The Daily Bug

Eatin' Goober Peas

By: palmettobug53, 12:24 AM GMT on July 11, 2011

Verse 1

Sitting by the roadside on a summer's day
Chatting with my mess-mates, passing time away
Lying in the shadows underneath the trees
Goodness, how delicious, eating goober peas.

Peas, peas, peas, peas
Eating goober peas
Goodness, how delicious,
Eating goober peas.

Verse 2

When a horse-man passes, the soldiers have a rule
To cry out their loudest, "Mister, here's your mule!"
But another custom, enchanting-er than these
Is wearing out your grinders, eating goober peas.


Verse 3

Just before the battle, the General hears a row
He says "The Yanks are coming, I hear their rifles now."
He turns around in wonder, and what d'ya think he sees?
The Georgia Militia, eating goober peas.


Verse 4

I think my song has lasted almost long enough.
The subject's interesting, but the rhymes are mighty tough.
I wish the war was over, so free from rags and fleas
We'd kiss our wives and sweethearts, and gobble goober peas.


Goober peas. Groundnuts. No matter what the name, we're talking peanuts.

People have eaten peanuts in various ways for hundreds of years but there were no such thing as Planter's Dry Roasted Peanuts available in the 1860's. Any Southerner worth his salt knows that those Confederate soldiers were singing about good old boiled peanuts.

The peanut is a legume that originated in Peru, was brought back to Europe, made their way to Africa and back to the New World via the slave trade. Folks here in the South have been eating boiled peanuts ever since.

There are five cultivars: Spanish, Runners, Virginias, Valencias and the Tennessee Red/Tennessee Whites. Depending on who you talk to, each one is the best for boiling. Dad and Hubby prefer the small Spanish. One of my uncles prefers the large peanuts, which I think may be the Virginias. Different strokes for different folks. I'll eat them all.

Boiled peanuts are eaten by cracking open the shells and removing the nuts. Experienced boiled peanut eaters can do this in their mouths, almost without touching the peanuts with their fingers, except to put them in the mouth and to discard the empty hulls. Immature peanuts, when boiled, have soft shells and are called 'pops'. These can be eaten in their entirety. Hubby hates the pops; I love 'em!

Making boiled peanuts is easy. All you need are fresh peanuts, water and salt. You might want to wash them off first, discard any leaves, stems and pull off the poots. (That's the tail at the end of the peanut) Put them in a big pot, cover with water, add salt, bring to a boil, then simmer until tender. It can be tricky to get the amount of salt just right. Not enough and they're too bland. Too much and you can't eat them.

You can get raw green peanuts in season at the grocer, farmer's markets or obliging local farmers. Most of the peanuts boiled out of season are dried raw peanuts.

Folks have gotten fancy in the last few years, adding different flavorings to the water. Some examples are Cajun, ham, beer, Hawaiian, anise, garlic and onion, jerk, Old Bay, to name a few. While not boiled, you can even get fried peanuts. These are fried in the hull, are flavored (Cajun flavored seem to be the most popular) and are eaten shell and all.. I've tried many of them and they're good. However, my preference is for the original recipe: boiled in water and salt and nothing else.

If you live in the South and don't feel like boiling your own, you can find boiled peanuts just about anywhere. Roadside peanut stands, farmer's markets, flea markets, roadside fruit/vegetable stands and local watering holes. If you're really desperate, you can buy Roddenberry's Boiled Peanuts in the can, available at the grocery store.

Which brings us to the question of what to do if you don't live in Southern U.S.A., can't find fresh or dried peanuts to boil your own and have the boiled peanut cravin's. The answer to your prayers is The Lee Bros. Boiled Peanut Catalogue.

Matt and Ted Lee were S.C. expats, living in New York and attending college.. They had the boiled peanut cravin's something terrible. They looked and looked but couldn't find anyone selling boiled peanuts. Anywhere. After enduring enumerable strange looks and mutterings about their sanity from the locals, when asking for the whereabouts of the nearest boiled peanut stand, they decided to make their own. It took them a while but they finally found a local source for fresh peanuts and their peanut cravin's were satisfied.

As more and more Southern expats in New York came in contact with Matt and Lee and their boiled peanuts, they talked about how much they missed other food from home. They started having things shipped up by family. Their enterprise grew until they officially started The Lee Bros. Boiled Peanut Catalogue. The rest is history.

Sadly, the last I looked, they do not ship fresh boiled peanuts outside the U.S. They do ship non-perishable items overseas. This includes Roddenberry's Boiled Peanuts in the can.

Funny story: When Dad still lived in Sumter, Hubby and I went up one weekend for a visit. This was after my Mama passed and before Dad remarried. Dad taught agricultural courses at Sumter Tech at the time. Tech had a farm outside of town, where the students put into practice what they learned in the classroom.

While we were up that weekend, one of Dad's neighbors (a retired USAF Lt. Colonel) called, said he had the boiled peanut cravin's and asked if we could all go out to the farm and get some fresh peanuts. No sooner had he said that then we had the cravin's, too. The Colonel came on down to the house with his truck. Dad was loading up the shovels.

Hubby looked rather confused and asked me what the shovels were for. "We're going to the farm to get peanuts", I replied. "Yes, I know. But what are the shovels for?", he asked. It dawned on me that he had no idea that you had to dig them up. He thought you walked down the field and picked them off the bushes like you did peas and beans. Oh, Lord, how we laughed. I still laugh, when I think about. Hubby hates to be reminded of his faux pas!

I can't close without mentioning another great in the history of peanuts: George Washington Carver. A brilliant man who saw the possibilities in the lowly peanut.

You can read more about the song, "Eatin' Goober Peas" here at Wiki: Goober Peas

To listen to a recording of it, go to: Civil War Music

Peanut plant

Boiled Peanuts

Lee Bros

George Washington Carver

History of the Boiled Peanut and How to Boil Peanuts

Boiled Peanut World

Peanut Vendors: Photos of Roadside Stands Scroll down; these are typical roadside peanut vendor stands, common all over the South.

Here is one that is not too far from our house: Timbo's Boiled Peanuts

Locations of Site Visitors

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HPShopping Coupon Code

Updated: 12:56 AM GMT on July 11, 2011


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About palmettobug53

WU member since Oct. 2005. I enjoy reading, crafts, crosswords, puttering in the yard, old movies and hanging out with my friends on WU.

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