Green peanut season: the best time to try the South’s favorite snack

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Photo via Alabama Peanut Co. Facebook page.

It’s green peanut season in Birmingham! Boiled peanuts are a staple of Southern cuisine, but did you know that green peanut season is the best time to try this delicious snack?  I spoke with the peanut experts at Alabama Peanut Company in downtown Birmingham to learn more!

The South’s favorite snack

Boiled peanuts have been a staple of Southern cuisine since the 1800s. You can find boiled peanuts just about anywhere in the South, usually boiled with salt or a “Cajun style” spice (Cajun style is my favorite!). Boiled peanuts aren’t just tasty, but healthy as well. Peanuts are rich in protein, and make a nutritious snack to hold you over until your next meal.

Green Peanuts for sale! Photo by Nathan Watson for Bham Now.

What are green peanuts?

Unless you’re a peanut expert, the difference between raw and green peanuts is hard to tell. The difference between raw and green depends on the time of year. When a new crop of peanuts is ready, some are dehydrated to last longer. These are raw peanuts, and can be eaten year-round.

However, green peanuts are only available during a small portion of the year. Green peanut season usually lasts from the end of July to late November. Although they are only available for a short time each year, green peanuts are fresh and delicious!

Green peanuts boiling at Alabama Peanut Company. Photo by Nathan Watson for Bham Now.

What’s so special about green peanuts?

The unique aspect of a green peanut is its freshness. Green peanuts are usually picked a week before you’ll find them in stores, so they are as fresh as can be. When boiling raw peanuts, they need to be rehydrated and then boiled, a process that takes about 12 hours. However, green peanuts only take an hour to boil since they are still hydrated.

Don’t make the mistake of roasting green peanuts! If you want to make your own roasted peanuts, you’ll need to use raw peanuts. The freshness of the roasting makes the peanuts crunchy and flavorful. However, green peanuts do not roast as well!

“To me, green peanuts just taste so much better than raw. Green peanuts are fresh and more flavorful.”

Jonathan Lee, Alabama Peanut Co.
Antique peanut roaster at Alabama Peanut Company. Photo by Nathan Watson for Bham Now.

Where can I try some green peanuts?

The best place to get your hands on delicious boiled green peanuts is at the Alabama Peanut Company. The Alabama Peanut Co. recently opened shop on 2016 Morris Avenue, a building that has been used for peanut shops since 1907! They still use the original peanut roasters, which have been in use for over 100 years.

During green peanut season, the Alabama Peanut Co. sells a variety of flavors for their boiled peanuts. Alabama Cajun and Classic Salt are always available, but they have a new third flavor every day. Today’s flavor was All-American and went pretty well with pickles. With football season coming up, there is no better time to try some delicious boiled green peanuts!

What are your favorite family recipes for boiled peanuts? Tag us @Bham Now to share!

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Nathan Watson
Tennessee native who fell in love with Birmingham during college. Graduated from Birmingham-Southern College in 2019. Passionate about Birmingham and its continued growth.
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