About Peanuts

Peanuts

We call them nuts and treat them like nuts, but peanuts are not nuts at all. They're legumes. Also called groundnuts, earthnuts, and goobers, peanuts seem as American as baseball. The most amazing thing happens when peanuts grow: They start out on a stem where a flower grew, but after the flower dies, the stem bends over, and as the peanut develops, it mysteriously buries itself in the earth. Mature peanuts are then dug up.

The two most common varieties of peanuts are small, round Spanish peanuts (often seen in peanut mixes) and larger, oval-shaped Virginia peanuts (often sold in the shell). When buying in-the-shell peanuts, look for clean shells with no breakage. Shake the peanuts and buy those that make no sound. If they rattle, the peanuts are old and beginning to dry out.

Unshelled and vacuum-packed shelled peanuts cab be kept at room temperature for a few weeks, but it's best to refrigerate them. Tightly wrap unshelled peanuts and keep in the refrigerator up to 6 months. Once they are opened, refrigerate vacuum-packed, shelled peanuts in the jar up to 3 months.

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