Appetizers
October 27, 2011
Crisp 'gourmet' Virginia peanuts pass the taste test

Virginia-Cocktail.jpg One of life's small vicarious pleasures is looking through the ads in ritzy Town & Country magazine.

Hmmm... Here's one for a Spark necklace with seven carats of diamonds and 66 carats of gemstones. On the next page is Gucci, and after that is Ralph Lauren.

Wait...what's this? Something much more affordable - multiple flavors of MV's Best extra-large "hand-prepared gourmet peanuts from the fields of Virginia, where the largest peanuts grow."

We nut-lovers were curious, so we sampled four flavors of the fancy legumes. We passed them around the room, crunched, munched and made notes.The tasters gave entusiastic thumbs-up. The quality and freshness of the peanuts were obvious in every half-handful.

One taster, who's from Virginia said, "These take me back to the days of pouring a handful of peanuts into an ice-cold bottle of Dr. Pepper. A more grown-up version would be to serve them alongside an ice-cold Blue Moon beer and a slice of orange."

Our tasting results:
Salted: "Pure nutty goodness...Not too salty...Very crisp."
Jalepeno: "Well-balanced seasoning...A lot of heat in the aftertaste...Good, but one-dimensional."
Cajun: "More flavor than the jalepeno...Not so hot that you have to run to the water fountain."
Toffee: "The toffee coating complements the peanut flavor...I expected a sugar rush, but found light sweetness instead."

Quntities and prices of the peanuts range from single 4.9-ounce tins for $5 each, to 40-ounce multi-flavor "gift bundles" for $50, to 16-tin "corporate cases" for $64. Order at www.virginiacocktailpeanuts.com

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