In America, September 13 is National Peanut Day. Peanuts are big news over there, where the average peanut farm is 100 acres, and two previous presidents, Thomas Jefferson and Jimmy Carter, were peanut farmers.
Here in the UK, the peanut is one of our oldest established snacks, so it seems only right that we give it some recognition.
The peanut may be small but it punches well above its weight. We’ll even go as far as to say the peanut is an iconic snack.
SNACMA, the UK’s Snack, Nut and Crisp Manufacturers’ Association, points out that the peanut is the UK’s most popular snack. Around 50% of all the nuts we eat are peanuts.
Peanuts are also truly international in origin, as they’re produced throughout the world, including China and Argentina, as well as the USA, of course.
As a specialist supplier of wholesale snacks in Bury and throughout Lancashire and Yorkshire, we’re doing our bit for the peanut, so let’s celebrate it together.
Where Do Peanuts Come From?
Okay, so peanuts are not technically nuts. They’re from the legume family – think of their relations as lentils and beans. They grow underground, while the plant on which they grow flowers above ground.
As far back as 3,500 years ago, people in the South American area of the world made pottery in the shape of peanut plants. The ancient Incas of Peru used them as a sacrificial offering, and peanuts were grown in the region that is now Mexico where Spanish explorers discovered them and brought them back to Europe.
However, peanuts only gained ground as a commercial crop in the 1800s, with production growing steadily in the first half of the 19th century. After the Civil War, Union soldiers took them home with them, spreading their reputation as a snack food.
When PT Barnum’s circus toured across the USA in the late 1800s, vendors were selling hot roasted peanuts to the crowds who came to see the show. The peanut’s popularity soon spread to baseball games.
In the early 1900s, innovative production techniques using labour-saving agricultural equipment meant that the overall quality and uniformity of peanuts improved, and demand soared. This also included demand for peanut oil and peanut butter, alongside salted and roasted nuts.
What About Peanut Butter?
One of the most widespread offshoots of the peanut is peanut butter. While this can divide people’s tastes (a bit like Marmite), it is one of the main ways that the peanut’s popularity has spread (no pun intended).
It may have been the Incas in South America who first ground peanuts down into peanut butter, but in America, Dr John Harvey Kellogg (yes, the breakfast cereal man) developed a version of it in 1895 as a protein substitute for his older patients with poor teeth who could no longer manage meat.
In 1904, peanut butter went public at the St Louis World’s Fair and rapidly developed as a staple food in many American households.
It’s protein benefits meant it became part of the diet of US troops in both World Wars, which is how the “peanut butter and jelly” sandwich came about.
The concept of enjoying peanut butter with, as we know it, jam, has caught on to an extent here, but its spiritual home is in the States.
Are Peanuts Good for You?
Peanuts are rich in protein, fat and healthy nutrients. Of course, they are high in fat, but as a plant-based food, they’re a very good source of protein, so there’s a sense of balance there.
Peanuts are low in carbohydrates, and contain vitamin E, along with Thiamin (vitamin B1), Niacin (B3) and Folate (B9).
They also contain the essential minerals Phosphorus and Magnesium.
Most importantly, they’re supremely tasty, so getting these nutritional benefits is that much easier.
Do You Want Nuts With That Beer?
Peanuts and beer is a natural pairing, like Morecambe and Wise, or Thelma and Louise. Matching beer with nuts is a joyful experience, because they go together so well.
Luckily for you, not only do we sell a range of nuts, but also a wide selection of beers, from specialist craft ales to great mixed case selections of beers from around the world. We sell beer wholesale, but also singly to customers, through our BeerHunter site.
People talk about the ideal pairings of food with beer, especially when it comes to craft ales. Suggestions include oysters, foie gras, artisan sausages and the like. But let’s be honest, the traditional snack that best complements a beer is the peanut.
There’s something about the saltiness, the taste, texture and even dimensions of the peanut that make it so well suited as a beer accompaniment.
Plus, its much harder to clasp a plate of oysters between your teeth as you make your way back from the bar with three pints.
What Nuts Do WDS Sell?
For over 150 years, KP has manufactured tasty foods, from grocery items in the 1850s to its first nut production in the 1950s. KP nuts come in tasty Original Salted and Dry Roasted varieties – the Dry Roasted being the modern upstarts, first introduced in 1980.
The other new kid on the block is Nobby’s Nuts, originally an Australian brand, probably forever linked here in the UK with the dulcet tones of Slade’s Noddy Holder.
Nobby’s peanut range comes in three flavours: Dry Roasted, Salted and Sweet Chilli Coated – excellent with an ice-cold beer.
If all this talk of peanuts is making you feel left out because you can’t eat them – we know many of our customers may have nut allergies – then don’t forget the other great snack accompaniment, crisps. If you can’t have nuts, crisps are hardly second-best, holding their own as a supremely tasty snack.
Get In Touch
We’re wholesale suppliers of snacks and drinks for Lancashire, the North West and Yorkshire. Pick up the phone and call us on 0161 763 6020. Or you can email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
We’re also renowned beer specialists, so whether you’re a wholesale or individual customer, check out our BeerHunter site, where we offer a huge variety of craft ales and beers from around the world. It’s like an online encyclopedia of beer, but you don’t just have to read about it, why not order and enjoy it?
Call BeerHunter on 0161 507 8000, or fill in our contact form, and we’ll be in touch shortly.