We went to Bertie County to eat great barbecue – which we did – but while there, we also came across some beautiful peanuts. North of Windsor on Route 1 is a decades-old farm supply and feed store that has also been processing peanuts since 1915. Several decades back, “Papa Jack” Powell started roasting them for visitors to the warehouse; and around the turn of the 21st century his family started selling them. Bertie County peanuts are the best.
The specialty is “blister-fried nuts,” which are boiled, then immersed in hot oil while still wet so they develop a wicked crunch. We know of few better munchies, with or without cocktails! From these big, plump jumbos, are made chocolate-covered peanuts, which are unspeakably delicious, as well as butterscotch peanuts and peanut brittle. Also available are burlap bags full of roasted-in-the shell peanuts and shelled redskins.
While we’d never discourage anyone from traveling to northeastern North Carolina – for the food, the fishing, the natural beauty – you needn’t do so to get your hands on these superior nuts. Bertie County Peanuts is all set up to mail-order everything they make (except for chocolate peanuts in the hot summer months). Printed catalogs are available, and everything is listed on their website.