Thursday, November 19, 2009

Soggy Peanuts

Peanuts are a favorite snack of mine to enjoy during baseball games, while camping, or in general any time beer is involved.

Some months ago, I was out at a bar with some of my Taiwanese friends when someone purchased a bag of peanuts from a vendor.

They began passing the bag around to share the snack with everyone and so when I was handed the bag, I reached in to grab some peanuts. Immediately, I noticed that the peanut shells were somewhat moist and cool, but I paid no mind and took a handful for myself before passing the bag along.

As I began to shell my first peanut, I realized that the shell was softer and more pliable than usual. It didn't quite crack the way the typical peanut shell does. Nevertheless, I popped the peanuts into my mouth, anticipating a crunchy, salty treat!

To my surprise, it wasn't just the shell that was moist; the peanut was soggy as well! The flavor was bland, and the texture was mushy. It was hardly recognizable as a peanut - I'd say it most closely resembled a chick pea.

I had never had a soggy peanut before, and I thought to myself, surely, something is wrong with this. Did the vendor leave these peanuts out in the rain last night? Did he carry them around in his sweaty pocket all day? Are all his peanuts soggy, or did we just get a bad bag of them....and mostly, I wondered, why isn't anyone else upset about these mushy peanuts?! Shouldn't we be asking for a refund?

After a couple of minutes, I made a comment to my friend about the bad batch of peanuts that we got - what a ripoff - at which point she looked at me, silly girl, and informed me that they were supposed to be soggy! They were boiled peanuts.

Well, this didn't change the fact that, to me, they were just soggy peanuts. Peanuts are supposed to be two things: salty and crunchy. These were neither and I didn't care for them much.... UNTIL I had a couple more beers and proceeded to eat the whole bag by myself! On second thought... these things are pretty darn good!

A couple weeks later, I bought a bag for myself. My memory from that night was a bit hazy but, I was excited to try boiled peanuts again and was expecting great things. Alas, I was let down again - they were just soggy and bland peanuts!

Since I spent $30NT on them, I had to eat the bag, and as I ate them, they gradually grew on me. They do keep the hands busy and the mind occupied during boring conversations or mindless banter... but they don't exactly titillate the taste buds.

Every time I eat them, I vacillate between really liking them, and thinking they're just a boring, mushy snack - kind of like eating soggy cheerios.

Boiled Peanuts vs. Roasted - no contest, Roasted all the way! But having only one option, I would say that boiled peanuts are still a nice snack every once in a while.

1 comment:

  1. they taste bland because they are not salted and roasted. but it's kinda like chewing plain rice, the more you eat the better it tastes as the enzymes in your saliva breaks down the starch into glucose and you taste the gentle subtle sweetness; the natural unchanged flavour of the peanut.