Peanut proposal passage boils down to Senate approval

(Columbia) March 1, 2006 - There's no eating allowed in the State House chambers, but boiled peanuts have managed to make their way into the House and Senate.

Next week the soggy peanuts could become the "official" snack of South Carolina.

Boiled peanuts could become South Carolina's official snack. 22-year-old Tom Stanford proposed the bill with the backing of students in his Winthrop government club. He says, "They're eaten all over the state and enjoyed at all kinds of occasions."

He has high hopes for the peanut, "I think this is something people can really get behind."

Just ask Burns Corley of Cromer's about the little legumes, "It's a staple food for South Carolinians."

Tucked behind Williams-Brice, his store's been selling sacks of the stuff for 75 years. WIS' Angie Goff spoke with Corley about sales.

Angie: How many bags do you sell at USC football games?
Burns: Can be anything between 10,000 bags at a game.
Angie: That's a lot of peanuts.
Burns: That's a lot of peanuts. People love them.

And some downright just need them. One woman told Angie, "I'm pregnant and I'm craving them."

The peanut bill is not in the bag yet. It passed the House and is now in the Senate. If it makes it the salty treat will join the ranks of other official South Carolina favorites.

Elaine Nichols is a curator of history, and a supporter of the bill, "It's a major part of South Carolina culture."

Last week the governor signed the sweet grass bill, making the basket the state's official handcraft.

The baskets are part of the state's history, according to Elaine, "Africans came to South Carolina. They brought the sweet grass basket-making traditions with them."

"You could actually pour water in them."

From baskets, to beverage. Carolina-grown tea is already South Carolina's official drink. It's culture in a cup, and in color. Artist Paula Bowers says, "It's being worked into a book that highlights great things about Columbia."

The boiled peanut could make the next page soon. But it'll have to shell off a little competition first.

Tom's concern is, "about the pork rind lobby intercepting our momentum."

But bill or no bill, some Carolinians can't get enough of one tasty tradition.

Reported by Angie Goff

Posted 6:56pm by Chantelle Janelle