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Water-Blanched North Carolina Peanuts
The Englewood United Methodist Church men’s group has been making these peanuts by hand in small batches since 1955, raising funds to help numerous community service organizations. Made in North Carolina. (more info)
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The process for preparing these peanuts is simple: the peanuts are blanched in hot water, deep-fried for a few minutes in
peanut oil, spread out in a single layer on paper to drain, salted carefully
and stirred by hand, then jarred while still hot. The Englewood United
Methodist Church men’s group has been making these peanuts the same way for
over 50 years. The result is deeply aromatic, super crunchy, with just the right
amount of salt.
Enjoy the flavor of these peanuts straight out of the jar or use in your favorite recipes.
In 1955, the Englewood United Methodist Church in Rocky Mount, North Carolina, was just a year old and found itself with debts that it wanted to reduce. A member of the congregation, a local pediatrician, suggested that the church’s men’s group fry and sell peanuts as a fundraiser and even volunteered his kitchen for the cooking. The program grew over the years, moving to the church kitchen and then became so successful that it got its own production facility. In addition to helping to pay down the church’s debt, over the years the peanut program has also contributed to the Salvation Army and numerous other community service organizations in the US and overseas.
From spring through fall, six-man teams from the church’s men’s group cook 200 pounds of peanuts at a time, two nights per week. They ramp up production to five days per week towards the holidays, when demand is highest, and go through 12,000 pounds of peanuts per year. While the group have talked about increasing the program further to make more money to give away, they’ve decided they prefer to keep it small, so that the focus remains on community and fellowship and on the fun of cooking those peanuts together.
The fresh peanuts are soaked in hot water for 20 to 25 minutes, drained, then deep-fried for 4 to 5 minutes in peanut oil, four baskets at a time. The crew lays the peanuts out on paper to drain again, spreading them out in a single layer, then salts them, mixes to distribute the salt evenly, and jars them hot.
Peanuts, peanut oil, salt