My last post was about a devilishly-deceptive snack food: banana chips. The post was prompted by the giant jar of banana chips that showed up in my office yesterday morning, but it wasn’t the only office temptation that day. Something else showed up later on, in the afternoon… another snack food that I really love…
…honey roasted peanuts. Oh my god, they’re so crunchy and sweet and delicious. You may not be able to tell, because there’s nothing else in the photo to provide scale, but that is a giant tub of honey roasted peanuts – the largest one I think I’ve ever seen. Can you make out the net weight, listed at the bottom of the label? It’s a 3 pound, 4 ounce canister of honey roasted peanuts. THREE POUNDS, FOUR OUNCES. That’s a lot of peanuts!
I love nuts pretty much every way they come: roasted and salted, raw, ground up into butter… it makes no difference. Nuts are delicious! Trader Joe’s has (or used to have, at least, I haven’t ventured into their nut section in a long while) a product called blister peanuts, which are particularly crunchy and crispy and spectacular and I used to buy them and eat the whole container in a weekend.
I’m not going to make the argument that nuts are bad for you, because they have redeeming qualities. I’m only going to say that I don’t eat many of them, because a serving size of nuts is pretty small (40 honey roasted peanuts, for example), and it’s the sort of food that I can’t keep in my house, because it’s way too hard for me to eat just one serving; therefore, it’s way too easy for me to go overboard, and the calories and fat in nuts adds up quickly.
My parents are both bridge players, and they play in a couple bridge groups and clubs, and I used to look forward, when I was little, to when it was their turn to host bridge night, because it meant my mom would buy all sorts of fun snacks that she wouldn’t buy otherwise: chocolate-covered pretzels, M&Ms, and nuts, including honey roasted peanuts. We weren’t allowed to touch any of that stuff before bridge night, but once it was in bowls, spread around on the bridge tables, I loved making the rounds saying hi to my parents’ friends, enjoying the snacks along the way.
This is the part of the blog where I intended to blow your minds about how honey roasted peanuts are made. I wrote yesterday about how banana chips, despite seeming like they’re dried, are actually deep-fried, and honey roasted peanuts are equally deceptive. They, too, are deep fried. At least, I’m pretty sure they are! I clearly remember seeing an episode of “Unwrapped” on the Food Network a few years ago where they showed a honey roasted peanut factory. In it, they showed how peanuts are first coated with a sugar/honey mixture, and then they get dumped into a fryer, where the coating becomes crispy, and then they’re pulled out of the oil, and roasted. But now I can’t verify this on the interwebs, and it’s driving me crazy! You’ll have to take my word on it.
I can, however, share nutritional information with absolutely certainty, with photographic evidence to back it up:
Yep, that three-pound-plus container of peanuts has 52 servings. Which means that the container has, in total, 7,800 calories and 624 grams of fat.
Even though I couldn’t find evidence backing my claim that honey roasted peanuts are fried, I did find this website that points out that many honey roasted peanuts on the market may have very little actual honey in them – instead, they’re sweetened mostly by sugar and/or corn syrup. Here’s the ingredients list for these peanuts:
Well, honey’s on the list, but it’s after sugar and the oils (which may be another clear sign that there’s some frying involved). Blister peanuts are sometimes fried, too, although I’m not sure if the Trader Joe’s ones are or aren’t.
I avoided the honey roasted peanuts. They’re delicious, but I’m not going to do it. Avoiding two office temptations in one day?
Keep it up, David!