Tuesday, September 12, 2006


Cajun Style Boiled Peanuts

Have you ever wondered how you really know you’ve landed in the American South?

Well kids, never fear: I’m here to tell you, and it’s quite simple. The big clue? Easy to spot roadside stands selling boiled peanuts.

I’m not sure about the origins or history of this delicacy - or exactly how popular they are, but in my humble opinion, they are one of the worlds greatest treats, and they are only found on the highways and biways deep in the heart of Dixie.

So what are they and how do you find them? And more importantly, how do you make them in your own home?

In answer to the first question, they are peanuts (still in the shell) that have been boiled in (very) heavily salted water. That's about it, although, as a bonus, they also come in Cajun style, a simple and elegant refinement to the original, which is a near perfect foodstuff. The difference between regular and Cajun? Jalepenos, pickles, and Cajun spice mix. Seriously. Whoever came up with this should be awarded a prize. A big, huge, shiny prize. Preferably monetary.

The peanuts come out of the water soft and salty, with a touch of nuttiness still in tact. They really don’t taste like any thing else I have ever had, but heavens, they taste good.

If you haven’t already, you should add them to your "Foods To Eat Before You Die" list. Since I’ve had them, they aren’t on my list any longer, but I’ll say this, they certainly are in my permanent repertoire.

Okay, so I really am being a touch too academic about this whole thing, but that’s just my style, I should just point out they are awesome. Try them, and see for yourself.

1 pound raw peanuts, in shell
1/2 cup salt
1 gallon water
¼ cup dill pickle slices, with brine
1 small jalepeno pepper, sliced
1 tablespoon Cajun spice mix

Note: Raw peanuts means they are not roasted.

In a large pot, combine the peanuts, salt, water, peppers and spice mix. Bring to a boil.
Simmer over low heat for a minimum of four hours (really, they will be fine.) Add the pickles and continue to boil for 3o more minutes. Test one and see, they should be soft.
When ready to serve, scoop from the pot and enjoy.

The peanut stand shown in the photos above is Jamie's Boiled P-Nuts on Route 27 in Clermont, Florida. Jamie is just about the cutest thing ever and her peanuts are the best. If you are in the area, stop by and say hello!

The peanut plant originated in South America. It is not a nut, but a legume related to beans and lentils. They are sometimes called goobers or groundnuts.

Two peanut farmers have been elected president of the United States - Thomas Jefferson and Jimmy Carter - National Peanut Board

Did you hear about the two peanuts walking in Central Park? One of them was a salted.


Interesting...are they really spicay??
Good question, and actually, no they are mostly just salty. The spices are on the shell, and you shell them, so, you dont get that until you eat the pickles and peppers, which taste amazing...
I am a fan of the boiled peanut! If I saw a roadside stand for them I would pull over immediately. I'm hoping to see one soon since I now live in the south. I don't know about the cajun version but for you, I will give it a shot if I see it.
PK - They sell those in LA too...super yummy.
Everytime I see these pictures I want some boiled peanuts!
Hi Rachael,
I love this post! Cajun boiled peanuts remind me so much of childhood -- whenever we took trips through the winding roads of Louisiana to visit family, stopping for these was a much-anticipated reward. To get the spice and the maximum amount of saltiness, we usually sucked on the shells before popping the peanuts in our mouths. Aaahh, what pleasant memories; thanks!
Hey, I stumbled upon your site. Where were these pictures taken? They look exactly like this place in Florida.
Kenny - Oh my GOSH, I'm so silly! Those pictures were taken at Jamies Boiled P-Nuts. According to my Pops she is somewhere on Route 27 near Claremont/Mineola. I cannot BELIEVE I didn't mention that. WHOOPS!

Jamie is just about the cutest thing ever too. Stop by if you are in the area.
everytime i try to boil my own peanuts I can never get them to get soft. I'm doing some right now and it's been five hours and there just alittle soft, nothing like they should be. What am I doing wrong?
JD - What kind of peanuts are you using? Were they GREEN? (unroasted) you have to use GREEN peanuts or else, I guess, they dont get soft. GOod luck!
I finally got them to get soft. Whoo Hoo! The stove method just didnt work for me I had to use a crock pot, which took about 7-8 hours to get them juicy and soft. They were even tbetter the nxta day after sitting in the water overnight.
I read that dried raw P-nuts cae boiled if they are soaked over-night. Is this true. If so, can the be cooked without a crock pot, and for how long
We lived in California for many years. We moved to Sarasota-Bradenton, Florida about 3 years ago. We start eating spicy boiled
peanuts. Now we can not stop eating them. We were glad to find the recipe in your web site. thank you so much!!!! Jackson family.
Love Boiled Peanuts, Travel a lot so this will help a lot . Would a bay leave be good with your receipe?
Travel all over, full time RVing in a motorcoach and miss finding Boil Peanuts . From Florida Originally . So I am in love with boiled peanuts. So very thankful of your receipe . Would like to know tho, Can you add a Bay Leave to that receipe or would it mess up the flavor ? A first timer at Boiling too.
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