Poll rates Va. peanuts second

Published 8:35 am Wednesday, June 30, 2010

FRANKLIN—A poll to determine what state produces the best-tasting peanuts had Virginians voting in droves.

With an hour left before the poll ended at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Georgia led with 44 percent of more than 12,300 votes cast. Virginia was second at 40 percent.

“Considering the number of acres grown in Georgia versus Virginia, it’s a sign,” said Dell Cotton, executive secretary for the Virginia Peanut Growers Association in Franklin.

Georgia plants more than 500,000 acres of peanuts compared to Virginia’s 20,000 acres, Cotton said.

The poll got started last week when the Virginia Peanut Growers Association and other state peanut organizations became involved in a promotion sponsored by Roll Call, a daily newspaper distributed on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C.

The promotion is centered around the 49th Congressional Baseball Game, which was held Tuesday. The game at Nationals Park involved the Democrats versus the Republicans, with proceeds benefiting the Washington Literacy Council and the Greater Washington Boys & Girls Clubs.

As part of the promotion, there was a contest involving tasting and voting on the different states’ sample peanuts among congressional staffers. This grew via the Internet.

Final voting ended at 7 p.m. Tuesday. Results were not available as of press time.

“It’s to see what state people thought had the best tasting peanuts,” Cotton said.

Cotton says the Virginia peanut is a bigger nut compared to what’s grown in other states, and in Virginia, nuts are cooked and flavored.

Kristy White, operations manager for Zuni Gourmet Peanuts, said she’s never had a Georgia-grown peanut, yet claims Virginia’s are the best.

“I’ve been to Georgia, but I never had the opportunity to try one,” White said.

At Zuni Gourmet Peanuts, nuts are purchased from Birdsong and residents cook them. The peanut shop is part of Zuni Presbyterian Home, where adults with intellectual disabilities produce the products.

“We have chocolate covered, butter toffee, honey roasted (and more),” White said.