What’s more South Carolinian than boiled peanuts? Not much, actually. Raw green peanuts boiled in salted water have been part of South Carolina cuisine for several hundred years, ever since peanuts began arriving here on slave ships from Africa. Boiled peanuts were a common food for African slaves in South Carolina — and, as Robert Moss documented in a 2013 Charleston City Paper story, “[a]s with other African culinary staples like okra and black-eyed peas, peanuts eventually became part of the diets of white Carolinians, too.” From the Midlands and Lowcountry, boiled peanuts eventually spread to neighboring states.
Today, of course, boiled peanuts are the quintessential South Carolina snack — so much so that they are actually the state’s official snack. The state Legislature passed a bill in 2006 defining boiled peanuts as “peanuts that are immersed in boiling water for at least one hour while still in the shell” and reifying them in state law, right up there with sweet tea (the State Hospitality Beverage), milk, (the State Beverage), collards (the State Vegetable) and barbecue (the State Picnic Food, whatever that means. Free Times has previously reported on some of the possibly-inaccurate history that made its way into the 2014 barbecue bill, but that’s a topic for another day.)
We’ve all had some great examples of boiled peanuts — and some truly mediocre ones. What’s the right balance of salt? How slimy should the peanuts be? Should boiled peanuts have spices blended in, or just be plain? And then there’s the Ham Hock Controversy — does meat belong in your nuts? These are questions that will be decided by the judges (including yours truly) at the 7th Annual Palmetto Peanut Boil, when teams of peanut boilers compete to come up with the winning batch.
The Publick House hosts the Peanut Boil this Saturday, Aug. 23, from 2 to 7 p.m. Tickets are $5 at the door, with the proceeds going to the Ronald McDonald House. Teams will have their peanuts ready for snacking by the time the gates open, so come hungry. (Naturally, there will be beer for sale, and bands, and other fun stuff.) Official judging starts at 3:30 p.m., and the winners will be announced at 6 p.m. You can weigh in on your favorite peanuts, too: There’s a People’s Choice Award. For more information, visit palmettopeanutboil.com
Eat at the Latin Festival
The Main Street Latin Festival is this Saturday, Aug. 23, on the 1400 block of Main Street. And let me tell you, that festival has really stepped up its food game over the last few years. Admission to the festival is free; tasty Puerto Rican, Mexican and other Latin American foods are not free, so bring some cash. Gates open at 11 a.m.
The Other Place at Trustus Theatre
Juliana Smithton is a successful neurologist whose life seems to be coming unhinged. A mystery unfolds as fact blurs with fiction, past collides with present and the elusive truth of Juliana’s mental health boils to the surface in The Other Place, running at Trustus Theatre October 17th through November 1st. There will be a talk-back following the matinee on October 19th. Tickets can be purchased here or by calling the box office at 803-254-9732.
King Lear in Finlay Park
October 16th-18th and 22nd-25th, the South Carolina Shakespeare Company presents William Shakespeare’s King Lear. All performances held at the Finlay Park Ampitheatre at 7:30 PM. For tickets and more information, click here or call 803-665-2000.
3LAU on Sunday, October 26th and the Unofficial Skrillex Mothership Tour After-Party on the 27th. More information and tickets for both can be found here. VIP tables available.
SEARCH FREE TIMES
U.S. Security Associates
Now hiring immediately for armed and unarmed security officers. WE TRAIN YOU! Columbia & surrounding areas. ussecurityassociates.com
Local business is searching for new associates who are looking for a fun environment to earn great wages. Great position for college students/recent graduates. Must be well-mannered with excellent customer service skills/work ethic/ability to lift heavy items/must have valid Driver’s License. Call 803-376-4884 or email resume: email@example.com.
Real Estate Spotlight
SC HousingFinancing Housing. Building SC. To find out if you qualify or for more information visit schousing.com
CoMar Products Inc. Manufacturing quality surfaces for kitchens & baths since 1965. www.comarproducts.com