Peanuts are the most divisive of legumes. While some may love the salty crunchy snacks, others find them to be perhaps the most vile and disgusting piece of food on the face of the planet. The month of November is for the peanut lovers. Since it is national Peanut Butter Month, we at Quirk are going to take a look at some pairings of deliciously peanut based snacks and some of literatures best stories.
Payday and Pride and Prejudice
Jane Austen’s novel Pride and Prejudice follows a young British woman by the name of Elizabeth Bennet as she attempts to navigate love and societal constraints. Not prone to suffering fools, Elizabeth often tells people exactly what she thinks of them. It is this type of behavior which gains her the reputation of being difficult to deal with. Just like a Payday with its caramel core and exposed peanut exterior, Elizabeth is very much what you see is what you get. While not for everyone, both the Payday and Elizabeth are perfect matches for the right person.
Boiled Peanuts and Gone with the Wind
No novel says Southern history quite like Gone with the Wind. Margaret Mitchell’s novel of the fall of a powerful southern family during the Civil War has its roots grounded solidly in American history. Go nearly anywhere in the South and a boiled peanut is not far away. This particular preparation has been popular in the US since the Civil War when it is said to have originated from the confederate soldiers in an attempt to stave of hunger due to a lack of supplies.
Pad Thai and Erasure
Pad Thai seems to be the most popular Thai meal amongst Americans. A bit sweet and a bit spicy, the noodle based dish is both good tasting and filling. This meal is exactly what a read of Percival Everett’s novel Erasure is for the mind. The tale of a struggling black writer in America who taps into the stereotype of what it is to be a black man, Erasure has just that right amount of spiciness. Easily the most accessible of Everett’s works, this book is a great introduction to a brilliant pallet expanding experience.
Honey Roasted Peanuts and The Road
There are few writers whose works are as harrowing as Cormac McCarthy’s. In his novel The Road, McCarthy presents the tale of a father and son attempting to make their way across a burnt out wasteland to find both food and safety. Thanks to the airline industry, honey roasted peanuts have become synonyms with long trips. It is hard to sit and read The Road without feeling a little bit down. A handful of good honey roasted nuts would be just the thing to help someone forge ahead in McCarthy’s unrelenting post-apocalyptic hell.
Trail Mix and Lone Wolf and Cub
Kazuo Koike and Goseki Kojima’s long running manga Lone Wolf and Cub follows Ogami Itto, a Ronan seeking out revenge for the murder of his wife. With his son Daigoro in toe, Itto travels Japan looking to right the wrongs of the world. Travel like this would require a significant caloric intake. Easy to carry and full of proteins fats and nutrients, trail mix would be perfect for the long haul of this series of over 8,700 pages.
Peanut Butter Sandwich and The Word and The Void
Starting with the novel Running with the Demon, The Word and The Void is a trilogy of novels by fantasy writing legend Terry Brooks. The series follows Nest Freemark, a young woman who has extraordinary powers. Throughout the series, Nest ages 15 years as she makes her way from high school to adulthood. If there is one peanut based food that is with Americans their entire lives, it is the ubiquitous peanut butter sandwich. A childhood staple, many people swear off the sandwich they ate nearly every day for lunch at school. Still somehow that thick smear of pureed peanuts on a slice of white bread seems to rear its head from time to time.