
This isn’t the first time peanuts have appeared on the GMC in one form or another, including a post about Mr. Peanut, but it’s such a special legume that it rates another look. And besides that, I am pretty fond of all the peanut products so why not enjoy them in print even if my current condition restricts some of them. (More later about that.)
Peanuts are probably the most versatile legumes, although soybean aficionados might disagree but let them write their own blog. And I’d be willing to bet that there are a few soybean blogs around, because. . .well, it’s the internet.
But let’s get back to peanuts. We all know about the many ways they’re used, and the variations within those ways, but just to name one example there’s good old peanut butter, which comes in smooth or creamy, fresh-ground or homogenized, plain or flavors. But peanuts are also used in the manufacture of paint and varnish, furniture polish, insecticides, and many other products. Even the shells can be used in a number of ways.
Peanuts are also used in cooking in most of the world, ranging from South America, where it’s thought they first appeared thousands of years ago, to China, which is the largest producer of peanuts on the globe. And of course peanut oil is another whole subject. It’s used in lots of ways besides being a great cooking oil, which it is. Try popcorn made in it and you’ll never use anything else.
But as much as I love all things peanut, I’ve had to adjust my intake these days. I’m restricted to an extreme low-sodium regimen, and salty nuts are not for me. But I’ve found that salt-free peanut butter is surprisingly good, or at least sort of good. Sometimes that’s the best we can hope for.