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.
Relaxation, Pain Management, and Stress Relief
Licensed massage therapist Allison Morris of AMR Massage offers 50% off your first session and every 5th session free of charge. Click here for location, hours, and more information.
Ice Skate on Main Street
Columbia’s famously hot skating rink is now open! Additional information and discounts can be found here.
Great Gifts for the Whole Family
Don’t miss Half Moon Outfitters’ holiday sale! Up to 30% off Prana, Patagonia, The North Face, and other great brands. Location and hours here.
Hickory Tavern Is Now Open!
Find us on Facebook, Twitter (@TheHickoryTav), Instagram (@HickoryTavern), and visit our website for more info. 907 Senate Street in the Vista!
Going someplace cool this weekend?
Let The Backpacker help you go lightweight, comfortable and in style! Patagonia, Prana, Merrell, The North Face and more! Click for location, hours and more info.
New Year’s Eve at Social
Don’t miss this Black and White Affair featuring Kap Slap. Tickets available online!
SEARCH FREE TIMES
Holiday Wish ListWhere to shop for gift ideas in Columbia this season:
F/T and P/T avail. Must have a clean driving record, organized and have a prof appearance. Please call for an interview or email resume to Kerry@crystalpool.com. Must bring a copy of your Driving record and a list of all past employers with duration of employment listed as well as telephone numbers for references. Call 803-865-1200
U.S. Security Associates
Now hiring immediately for armed and unarmed security officers. WE TRAIN YOU! Columbia & surrounding areas. ussecurityassociates.com
Real Estate Spotlight
Mungo Homes. Celebrating 60 years of our family building for your family. mungo.com
BB&T Home Mortgage Sharing knowledge with satisfied homeowners. BBT.com/Mortgage
Coldwell Banker United, Realtors Welcome To Our Neighborhood! Work With The Best! CBCarolinas.com
Capital Kitchen & Bath One stop solution for all your remodeling & new construction needs. CAPITALKB.COM