Where Do Peanuts Come From? Do Know Your Peanut Butter Well?

Arpitha Rajendra
Feb 29, 2024 By Arpitha Rajendra
Originally Published on Oct 22, 2021
Edited by Jade Scott
Peanuts in nutshell on a piece of wood and peeled peanuts in golden bowl on sackcloth
Age: 3-18
Read time: 5.3 Min

We love peanut butter so much, so why not learn more about its main ingredient?

Peanut plants of the genus Arachis are restricted to South America but there are several varieties and subspecies found around the world. The peanut plant grows to a height of 23.6 in (60 cm) above the ground and has yellow flowers.

Peanuts are also called pindar (US), goober (US), monkey nuts (UK), and groundnuts, and are classified as Arachis hypogaea. Peanuts are legumes (vegetables), they grow underground and are cultivated mainly for human consumption. Peanuts grow very well in sandy loam soil that has a pH of 5.9-7 with a lot of light. These legumes are harvested around four to five months after planting them in April and May. The edible seed is the peanut within a brown shell. They need a warm climate throughout the year and are cultivated in countries like India, the southern United States, and Nigeria. Shelled and unshelled peanuts last for about three months with refrigeration.

China had the most production of peanuts in the world in 2019 followed by India, Nigeria, Sudan, and the United States. Some cultivators in the United States are divided into three main regions; the southeast United States, which includes Georgia, Florida, and Alabama, the southwest United States which includes Oklahoma, New Mexico, and Texas, and the last area, the eastern United States, which includes South Carolina, North Carolina, and Virginia. Peanuts possibly originated in South America and spread to the world when explorers from Spain found several varieties. The types of peanuts grown are Valencia, Spanish, Runner, and Virginia. Each of these peanuts has distinct properties allowing producers to choose the type of peanut required for a particular market.

If you enjoyed reading these facts about where do peanuts come from, then make sure to read some more interesting facts that answer the questions where do nuts come from and where do oats come from here on Kidadl.

Where do Spanish peanuts come from?

Spanish peanuts come from southeast and southwest of the United States and South Africa.

States planting and harvesting Spanish peanuts are within southeast and southwest of the United States and countries that harvest these nuts include South Africa. 90% of peanuts grown in Georgia, US were Spanish crop until 1940. Currently, the production seeds are planted at a depth of 2 in (5 cm) in sandy soil with high calcium and placed in a warm region. When pods develop, flowers grow on the plant, but some pods are immature during harvesting. Once the pollination is done, the flower dries out. This dried flower is called a peg and this peg is buried in the soil to develop seeds. Timing plays an important role in harvesting as many pods can still be unripe if harvested too early and pods will and stay in the soil if harvested too late. The whole plant must be removed including the roots for a healthy crop. The plants with peanut kernels grow up to 18 inches (45.72 cm) tall. Spanish peanuts have small-sized kernels and have a nutty flavor and red skin. These nuts are often referred to as 'red skins.' Spanish peanuts have high oil content compared to other peanuts. There are various breeds within this group. Hot roasted peanuts are a popular food.

Peanut plant

Where do longhorn's peanuts come from?

Longhorn's steakhouse is a famous restaurant chain in America. They keep buckets with peanuts as an appetizer or snack.

Previously, they would allow customers to throw their shells on the floor. Peanut oil is extracted from these peanuts. One famous type of peanut snack is boiled peanuts which are popular in India, West Africa, China, and the Southern United States. For gluten-free cooking, peanut flour can be used. One of the popular livestock feeds is groundnut cake which is mostly used as a protein supplement. Peanut oil is used in lubricating oil, varnish, paint, insecticides, leather dressings, cosmetics, soap, nitroglycerin, and furniture polish. Peanuts are non-toxic, so you can eat them right out of the ground too. You can also eat peanuts every day for added vitamins and minerals.

Where do Spanish redskin peanuts come from?

Spanish peanuts or Spanish redskin peanuts come from the southeast and southwest of the United States and South Africa.

Peanuts do not grow on trees like cashews or almonds but grow like potatoes, with fruit under the ground, and the flower above the ground. Spanish redskin peanuts are simply Spanish peanuts planted and grown predominantly in New Mexico, Texas, and Oklahoma. Spanish redskin peanuts are used to extract peanut oil. Other types of food produced using these peanuts are peanut butter (as they have high oleic acid), peanut hummus, peanut soup, and they can also be mixed with fruits and granola. Proper storage of these products is necessary to keep them away from moisture. If not stored properly, the products can get infected by Aspergillus flavus, a mold fungus.

Where do Valencia peanuts come from?

Valencia nuts mainly come from New Mexico and West Texas.

New Mexico is one of the main producers of the Valencia peanut type. The Valencia peanut group has heavy and reddish stems, large foliage, and a coarse plant. They are also grown on a large production scale in South Plains, West Texas, and south of Portales, New Mexico. This peanut group is, however, grown on a small scale down south. The height of this plant is 49 in (125 cm) and its width across is around 30 in (75 cm). The pods of this plant grow out of the peg's side branches and main stem. These pods are scattered around the base of the plant and few of them can be found far away. There are three to five smooth seeds in this type of peanut plant. Oval seeds are firmly crowded in the pods. There are two varieties of Valencia; Valencia C and Valencia A. These nuts are used for salted nuts, roasted in-shell peanuts, and also for peanut butter.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly facts for everyone to enjoy! If you liked our suggestion for Where do peanuts come from? Healthy nut facts check! then why not take a look at why do dogs like belly rubs? And why it is your dogs' favorite thing?, or Where do diamonds come from? Curious gemstone facts to be aware of?

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Written by Arpitha Rajendra

Bachelor of Engineering specializing in Aeronautical/Aerospace Technology, Master of Business Administration specializing in Management

Arpitha Rajendra picture

Arpitha RajendraBachelor of Engineering specializing in Aeronautical/Aerospace Technology, Master of Business Administration specializing in Management

With a background in Aeronautical Engineering and practical experience in various technical areas, Arpitha is a valuable member of the Kidadl content writing team. She did her Bachelor's degree in Engineering, specializing in Aeronautical Engineering, at Nitte Meenakshi Institute of Technology in 2020. Arpitha has honed her skills through her work with leading companies in Bangalore, where she contributed to several noteworthy projects, including the development of high-performance aircraft using morphing technology and the analysis of crack propagation using Abaqus XFEM.

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