COLUMBIA, S.C. – Whether ladled out of a crock pot in a gas station or bought in a brown paper bag from a roadside vendor, boiled peanuts are an essential and delicious part of South Carolina culture.
The S.C. General Assembly designated the boiled peanut the official State Snack Food in 2006.
This year, the South Carolina Department of Agriculture is celebrating our State Snack by teaming up with Heritage Peanut Co. to give a package of boiled peanuts to every state lawmaker. This innovative Bluffton, South Carolina-based company was awarded grant funding in 2019 by the department’s Agribusiness Center for Research and Entrepreneurship (ACRE) to help distribute and market its packaged boiled peanuts.
The boiled peanut distribution will take place April 28 so lawmakers can celebrate our State Snack on May 1, the day in 2006 on which the boiled peanut bill was signed into law.
Peanuts are an important South Carolina crop: Last year, farmers in the state grew 82,000 acres of peanuts. Peanuts are grown in the Midlands, Pee Dee and Lowcountry regions of the state.
“Boiled peanuts are part of what makes South Carolina special, and they wouldn’t be possible without peanut farmers,” said Commissioner of Agriculture Hugh Weathers.
Boiled peanuts can be made using raw peanuts, which are uncooked and dried; or green peanuts, which are freshly harvested. South Carolina farmers usually begin harvesting green peanuts in July.
The state honors many of its agricultural products with official designations: South Carolina’s state fruit is the peach, the state beverage is milk and the state vegetable is collard greens.
–Eva Moore, SCDA