Monday, July 16, 2012

Peanuts in Cheerwine?

Here in the sultry section of summer, apparently attention has turned to two Southern traditions: Peanuts in Co'Cola (or RC, or Dr Pepper, or Pepsi), and boiled peanuts.

First, Serious Eats has a blog post up about the great summer treat of pouring salted peanuts in your bottle of soda. They reach a few conclusions: Yes, it has to be a soft drink in a glass bottle; yes, it has to involve pouring in salted, roasted peanuts; and yes, people from areas other than "around here" find this behavior puzzling. Read it here.

Just as we were absorbing that, along came the James Beard Foundation's blog, Delights and Prejudices, featuring a recipe from Charlotte's Marc Jacksina (formerly of Lulu, currently of Halcyon) for boiled peanuts made with Cheerwine, Tabasco and some Asian touches such as star anise and mirin. Here's the blog post, and the recipe is below. (Seaweed in boiled peanuts, chef? I don't even want to know what gave you that idea.)

Cheerwine Boiled Peanuts

From Marc Jacksina of Halcyon Flavors of the Earth, for the James Beard Foundation.

4 cups raw (unroasted peanuts) in the shell
1 (3 by 5 inch) sheet kombu (dried seaweed)
2 tablespoons kosher salt
2 whole star anise
2 cups Cheerwine or other cherry soda
1 teaspoon mirin
1 teaspoon white soy sauce
2 dashes Tabasco

Combine the peanuts, kombu, salt and star anise in a large pot. Cover with water. Bring to a gentle boil and cook for 2 to 3 hours, adding more water as necessary to keep the peanuts covered.

Strain and shell the peanuts. (Discard the kombu and star anise.) You should be left with about 2 cups of peanuts.

In a clean medium pot, combine the shelled peanuts with the Cheerwine, mirin, white soy sauce, and Tabasco. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer and cook for 30 to 40 minutes, stirring often, until the liquid has reduced to about 2 tablespoons. Lay the peanuts on a parchment-lined sheet tray and cool. Store in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks.

17 comments:

Anonymous said...

I'm a Charlotte native and I've never heard of this pouring peanuts in a Coca-Cola thing. That must be something that's done outside the city limits! Not knocking it, just saying I've never heard of it. But I do love my Cheerwine, Coca-Cola and Pepsi in bottles when I can find it.

Alison said...

As a D**n Yankee, I'd only learned about peanuts in Pepsi through reading novels. When it happened to come up in conversation with some of my southern co-workers, only a few had heard of it. Of two from the same small SC town, one knew of it, one didn't. I'm still puzzled by that.

Jim said...

Lenoir ca. 1950s casts all its votes for peanuts in dopes -- everyday stuff! BTW, "dope" was any carbonated drink. Why? I dunno -- I just report 'em, I don't explain 'em.

Ann Doss Helms said...

My husband grew up in Warner Robins, Ga., and he always talks about putting peanuts in an RC Cola.

Anonymous said...

As a worker at a gift shop in NC mountains, back when, we knew to always stock plenty of peanuts and drinks, especially RC for the week of July 4 when the mills shut down for vacation. We would load up the antique drink "machine" with ice and water and line up the drinks like soldiers because the "tourist" would be looking for cooler weather and cheap drinks. I want to say that in the early 1960's the drinks were 10 cents but that may not be correct.

DMorrisPE said...

Growing up in St. Albans, West Virginia, we put salted peanuts in our RC cola or Orange Crush while we folded the afternoon (Daily Mail) newspapers for delivery. Another favorite was drinking Coca Cola with a mouthful of 3 Musketeer candy bar, just so it would fizz up and we'd see how long we could hold it in.

Anonymous said...

I learned of peanuts in Coke from Barabara Mandrell who was country prior to it being being cool.

All I can say is y'all have a lot of nerve making fun of us carpetbaggers and our ketchup on eggs.

Kathleen Purvis said...

We don't make fun of your ketchup on eggs, Anon. 4:35. We make fun on your sugar on grits.

Chris said...

OK, I've been here almost a decade and this is the first time peanuts+soft drinks has crossed my radar. Can't wait to try the peanuts in Cheerwine, think I'll try Sriracha instead of Tabasco :D

Not_a_hypocrit said...

To promote a local product, the peanuts used were Lance's.

discourser said...

My maternal grandpa put peanuts in his beer. If there weren't any peanuts left, he'd shake some salt in it.

copdsux said...

All ya'll folks that claim to be late comers to putin' peanuts in your drinks must be under the age of 60. My grandpa had me doin' it before I started 1st grade.

Frazer said...

This is big in Alabama where I come from. In fact, my stepfather once sat in the office of the (then) governor of Alabama and talked to him as he put peanuts in a Coke.

Wilbur Williams said...

When you grow up in eastern NC you start pouring your peanuts in your drink at an early age. It's so you can keep working with your free hand. You city boys sure are sissy-fied. Like all real Southern food, it's based on poverty. Keep working, don't get down off that tractor or let that mule's reins go.

Cedar Posts said...

Lance salted peanuts poured directly into a RC Cola circa 1970 Starmount Gulf service station corner of South Blvd and Archdale Drive. Guy's name was Carl nick named Motor Mouth. Always nice to us kids who stopped by for a Coke or Grape Soda. BTW the air for our tires was free.

Station was owned by Hubert Blanton who owed a couple of other stations and sponsored a number of dirt track racers at the Lancaster Speedway.

I swear I can still hear the driveway bell ring.

Anonymous said...

Peanuts in (usually) small Cokes was a standard thing in eastern NC in the '60s. Back in the day service stations were gathering spots, and I often saw older guys killing time hanging around doing this. The same guys also poured headache powders into small Cokes as well...but never at the same time as the peanuts!

Anonymous said...

KP, I take offense to making fun of sugar in grits! My grandmother, a fine old South lady from the mountains of Tennessee, grew up putting sugar and butter in her grits. My mother does it, I do it and it is the only way my son will eat them. There are true Southners who eat grits with sugar in them!!!