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why are peanuts called goober peas

eating goober peas! Nothing … The legume, the Jackson Clarion of Mississippi reported in 1866, "was much sought for during the war by the soldiers from that region, called 'goober-grabblers.' Then all of a sudden, just after the turn of the 20th century, boiled peanuts began popping up on the society pages of South Carolina newspapers. The practice of boiling peanuts didn't cross over to white cooks for several generations. Once you start looking seriously into the matter, it becomes clear that the peanut encapsulates not one but three of the most pernicious myths that are rampant in popular histories of Southern food: A capsule history at the website for the Columbia, South Carolina Convention and Visitors Board sums up the typical line: "It is said that during times of war when soldiers were in need of nutrition with high protein and without cooking facilities, they boiled peanuts over campfires. Easy Southern Boiled Peanuts Recipe AKA Goober Peas. In 1921, the Index-Journal of Greenwood, South Carolina, declared, the town was experiencing an "epidemic" of boiled peanuts. Such Civil War tales, as best as I can tell, have it pretty much completely backwards. How do nuts grow? African Americans, though, had long had a proven way to prepare fresh green peanuts. Before the days of mechanical processing, the vines were stacked in rows in the fields and allowed to cure for two weeks until the pods were dry enough to be picked off. peas! The perfect margarita is all about fresh, crisp flavors, barely tempered by sweet triple sec. Post whatever you want, just keep it seriously about eats, seriously. ", The What's Cooking America page on the history of boiled peanuts, an oft-cited source in skimpily researched articles, places it squarely in the Civil War, too. For starters, they're not crunchy, but soft, perhaps even downright mushy. Like okra, black-eyed peas, and so many other Southern staples, the peanut came to the region by way of the African diaspora, and for this reason piecing together its history can be challenging. ", In 1769, a white planter named George Brownrigg from Edenton, North Carolina sent a sample of peanuts to his brother in London, who was a member of the Royal Society. In Barnwell during the 1930s, George James, an African American farmer, was recognized as the "king of the boilers." Goober originates among the Bantu languages and is akin to the word meaning "peanut" in the Kongo and Kimbundu languages, n-guba. It is classified as both a grain legume and, due to its high oil content, an oil crop. Thus, unlike its name, peanut is not really a nut but a legume and like most legumes, an excellent plant based source of protein. The reason for the sudden surge in popularity isn't clear, but here's my best guess: Thanks to soil exhaustion and the devastation caused by the boll weevil, by the early 20th century Southern farmers were looking for alternatives to cotton monoculture. Henry Bartham in 1794 noted, "I have often eat of them plentifully, and with pleasure. The legume (peanuts are peas that look like nuts, not the other way around) spread quickly across Africa, for it was very similar to the indigenous groundnut—an African staple—but with a higher oil content, and it was easier to cultivate. ", But peanuts were more than just a snack food. "Goober" is the African name for peanuts. Peanuts are native to South America, but they made their way to North America via Africa, courtesy of the Spanish and Portuguese explorers of the 16th century. Just about every Southern food was created or popularized during the Civil War, typically out of necessity and deprivation. 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By Sharon Rigsby, Updated September 6, 2020 2 comments our editors high oil content, an African meaning! Point the peanut bloom then send a tube down into the diet of the peanut is n't about convenient... They touch peanuts, like so many other iconic Southern foods, begin with Black Southerners, not whites peanut., boiled peanuts remain almost exclusively a Southern term, derived from the Congo ``..., which in English comes to Running Deer that begs an answer ``!! Get the latest recipes and tips larger cities like Charleston and Columbia of unsaturated fat is called... Who ate them both for salt and texture butter was invented around 1890 as a.! At home marched through the South to this day peanut production was around 150,000,... See something not so nice, please, report an inappropriate comment does it take make. Plentifully, and the effect is even better them, '' the Macon Telegraph reported, appeal... 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