Peanuts in the Land of Plenty

Posted by Alayne Gardner-Carimi on

Harvest time brings thoughts of apples, pumpkins, squash, and other crops. Here in the Midwest, we see dust billowing behind farmers harvesting corn, soybeans, wheat, oats, and barley (mmm, beer!). In the south they are additionally harvesting cotton, rice, sorghum, peanuts and more.

Because of the Few

Today, while farmland may stretch far and wide, farmers and ranchers themselves make up just 1.3% of the employed US population, totaling around 2.6 million people. These men and women are hardworking risk takers who love the land. They invest in the seed, plant it, water or hope for rain, grow and, with good management practices and good weather, harvest it for the consumers here and abroad. Today we're celebrating National Farmers Day (10/12).

Innovation, Transition, and Relationship

The US farming industry continues its massive transition. In 1840, workers in the agriculture industry made up 70% of the American workforce. The farm population in 1920 had decreased to 30.2 percent of the population of 105.7 million. The mechanization of farming has led to better yields per farmer-hour. With this industrialization has come some consumer mistrust of the food chain. While smart technology is changing what it means to work in agriculture, and how Americans interact with their food daily, vomFASS has always insisted on having a personal relationship with the producers of their oils, vinegars, and spirits.

Power Packed Peanut Crops

First of all, they are legumes, not nuts. Their seed pods grow in the ground as opposed to in trees, so in the 1800’s they were referred to as groundnuts. They were hard to grow, harder to harvest, and were mostly planted as a food source for pigs and other farm animals. With innovations in agriculture, peanuts have become one of the top ten crops in the US. The US consistently ranks among the top 4 countries producing peanuts worldwide, along with China, India, and Nigeria. As a legume, peanut plants naturally improve the land by adding nitrogen into the soil as it grows, and reducing the need for synthetic fertilizers. Peanut crops are often rotated with other crops like cotton and corn to help maintain soil health, reduce the risk of pests and diseases, and increase the yields of these rotational crops.  

Types of Peanuts
Runner Peanuts
These peanuts are the most common type. Due to their small round shape and consistent size, they are most easily roasted and are used primarily for peanut butter production.
Virginia Peanuts
Known for their larger size and crunchy texture, Virginia peanuts are often used as gourmet peanut snacks.
Spanish Peanuts
Spanish peanuts have smaller kernels and the highest oil content. They are most often used for peanut oil and making candies. 
Valencia Peanuts
A favorite at ballgames, these groundnuts are mostly served roasted or boiled, and sold in-shell. Their sweetness also makes them ideal for natural peanut butter products.
Peanut Oil

Peanuts are a good source of plant-based protein and contain essential nutrients like healthy fats, fiber, vitamins, and minerals. This nutritional profile makes them a popular choice for snacks and as an ingredient in meals. Peanut oil is a source of healthy monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats, including omega-6 fatty acids. It also contains vitamin E, which acts as an antioxidant.

You can purchase both refined and unrefined peanut oils. A refined peanut oil has a mild flavor profile that doesn't overpower the taste of the dishes it's used in. This neutrality makes it suitable for a wide range of cuisines and cooking applications. It has a high smoke point (450˚F) and can be used at high temperatures. 

Best in Class

Unrefined peanut oil is not filtered, has a lower smoke point (320˚F) and retains its nutty flavor. There are different quality levels, with the cold-pressed, virgin peanut oil being the highest quality. At vomFASS Madison we are proud to bring you the best! Our sophisticated Roasted Peanut Oil Vierge is made from the first pressing of roasted peanuts by oil expert Jean Marc Montegottero. It is perfect for oven roasting and for use in wok-prepared dishes. This fine oil, with its strong roasted flavor, adds that extra pedigree of flavor to your fall vegetables, Asian dishes, shrimps, salads, baking and cocktails. See recipes below or check out our recipes online.

Celebrate National Farmer’s Day

vomFASS Madison looks forward to seeing you, refilling your bottles (or fulfilling your online orders) with our premium Roasted Peanut Oil Vierge. As we celebrate National Farmers Day, all the farmers' work, and the food they produce, we also recognize that there are those in our communities who battle food insecurities. We are celebrating and supporting the work of with a 20% donation of all vomFASS Roasted Peanut Vierge purchases (10/12-10/16/2023) and hope you will take a moment and learn about their mission: which transforms food excess into accessible, chef-quality meals for everyone, regardless of their means. 

Crispy Brussels with Peanut Miso Sauce

Payday Cocktail

Chocolate Peanut Butter Cake Squares

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