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    March is National Peanut Month (Really!)

    There are all kinds of interesting and quirky holidays every month that rarely get attention (mainly because they’re quirky?) I suppose the amount of attention we give them makes them more interesting. For example, according to Foodimentary.com, March 24 is known as “National Cake Pop Day” and the 31st is “National Clam on the Half-Shell Day.” I’m not sure how well GiftTree could do clams in a gift basket, but I’m sure one of our top-notch designers could get us in on the cake pop craze. Oh wait – we’re already doing that.  Of course we are!

    But it is true that March is National Peanut Month, and the National Peanut Board (yes, it’s a thing) actually has a pretty decent-looking website. A compilation of interesting facts from their site:

    – The average American consumes more than six pounds of peanuts and peanut butter every year.
    – Peanuts account for 2/3 of all snack nuts consumed in the USA.
    – Four types of peanuts are grown in the US – Runner, Virginia, Spanish, and Valencia.
    – Four of the top ten candy bars in the US include peanuts or peanuts.
    – Peanuts possess more protein than any nut.
    – Peanuts are a nutrient-rich superfood with 30 essential vitamins and minerals
    – Like all nuts, peanuts are a plant-based source of protein and healthy fats, and have more antioxidants than broccoli, carrots, or green tea.

    Peanuts ready for harvest look like this:

    Peanuts ready for harvest

    I used to live in East Africa, where peanuts are known as groundnuts or g-nuts (fitting, given they way they grow) and are popularly thought to be an aphrodisiac, especially in Kenya. The meal I miss most from our time living in Rwanda is Ugandan Luwombo Peanut Sauce. We used to eat lunch at a place where they would truck in fresh banana leaves every week and use the leaves to steam the curry-style peanut sauce with onions, savory spices, and oils. They would bring it to the table still wrapped in the steamed leaves, with chapatti flatbread, matoke plantain, and veggies and rice. It comes out looking like this:

    Ugandan Luwombo Peanut Sauce © 2008 Amy Shaffer Crocker

     

    And here is another look (sides not shown):

    Uganda Luwombo - Uganda Daily Monitor

    You would then either dip your chapatti directly into the sauce (only foreigners use their hands) or spoon it out onto your rice, veggies, matoke, etc. Unfortunately the recipe is traditional and secretive, but its thick gravy-like consistency and smoky aroma make for one of the best soul foods I’ve ever had. My mouth is watering right now just looking at that picture and recalling fond memories.

    What’s your favorite peanut recipe?

     


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