Coca-Cola and peanuts are two iconic pieces of culinary Americana. In the South, the snacks swirl together in an unusual, but incredibly satisfying pairing.
Historians speculate that the Southern tradition of blending shelled, salted peanuts and Coke may have originated in the 1920s, when farmers or other manual laborers wanted to enjoy a snack that wouldn’t require touching their food. A more hands-on meal would mean a washing-up break, but simply pouring your peanuts into the Coke bottle allowed for a protein boost that you could sip while working.
Since then, the salty-sweet pairing of sugary Coke and savory peanuts has spread across the South, from the Carolinas all the way to Texas. Purists say the only way to enjoy the pairing is with a classic glass bottle. As one nostalgic writer says, “there’s something about gripping that curvy green glass bottle and tilting it just so, at that perfect 40° angle that offers up a trickle of Coke with an attendant peanut or two in each swig, that makes for one of the most satisfying sensations imaginable.”
Need to Know
There are other variations on the soda-and-peanuts theme. In Texas, for example, Dr Pepper and peanuts is a popular pairing.