Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Freshly Roasted Peanuts

Since my visit to Sierra Leone, about 4 years ago, I've been keeping an eye out for fresh, uncooked peanuts. The roasted peanuts I had there were sooo much tastier than those you buy in a packet in Europe, and I was hoping to recreate the flavour. I wondered if they needed boiling first (they are often served simply boiled in Sierra Leone, when they are served warm, crunchy, slightly sweet and juicy) or weather simply toasting would transform their translucent flesh into the waxy nut we are familiar with in The West. I finally found out when I was rewarded for my regular greengrocer searches by these fresh peanuts (AKA groundnuts) in a Grand Frais supermarket in France.

The first attempt at recreation was to grill them, skin on, until thoroughly browned. And it worked! The papery skin came away easily, and I was left with delicious African-style roasted peanuts, to dip in flakey salt. Yes, I may have to work on evenness of toasting, but the flavour was spot-on.

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