"..a bardy view!"


Right! I'm going to talk about peanuts.

What? I hear you cry. Peanuts! Hasn't he anything more important to say, like the car-crash British Labour Government, the expenses row, the MP's with their snouts so far in the gravy trough that they're starting to choke for air? The bloated arrogant Commons Speaker "Gorbals Mick" and his fat pension? Good grief, the Queen may have to dissolve parliament and call for a General Election, and this guy is talking about peanuts!

Yep. I'm going to talk about peanuts. But not about the common roasted varieties in or out of the shell, nor the Planters type with the crispy seasoned coatings, or the fried ones with chilli and garlic, or even that revolting stuff called peanut butter. No, no, I'm talking about the freshly harvested boiled pure nut.

In Batangas province, about thirty miles away, the peanut reigns alongside sugar cane, tuna, and tilapia, as well as scores of varieties of fruit, as a primary crop.

Indeed, upon crossing the provincial border, a huge sign grandly informs all and sundry – Welcome to Bantangas, the bread basket of the Philippines. Some other regions may argue with that, but not I.

Batangas is the neighbouring province of Laguna, which is where I sit now, and is a beautiful place, blessed by stunning beaches as well as lush equatorial flora. It's port is the gateway to the sun-drenched tropical islands of the Visayas in the central archipelago.

But to me it means all of that and more, and one of them is the peanut.

May is the end of the harvest and heralds the new planting. It takes about three months for the crop to grow. When uprooted, with their shells bunched together like grapes, they're washed and boiled with a touch of sea salt. The shells are soft, as are the nuts inside, which have a bluish hue to them and they melt in the mouth. No further seasoning is required.

They are very moreish, and make an ideal pulutan, which is the Tagalog word for "snacks with beer".

It's the best time to cook them this way, freshly picked. If they're not, they will become too hard, and the only way to eat them is by roasting. Which is what most people everywhere are accustomed to.

So there is my modest essay about the peanut, which is a much more preferable topic than the other type of nuts in Westminster, who surely are due for their own roasting in the months to come.


May 15, 2009 - Posted by | The Philippines

1 Comment »

  1. Apologies meant the preceding post on radio waves to be here instead of there? The powers that be are finally getting to all of us. I’d prefer one of your nuts if you don’t mind and Happy holidaying.


    Comment by Spook Moor | May 15, 2009 | Reply

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