U.S. Standard

Runner Peanuts
Spanish Peanuts
Valencia Peanuts
Virginia Peanuts

Peanut Oil

Peanut.jpg (40485 bytes)Peanuts  Arachis hypogaea  From South America; also called ground nuts, monkey nut and goobers.  Peanuts are planted after the last frost in April, when soil temperatures reach 65 to 70 Fahrenheit. The peanut itself is also the seed. Specially-grown and treated peanut kernels from the previous year's crop are planted two inches deep, approximately one to two inches apart in rows.

The peanut plant is unusual because it flowers above the ground, but fruits below the ground. Peanut seeds crack the soil about 10 days after planting and grow into a green oval-leafed plant about 18 inches tall. Delicate yellow flowers form on the plant about 40 days after planting. The flowers pollinate themselves, then the petals fall off as the peanut ovary begins to form.

This budding ovary, called a "peg," grows away from the plant on a vine and penetrates the soil.

There are four basic types of peanuts grown in the U.S.: Runner, Virginia, Spanish and Valencia.

There are 16,000 peanut farms in nine primary growing states in the U.S. These are operated mostly by family farmers who grow an average of 98 acres of peanuts each year on a 3-year rotation usually with cotton, corn, soybeans and grass crops. Farmers will sell their peanuts in the domestic market for about 31.5 cents a pound in 1996 --a 5% decrease from 1995.*

1 pound peanuts in shell will yield two-thirds of a pound shelled 
1 pound of shelled peanuts measures slightly over 3 cups.

Preparation  Peanut shells break easily with the hands. The inner skin is edible, but is also easily removed if desired. Peanuts are either fresh or roasted if in the shells. Roast peanuts at 300° F. for 30 to 40 minutes in their shells, and 20 to 30 minutes after shelling. Peanuts can be boiled in the shell to prepare them for making peanut paste and similar recipes.

Market Forms  Peanuts are available in the shell or shelled-fresh, roasted or roasted and salted, loose or in packages.

Serve  themselves for snacks, as peanut oil, peanut butter, in cookies, as an icing, in confections and baking.

Complimentary Condiments and Flavors  Chocolate, bacon, jellies and jams, marmalade, butter, marshmallows, curries, chicken, pork.

* Information supplied by the  Peanut Advisory Board, 1025 Sugar Pike Way, Canton, GA  30115