Peanuts During the Holidays
Oct 25, 2022
The holiday season is here, filled with family, friends and, of course, food! From Halloween through the New Year, peanuts are a popular part of the holidays. In this episode, we highlight comforting classic ways peanuts are used during the most wonderful time of the year, as well as uses that may surprise you. We speak with Marianne Catalano from Virginia-Carolinas Peanut Promotions; Robert Marks IV and Megan Marks Harrell from Belmont Peanuts; Chef Tessa Nguyen from Taste Nutrition Consulting; and Jamie Cromley from GPC’s peanut recipe contest.
The holiday season is here, filled with family, friends and, of course, food! Peanuts can be the perfect addition for Halloween candy, toppings for a Thanksgiving dish, generational family recipes, and the reason for town festivals. This episode features how versatile peanuts are for any occasion. Read below for highlights and listen to the episode here or on your favorite streaming platform.
Marianne Catalano is the Marketing Specialist for the South Carolina Peanut Board and the Executive Director of the Virginia-Carolina’s Peanut Promotions, which serves as the promotion and marketing development organization for North Carolina, South Carolina and Virginia. She shared a few popular ways people enjoy the classic holiday recipes but with a peanut twist, like being used in a topping for a salad, peanut-themed charcuterie boards, and even peanut flavored cocktails.
“So, whether it's a peanut butter flavored cake, or a peanut butter protein breakfast ball to have in the morning or you know a cupcake or anything like that,” Marianne said. “I think that peanuts are so versatile and so unique to be utilized and consumed during the holiday season.”
Robert Marks and Megan Harrell are siblings in Virginia who work in their family business, Belmont Peanuts. They spend their year focusing on the upcoming holiday season, which is by far their busiest season.
“Throughout the first three quarters where it's a pretty relatively smooth business and then when the holiday hits, it's a nut house and we're all running around like crazy,” Robert said.
Their team is focused on producing different and exciting new flavor combinations for their peanut products and what their customers will want to buy.
“It's just a classic gift you know for anyone to give whether it be a family member or a coworker for a corporate gift,” Megan said. “But we also offer here at Belmont gift packs and trios, which have become extremely popular where people are able to customize different gifts tailored to their recipients.”
Registered dietitian and professional chef Tessa Nguyen of Taste Nutrition Consulting, loves to infuse peanuts and peanut butter into her dishes for the holidays. Food has been a tool for her to bond and celebrate family and friends.
“I feel like we all have very complex and diverse relationships with their family groups, whether they're chosen or biological,” Tessa said. “That's always a very nuanced space to navigate. So, I feel like food is also a good distraction of like being able to have that as the barrier sometimes in between. One of my favorite things is making like a homemade like snack mix… with some pretzels and peanut butter.”
Jamie Cromley is a professor at Georgia Southern’s College of Public Health, who married a sixth-generation farmer from South Georgia. While being a self-proclaimed ‘city girl,’ she has dove into the farming lifestyle and community in Brooklet, Georgia and attends the town’s peanut festival every year.
“It's something that we don't realize it's kind of funny when you say we have a whole festival—a whole day—where we celebrate peanuts, but it's a big deal in our area and in our community. Really in our in the state of Georgia as well,” Jamie said.
Learn more about how peanuts can be used during the holidays and learn new ideas for your own festivities by listening the full episode of The Peanut Podcast.