The Southern Grandpa-Approved Snack You’ve Gotta Try This Summer

Grandpa and grandson in field

If you’ve never heard of Farmer's Coke (aka Coke and peanuts) before then you've been missing out on some serious old-timer snack lore. Originating in the South during the 1920’s as a snack that workers could enjoy without needing to wash their hands, Farmer's Coke quickly became a popular summertime staple enjoyed by people of all ages across the country.

Back in 2018, Coke and peanuts had a viral online resurgence, and we've seen it popping up in our social media feed in recent weeks, although for many the sweet and salty treat never went anywhere. For those in the know, drinking Coca-Cola with salted peanuts is not just an incredible idea turned tasty snack, it’s a part of American history just like hotdogs, hamburgers and the gosh darn 4th of July.

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Why Do People Put Peanuts in Coke?

The main reason is the combination is easy and delicious. It's salty and sweet, it's a snack and a drink and it's just plain fun.

Making the unusually satisfying pairing known as Farmer's Coke is as simple as it gets. All you need is a bottle of your favorite cola and a sleeve of peanuts. Simply open the bottle, take the inaugural first sips, then pour in a handful of peanuts and watch the cola fizzle up as the salt dissolves into the rest of the drink.

These days, peanuts and Coca-Cola are most commonly seen in the South, but if you keep your eyes peeled you'll see them in other parts of the country too. It’s a tradition that goes back generations as the go-to snack for those who live anywhere between Texas all the way up to the Virginias. Without needing to wash up for a more hands-on meal, a Farmer's Coke provides a quick little protein boost and tasty drink to wash it down.

Related: The Southern Secret to Tender, Juicy, Golden Brown Chicken

How to Customize Peanuts in Coke

For starters, you can make a Farmer's Coke using any bottle or cup of cola, though there is a strong preference when it comes to the vessel. According to Florida’s own chef Kia Damon and Landon Bryant of all-things Southern @landontalks, the best way to enjoy this salty-sweet pairing is using a classic glass soda bottle. Some people have described the glass bottle as having the perfect 40° angle that provides the right amount of Coke paired with just a peanut or two in each sip.

Add Coca-Cola is the classic choice, but Farmer's Coke can also be made with other cola brands. We've seen people using Pepsi and RC Cola as an alternative to Coca-Cola, both of which bring their own flavorful twist to the longstanding tradition. We're sure Dr Pepper would also be a winning pairing with peanuts.

With a snack like this, it's a no harm-no foul situation. Try it for yourself with your favorite cola today and see what interesting flavors our great-grandparents were experiencing “back when I was your age.”

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