Boiling peanuts has been a folk cultural practice in the Southern United States, where they were originally called goober peas, since at least the 19th century. The practice of eating boiled peanuts was likely brought by slaves from West Africa, where the related bambara groundnut is a traditional staple crop.:64 In July and August, when the peanut crops would come in, unsold and surplus peanuts would be prepared in a boiling, and extended families and neighbors would gather to share conversation and food. Like a fish fry, peanut boils have been organizing principles for social gatherings. Like okra, fried green tomatoes, black-eyed peas, collard greens and pork barbecue, boiled peanuts are symbols of Southern culture and cuisine.
The first recipe for boiled peanuts was published by Almeda Lambert in 1899.:64 Boiled peanuts became a mainstream commodity in the lower South in the early 20th century.:64 A 1925 account from Orangeburg, South Carolina, (where author Andrew F. Smith believes the sale of boiled peanuts may have begun) mentions boys hawking the food as a snack for five cents per bag.:64 The snack was also canned for consumption out of season.:64