Many believe boiled peanuts took off in the South during the Civil War, when food shortages made people look for other sources of protein. But our own Robert Moss debunked that myth in “A Brief History of the Boiled Peanut” article in our 2013 Dirt issue. According to Moss, the legumes were brought over on slave ships in the 18th century, but the practice of boiling them had been going on in Africa for centuries. He adds, “Like most tales of foods being “invented” during wartime, this one is not true.”
What is true is that we’ve wholeheartedly embraced goober peas today — from roadside stand varieties to fancy bar snacks. And we spoke to one local who is especially fond of the legumes. “I want to hangout with people who really love peanuts,” says Michael Parker. That’s exactly what he plans to do.
On Sat. Sept. 13, Parker and his wife Karen are hosting a Locals Only Peanut Boil where contestants can vie to win $250 for best boiled peanut recipe.
“To compete you’ve got to bring a gallon of your peanuts for the judges to try,” he says. Those judges include WCBD’s Raymond Owen, Summerville Fire Chief Richard Waring, and a yet-to-be-named local celebrity.
The event will take place at 433 Victors Lane, Ridgeville starting at 3 p.m.
Parker asks that contestants call him to register first. It’s $25 to compete, and $10 to attend. Children ages two-10 get in for $5. Those under two are free.