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Virginia peanuts for the holidays

December 7, 2010 |  4:19 pm

IMG_1642 Last year, just before Christmas, on the prowl for wines for my Wine of the Week column, I was poking around Silverlake Wine. "Here, taste this peanut," urged co-owner George Cossette, offering a can of Gourmet Peanuts from Plantation Peanuts of Wakefield. "I used to have a college roommate from Virginia and every year at the holidays we'd order a big can of these peanuts," he said.

The peanut is perfectly shaped, larger than usual, and so full of flavor, it almost seems to be another nut entirely. Who knew peanuts could taste like this? I immediately bought an 8-ounce can, which was all Cossette had in stock at the time. And when that was finished, I decided I needed to have more -- a lot more, so I ordered a couple of 22-ounce cans from the company's website. They didn't last as long as you'd think.

This year, I ordered a couple of the 40-ounce cans (which, admittedly, makes it a little more difficult for my husband to hide them from me.)   I've been good, though, doling them out for cocktails, a light snack and occasionally throwing a handful in a Chinese dish.

I love that now I always have something to go with a Negroni: these uber peanuts from Virginia, roasted in small batches by hand and lightly salted.

Plantation Peanuts; (800) 233-8788; Plantationpeanuts.com. Gourmet salted peanuts, $5.25 8-ounce can, $8.95 22-ounce can, and $12.95 40-ounce can.

-- S. Irene Virbila

Photo: S. Irene Virbila