Q: I love boiled peanuts. I bought ten or fifteen pounds from a favorite vendor on my way to a University of South Carolina football game. I kept them on ice or in a refrigerator until I got back home. Much to my surprise, the peanuts seemed to be spoiled. The shells are slimy and the peanuts do not taste good. Any idea what caused the peanuts to mutate over night?
A: According to David Glenn, owner of David’s Produce and Country Store on Lavista Rd., you just didn’t keep the peanuts cold enough. My guess is that the hot peanuts quickly melted the ice in your cooler. They never chilled down to the freezing temperature needed to prevent spoilage. Next time try bringing some dry ice in the cooler to chill the peanuts quickly or use regular ice but put less peanuts on the ice. If the goobers are kept cold after cooking, they should taste right for at least a week.
David, who always has a cauldron of groundnuts simmering in front of his store, boils his in thirty five pound batches. If you want to prepare a small quantity at home here is one recipe:
5 pounds peanuts, in shell
1 cup salt
water to cover
Wash the peanuts and place in a pot. Add salt and water. Bring the water to a boil. Simmer for three hours. Some folks prefer mushy peanuts but others like a firmer texture. If you would like the peanuts to be softer, cook until they reach the consistency you desire. Taste the peanuts. If they are not salty enough for your taste add more salt and allow peanuts to soak it up as the brine cools. Pour off brine when everything is to your liking. Uneaten boiled peanuts can be frozen for weeks in sealable plastic bags.