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I‘m a card-carrying member of the Peanut Club. I like cocktail peanuts, I like them roasted, I like them honey roasted, I like Spanish peanuts (what happened to Spanish peanuts? They seem to have fallen out of fashion … Is it the papery skins?), and I like peanuts in the shell.
But I love nothing more than Virginia-style peanuts. According to the National Peanut Board (where I would like to work someday), Virginia Peanuts are the largest of all peanuts. They are also known as the “ballpark” peanut and are featured in gourmet snacks. Virginia peanuts account for about 15 percent of total U. S. production and are grown mainly in southeastern Virginia, northeastern North Carolina, South Carolina, and West Texas.
Virginia-style peanuts are traditionally cooked in small batches in canola oil, so they are amazingly crispy and toasty in flavor. I love them so much that I get them in large batches at Costco, specifically the Kirkland Signature variety.
While Virginia peanuts can be a bit pricier than some more common types of peanuts, I think these are worth every penny. BUT if you are a Costco member, get ready for a treat and a bargain. The warehouse’s tin of Kirkland Virginia Peanuts is a robust 40 ounces, and costs only $8.99. On Amazon a 32-ounce tin from another brand sells for $23.29. So that’s 22 cents per ounce for the Kirkland, compared to 73 cents for the other brand. Holy cow, right?
(Not a Costco member? You can actually find the warehouse’s peanuts on Amazon for around $8, which is less expensive than in the stores!)
What’s So Great About Kirkland Signature Super-Extra Large Peanuts?
Kirkland Virginia-style peanuts taste like perfection. They are generously salted, deeply nutty, and super crunchy. Back when we worked in the office, my colleague and I used to have joint custody of can in a desk drawer and go in for handfuls several times a day. The drawer part was meant to slow us down, but it has only been somewhat successful.
I am not so restrained with my own personal tin at home. I have a deep penchant for the peanuts that have not fallen in half, and start by picking out the whole peanuts, which provide a soul-satisfying crunch when you bite into them. But I’m not kicking the half ones out of bed, either.
I also love the idea of having these around the holidays as a little DIY bar snack for entertaining guests. (As long as no one in your group has a peanut allergy, that is. If you’re not TOTALLY sure, just keep these for yourself. Peanut allergies are no joke!)
If I can stop snacking on them long enough to cook with them, they bring an amazing depth of flavor to sweet and savory dishes alike.
Have you tried these? What’d you think?