I went over to Jamie’s tonight, where he had a bag of raw peanuts from a farmer’s market. I usually buy raw nuts instead of roasted nuts, so I thought to myself, I must have had raw peanuts before. But nope! After trying them, it was quite evident this was something new. In their raw form, peanuts don’t do quite as convincing a job masquerading as a nut as the roasted legume does. They’re soft and have a plantier taste (bitter) and texture (fibrous).
So what do people do with fresh raw peanuts? Boil them. According to Wikipedia, “boiled peanuts have four times the antioxidants of raw or roasted peanuts” — drawing antioxidants from the shell. Apparently boiled peanuts are pretty common fair in the south and other areas where peanuts are common. Here in California, it’s unheard of.
The boiled peanut had a strangely familiar taste I couldn’t place. But Jamie could — it’s mashed potatoes! I found myself wanting to mash, salt and butter (read: Earth Balance) these guys. Though I didn’t, I couldn’t stop eating them. I eat peanuts all the time — what a surprise to discover them in a whole new light.