What nut isn’t a nut, but is an essential part of diets everywhere? What not a nut is used in cooking oil, America’s most popular sandwich, goes amazing with chocolate, is great for the soil, and, incidentally, has one of the most common and violent allergens in the world? If you guess the peanut, you’re dead on! Peanut Month is dedicated to this delicious and nutrition packed little legume (That’s right, not a nut!), and all the places in the world where it’s a vital part of culture and cuisine.
History of Peanut Month
Peanut Month was established by the National Peanut Board, and coincides with Nutrition month, and it’s no surprise! The peanut is packed with all sorts of nutrients and vitamins, over 30 of them in fact! Not only that, but they also are one of the richest sources of antioxidants in the world, even better than carrots, green tea, and broccoli!
The earliest evidence of these delicious legumes being cultivated was fond in Peru nearly 8000 years ago. Peanuts were found depicted in art, and were offered for sale when the conquistadors arrived in Tenochtitlan. From there, the peanut was spread around the world by traders in Europe, and is cultivated in almost every area where the climate suits.
Peanuts have a place in cuisine all over the world in dishes from basic snacks, appetizers, main courses, and even desserts. In Israel they even have a Cheez Doodle type snack called Bamba Puffs, which are essentially the same snack only flavored with peanut butter instead of cheese. In the American South it isn’t uncommon to drop a handful of peanuts into a bottle of coke for flavoring, apparently the flavor is the perfect blend of salty, sweet, fizzy, and crunchy. Really, these little legumes have a lot to offer.
How to Celebrate Peanut Month
Peanut Month is best celebrated by enjoying all that peanuts have to offer. You can start by just having some honey roasted peanuts around the house to enjoy. If you’re feeling particularly daring (ok, it isn’t THAT daring) you can try a Pad Thai dish, traditionally made with a rich peanut sauce. Some variations are quite hot, however, so don’t do be careful with your selection if you’re sensitive to that. Peanut Month is a great time to really celebrate this delicious treat, whether it’s with peanut butter cookies or expanding your palate with new peanut recipes, don’t let Peanut Month go by without trying something new.