Tree nut–free peanuts are trouble. I’ve written before about how tough they are to find, so I won’t rehash—but suffice it to say that they aren’t easy to come by. In fact, America’s Best Nut Co. makes the only safe shelled peanuts I’ve managed to find in years (and years) of half-hearted searching.
Their website is pretty lean, and they have no email address, as far as I can tell—so I did the unthinkable: I called. The (very, very kind) woman I spoke with confirmed what I’d heard: that they don’t have any tree nuts in their facility, and that their peanuts should be entirely nut-free. Unfortunately, she also told me that their peanuts aren’t sold in any New York stores. Fortunately, though, they are sold online, so—well, I’m eating a handful as I type this. (Literally. One-handed blogging is a slow-going labor of love.)
Shipping was expensive, so in the interest of efficiency (and certainly not because I’m a pig), I ordered three tins: one lightly salted Southern Homestyle, one unsalted Southern Homestyle, and one sea-salted. All three were great, but I liked the lightly salted best, as they were a nice happy medium between the other two. (Duh.) The peanuts themselves taste great, and the salt complements their flavor nicely (rather than covering it up, as it tends to with the sea-salted variety). Plus, unlike the unsalted peanuts, these don’t grow boring after too many handfuls. They’re frighteningly addictive.
The unsalted did have their perks, though. First, they’re a classic—and second, they’re super greasy. These are some oily peanuts (though they aren’t unpleasantly so in the slightest). It’s a nice touch—in my eyes, at least—and it certainly sets these peanuts apart from those you’ll pull out of a shell.
In all, America’s Best Nut Co. is a lovely company that makes some damn good peanuts. My only gripes, really, are that they can’t be found in stores, and that they’re too expensive (for me) to order regularly.