The Perfect Bite
St. Johns Magazine's exclusive reviews of Local Restaurants by Local Foodie Lori Allen
by Lori Allen
6323 Racetrack Road
St. Johns, Florida
It’s that time of year and so I thought it would be a great idea to try out one of those favorites people love to eat at the ball parks…peanuts! Although this is not your ordinary roasted peanut….these are Gourmet Boiled Peanuts!
Randezz Nutz is the place to go if you want to try out original gourmet boiled peanuts. He is portable, but he does have a set schedule where he is on Race track road the majority of the time and makes what he likes to call the first ever Gourmet Boiled Peanuts. He told me that there has never been a market for gourmet peanuts so he created one. I asked him what makes them gourmet so he proceeded to have me taste them and see what I thought. Regular Gourmet was the first flavor I tried, these green peanuts are boiled with pineapples, carrots, ginger, lemon zest, onions and seasonings to give you a sweet tangy flavor. You can’t help but to suck out the juice before you pop open the peanut and delve in. It is so fully of sweet juicy fruity flavor and still a little salty because it is a peanut after all. The next kind we tried is called Cajun Gourmet boiled peanuts. These are similar to his regular gourmet ones but he adds Pepperoncini= banana pepper= sweet Italian pepper (that’s right, those funny yellowish green peppers you get with pizza or on a Greek salad) and Jalapenos which gives that tangy sweetness you get from the regular gourmet ones plus the extra heat you need to be calling them Cajun. He also throws in garlic and of course Cajun spices. They are hot enough that you might want a cold beer to go along with them but not so hot that you stop eating them! The heat is just enough to keep you coming back for more. These two flavors are what he has every day on the menu. But then he always has a special flavor of the day. When I stopped in the specialty of the day was Smoked turkey. That’s right smoked turkey boiled peanuts! The juice of these tasted like you were eating a thanksgiving peanut! He boiled them with smoked turkey (of course), celery, garlic, rosemary, thyme and a bunch of other seasonings. These were my son’s favorites and as an added bonus you sometimes even get actual chunks of smoked turkey...yum!
Some of Randezz other flavors include Korean barbeque, braised beef ribs with toasted sesame seeds, smoked kielbasa and bacon, lemon pepper and many more. You can call ahead and see what flavors he’s got going on that day or ask him on Facebook. I asked him where did he get his talent for making such tasty food and he told me although he was born and raised here in Jacksonville he spent some time in Mississippi as a sous chef…well that paid off because you can sure taste some of those Cajun flavors in his peanuts!
Randezz said it takes 12 hours to make one batch of boiled peanuts and he makes about 3 batches a night and up to 300lbs a week. These fine green peanuts are shipped to him from Virginia the peanut capital of the US.
Fun Fact: Boiled peanuts are widely consumed and commercially available in an area of the Southern United States from southern Virginia, south to central Florida, as far north as Ohio and west to Mississippi. The peanuts are sold in the hull and either boiled with only salt or with a piquant spice mixture such as Old Bay. Boiling peanuts has been a folk cultural practice in the Southern United States, where they were originally called goober peas, since at least the 19th century. The practice of eating boiled peanuts was likely brought by slaves from Africa. In July and August, when the peanut crops would come in, unsold and surplus peanuts would be prepared in a boil and extended families and neighbors would gather to share conversation and food. Boiled peanuts are symbols of Southern culture and cuisine. The first recipe for boiled peanuts was published by Almeda Lambert in 1899!
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Lori Allen is a local who moved from the Boston area to attend Flagler College and never left. She is a family person that loves the beach, football, working out and finding new places to try. Her love for food comes from her northern background and her love of cooking as well as meeting new and interesting people. She has never met a stranger nor has she ever been afraid to try an intriguing place. (Check out all her reviews on stjohnsmag.com)