The first time I tasted boiled peanuts was in China in 1999. Since I was use to oil-roasted and salted peanuts, it took time for me to acquire a taste for the Chinese way of cooking peanuts.
Although archeologists have dated the oldest known domesticated peanuts to Peru back about 7,000 years, it was Portuguese traders in the 17th century who introduced peanuts to China.
Peanuts then became popular there and are featured in many Chinese dishes, often being boiled, which enhances the health benefits of the peanut.
What scientific studies have proven about the boiling process is that peanuts prepared this way are preserved and the presence of phytochemicals are enhanced having the same qualities as antioxidants, which are noted for protecting the body’s cells against heart disease, diabetes and several different forms of cancer.
In fact, a 1990 Harvard study determined that women who ate five ounces of more of nuts per week were only 65 percent as likely to suffer from coronary heart disease as women who avoided eating nuts.
Another study in 2007 at Alabama’s A&M University’s Department of Food and Animal found that the health benefits for boiled peanuts were far healthier than oil-roasted, dry or raw.
The Chinese boiling process brings out and enhances the health benefits of the peanut.
In fact, the Chinese eat more boiled peanuts than any country.
However, in the US, the states of Florida, Mississippi, George, Alabama, and North and South Carolina also have a tradition of eating boiled peanuts.
Lloyd Lofthouse is the award-winning author of My Splendid Concubine [3rd edition]. When you love a Chinese woman, you marry her family and culture too. This is the love story Sir Robert Hart did not want the world to discover.
His latest novel is the multiple-award winning Running with the Enemy.
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