The Virginia Diner in Wakefield calls itself The Peanut Capital of the World. Peanuts grow all around this region of Virginia, and the diner is proud to be a booster for the local crop. You can enjoy peanut pie in the diner if you pay them a visit, but the diner’s commitment to the goober is most fully expressed in their mail order operation. You can buy peanuts in various-sized tins, salted or unsalted, with skins or without, organic or not, in or out of the shell, butter-toasted, or sprinkled with any number of seasonings. Michael Stern, in his Roadfood.com review of the Virginia Diner, says “they are 100% better than any other peanuts -- large, crunchy, dark and rich, more flavorful and more fun than eating peanut butter.” All true, and you may want to purchase some peanuts, but it’s the holidays. Why eat plain peanuts when you can gild them in a combination of butter, sugar, and salt?
Yes, the Virginia Diner’s peanut brittle is exquisite. It’s available in holiday tins for $13.50. And for those who don’t know when to stop, they even sell the stuff enrobed in chocolate (us, we’d choose the nude). If you peek around their online catalog, you’ll also find Virginia hams, snack mixes, various peanut candies, other nuts, and some great-looking peanut butter.