If you push past the Frito Lay racks and shelves of M&M/Mars candies, gas station/convenience stores are a wonderland of tasty regional treats. This weekend at the Chevron station in Des Allemands, I discovered Uncle Bud’s Fried Peanuts, Cajun Flavor. Yes, these peanuts are deep-fried, and you can eat them “Shell-n-All” (it says so right on the bag). Shelled, the nuts don’t taste much different from standard roasted peanuts (not the dry-roasted kind, but the oil-roasted, bad-for-you cheap supermarket brand peanuts). Surprisingly, the fried shells add a popcornlike flavor and crunch, though a tad gritty with a tendency to lodge between the teeth.
So what makes ’em cajun? Always a good question, nest-pas? Sadly, Uncle Bud’s is based in Chattanooga, TN, so geography is not on Bud’s side. According to the label on the bag, “garlic, onion, black pepper, cayenne pepper, chili pepper, oregano, paprika, red and green bell peppers” provide the cajun flavor.
Thanks to those damn peanuts, I’ve had the Clifton Chenier version of “Uncle Bud” stuck in my head all weekend.