I’ve always loved driving the stretch between Durham and Morehead, just me and my dad. It’s the best time to talk to anyone, just the two of you alone in the car. Those drives are how I got to know my dad as a person and one of the reasons we’re so close today. The first memory I have of my dad pouring a packet of salted peanuts into a bottle of coke was from one of those drives. I remember the horror at the idea and then, shortly thereafter, the the complete change of heart I had when he let me try it.
Coke and peanuts is one of those distinctly Southern combinations whose origins are unknown. It’s a curiosity (not unlike boiled peanuts or a tendency to put mayonnaise on damn near anything) that people outside the South ask about. They say “you guys don’t really put peanuts in your coke, do you?” We do. And you should try it, take the leap of delicious faith.
Last week the National Peanut Board emailed me to see if I’d like to be part of a mailing they were targeting towards Southern writers. I said yes and in my head, expecting them to send me a package full of peanuts, decided I’d finally post about Coke + Peanuts. It’s a bit of a blasphemy to have a Southern food blog and not have something about this salty combo on there, I’ve been meaning to post about it forever. It was the perfect opportunity, I thought. And then yesterday, waiting for me when I got home, was a package. I made a mental note to send a tweet asking where I could get glass Coke bottles in my area and opened the box. Inside was a glass bottle of Coke and a little packet of peanuts. It’s like they read my mind! Thanks for the delicious treat, NPB!
Coke + Peanuts
1 bottle Coke (or any cola), preferably glass. Never a can.
1 packet salted peanuts. I prefer a lot of peanuts.
Open your soda and take a swig. Pour peanuts into the cola and enjoy.