As far as I know, boiled peanuts are a uniquely southern ‘phenomenon.’ I don’t remember ever seeing them outside of Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, or northern Florida. I’m sure they are available other places, but they seem to be closely linked to the deep south. As an aside, I can’t recall ever seeing a professionally produced sign advertising boiled peanuts. I’m sure they are out there, but my mental image is always a clumsily lettered ‘Boiled P-nuts’ painted on some scrap plywood.
My step father-in-law (I think that’s right) Larry is a native Georgian and a boiled peanut aficionado. He always has some of his home-boiled peanuts when he comes to visit, along with great beer. The last time he came to visit, he brought some uncooked green peanuts and boiled them at our house.
It is clearly more art than science. Add water to a large stock pot, and then pour in enough salt to make it taste like seawater. Add the peanuts, cover, and bring to a gentle boil. Simmer for about 45 minutes, stirring occasionally, then turn off the heat and remove the cover.
Test the peanuts regularly. Some like then slightly toothsome, while others prefer mushy. It’s all a matter of individual taste. The longer you leave them sitting in the brine, the mushier they will become.
I definitely see some ‘Zatarain’s enhanced’ boiled peanuts in our future.