I did a little research this week (minutes ago) trying to find information about peanut consumption in the United States. I wanted to see if anyone had a graph showing whether per capita consumption levels have gone up or down over the past few decades. I couldn’t really find anything and quickly lost interest, but I am going to float my hypothesis anyway.
I feel like the peanut is not getting its fair share of attention anymore.
When I was a child, peanuts were everywhere. If someone had a can of nuts at their house, they were peanuts. Peanut brittle was big, Peanut M&Ms were king, and when you went to a baseball game you bought a bag of, you guessed it, peanuts.
Now it’s all about almonds. Almonds this, almonds that. No one has cans of peanuts lying around in their home anymore. Do they? Granted Peanut M&Ms are hanging in there, but how long before they are supplanted by the almond variety. Ok, even I think Almond M&Ms are far superior, but that’s not helping my point any. And recently I was forced to attend a baseball game as part of a school field trip. We must have had over a hundred kids attending, and not one of them bought a bag of peanuts! They were guzzling unlimited soda refills, inhaling cotton candy, and nibbling bags of sunflower seeds like little disgusting rodents, but not a one of them consumed a peanut outside of the ones somehow still hidden in the boxes of Cracker Jacks.
Side note. If you want to talk about electrifying sporting events, try attending a Tampa Bay Rays’ game at one o’clock on a Tuesday.
What has happened to the peanut? Is it the super allergic kids? Have they destroyed the once mighty legume for the rest of us? I know in some schools, kids can’t even carry Snoopy lunchboxes anymore.
Is the almond lobby that strong now? Where the hell is Mr. Peanut? And what would George Washington Carver have to say about all this?
Fortunately, there is still one man hoping to re-ignite the peanut revolution. That man is Lord Nut Levington.
Lord Nut Levington is a line of seasoned roasted peanuts. Their line is currently made up of six varieties, though I was only able to locate five locally.
First off, I LOVE the aesthetic of the packaging. The whole concept design is fantastic. Look at it! The black and the white and the colors and the Lord himself! The catchphrase “Pardon my flavor” is genius, as is “The taste resistance hereby declares flavor greatness.” Everything. So great. Suck on that almonds.
El Cheddarales (come one, El Cheddarales!) combines cheddar cheese and jalapeno. The cheese powder definitely tastes cheddary, instead of vaguely cheese-ish. That was a plus. The jalapeno contributes a little spiciness but not much flavor. You can taste it, but just barely. The cheesiness makes up for that though. This is one of my two favorites.
Mamma Mia combines tomato, garlic and cheese. Very bright tomato flavor with slight garlic undertones. These taste like peanuts dredged in store bought spaghetti sauce. Doesn’t sound like a good idea, but I enjoyed them. Another favorite.
The Rebel Mary variety takes its cues from a spicy Bloody Mary, sort of. There is a bit of tomato flavor, but mainly, they just taste like spicy mustard. For some reason. Not quite sure what happened there. However, mustardy peanuts are still pretty enjoyable.
Cinnapplooza combines apples, cinnamon, and vanilla. While those flavors are great in nearly all configurations, here they did not mesh well with the peanuts. Two very distinct and separate layers. I felt like I was eating peanuts that someone dropped in a potpourri basket. Bizarre.
And lastly, Thai Dyed tries to capture the essence of Thai curry and lemongrass. The flavor is overwhelmingly lemongrass. While Thai food frequently makes use of the peanut, here again, are two very distinct and separate layers of taste that are not playing well together. I was actually repulsed by these. The lemon taste is very perfumy and lingers in the mouth for quite some time. Blech.
The sixth flavor is Sweet Miss Keet which is Mesquite Smoke and Pineapple BBQ. I didn’t get to try this one, but I’m going to go ahead and say it would probably be my favorite. I love pineapple.
This is a good line. Some misses, but overall pretty good. Pick some up. Man cannot live on almonds alone. No. Literally, you can’t live on almonds alone. You’d die.