For New Year's, the 'rents and I drove to a resort hotel on the beach. We only stayed one night--just enough for a little relaxation. The only positive thing about car trips is the crazy junk food. For some reason, I always lean towards crazy, unhealthy goodies when I'm on the road.
We stopped at a typical gas station to refuel. Inside, there was a huge display of snack foods--cakes with sugary, crumbly frosting; various pickled meats in vacuum-sealed plastic; bags upon bags chips with two parts air to every part deliciousness. I was about to get a bag of "Beach BBQ" chips--it seemed fitting--when my mom spotted the boiled peanuts.
Now, I like boiled peanuts. They make me think of flea markets and hot summer afternoons. However, I didn't intend to part with my chips. I got to the front of the line, my intent clear. I was ready to pay. That is, until I saw... the Cajun-style peanuts!
The peanuts' brine was filled with pepper flakes and pungent spices. Normally, I bite my nuts open with my teeth, sucking in the salty liquid inside the shell. But the Cajun nuts? I broke them open with my fingernails. The brine was fairly too salty to handle--although the spiciness added a certain excitement to the mix.
The nuts themselves were soft and lovely. They were also quite large--a pleasant surprise!
In the end, my nose was running; I was sniffling ever so slightly. That's my seal of approval for any spicy dish: if I can get a visceral reason from the food, then it's certainly worth the effort of eating.