Growing up in Louisiana, I couldn’t tell you what a peanut farm was or even how peanuts grew. It wasn’t something I had ever given thought to until I received an invitation asking me to join the Texas Peanut Producers Board in Lubbock, TX, specifically to discover everything you ever wanted to know about peanuts!
On this tour, I joined a small group of Texas bloggers at Lubbock’s Overton hotel, where we would start the two-day event. When I walked into my room, I was greeted with a peanut-themed gift basket, and it definitely set the mood for the days ahead!
After I indulged in the peanut butter cupcake you see on top (Oh.My.Goodness, it was incredible!) and had a video chat with my children, I got ready for dinner, which would be held at Las Brisas Steakhouse. The chef, Matt Lopez, crafted a special menu for our group. From Ancho Filet Street Tacos to Steak and Lobster with a peanut and sweet potato puree, he did an amazing job of incorporating peanuts into every bite we took! (We even tried peanut butter and jelly chicken wings!)
The next morning, we woke up early to meet with Mason Becker, who is a local peanut farmer. Mason took us to a field of peanuts, and explained the success and struggles the farmers and their crops often face.
I had no idea that peanuts were part of the legume family, which also means they grow underground!
Once we left the peanut field, we made our way to the Birdsong Shelling Facility in Brownfield, TX.
There, we were led on a tour to see everything from the way peanuts arrive at the facility to the final step of shipping the nuts to some of your well-known manufacturing companies. (Think peanuts in your M&Ms and your favorite brands of peanut butter!)
After leaving the factory, we had an outdoor lunch in the Trilogy Cellars Vineyard. Farm To Fork Gastrotruck created a three-course meal that included a Korean Fried Chicken salad that I could eat every single day! As we ate, we listened to Steve Newsom, who told us about his love and appreciation for peanuts, grapes and wine the grapes produce.
Since it’s quite common for Texas farmers to grow both peanuts and grapes (due to climate and experience), it was easy to see the correlation and respect for the two.
Steve then brought us to Trilogy Cellars Winery for a tasting before dinner. I loved the variety of wines he offers, and couldn’t help but think about the work that goes into each of the crops!
To celebrate, I came home and made my favorite recipe containing peanuts: Easy Peanut Butter Fudge, which would definitely pair nicely with your favorite dessert wine!
Thanks again to the Texas Peanut Producers Board for the incredible experience!