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Nov. 16, 2005
Ode to the Peanut
Peanuts - I love ‘em!
They are so versatile and delicious in every form I have ever tried - roasted in the shell, salted, ground into peanut butter, honey roasted, chocolate covered, spicy, boiled (a southern tradition), mixed into trail mix... this list could go on and on.

At Clif Bar, we use quite a bit of peanut butter many of our products. The other day, I was sampling a variety of different peanut butters to try and choose the best ones for us to use. As I tasted them all, I was enjoying the subtle flavor differences between them and thinking about how much I love peanut butter. How does one choose the “best” when they're all delicious in their own unique way!

(On a side note, I'm also a lover of other “true” nuts—almonds, cashews, pistachios, walnuts—all of them.)

How about some peanut trivia???

Q: Are peanuts true nuts?

A: No! They are legumes, like beans and peas. They contain more protein (like beans) than other nuts. Peanuts grow underground instead of on trees like other “true” nuts (almonds, hazelnuts, cashews, etc.).

Q: Where did peanuts originate?

A: It's believed that they are originally from Peru or Bolivia. Later, they were transported to Africa and then on to the United States during the Civil War.

Q: Where do they grow in the US?

A: Alabama, Georgia, Texas, Florida, South Carolina, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Virginia. However, organic peanuts are grown dry climates like New Mexico.

Q: Peanuts can be contaminated with aflatoxin. What's that?

A: Many agricultural products are vulnerable to a fungal growth that can occur during the growing season or during harvesting or storage. There is a particular fungus that produces a toxin, called alflatoxin, which is toxic in large doses. Since this is a common problem with many crops, there are very strict (federally-mandated) tests that are conducted on crops prior to use for food.

If the tests show levles of aflatoxin that are higher than what is allowed, then the crop is not allowed to be used for food. Some foods that can be subject to this include: corn, millet, rice, wheat, peanut, cotton, soybean, sunflower, chiles, black pepper, coriander, almonds, pistachios, walnuts, coconut, milk, and others.

Q: What is my favorite way to eat peanut butter?

A: On a spoon! I’d love to hear your favorite way to eat it!
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We like getting our heart rates up, taking a big breath of fresh air, savoring delicious food. But we also love telling stories and here's where we type 'em up. (BTW, it works both ways; leave a comment—please and thank you.)

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