Why Do People Put Peanuts in Coke?

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Have you ever seen someone put shelled peanuts into their bottle, can, or cup of Coca-Cola? If you're not from the South, the answer is likely no, and you're probably questioning the combination we just described. However, it really is a thing!

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According to the National Peanut Board, food historian Rick McDaniel revealed that the peanut-Coke trend likely started during the 1920s. This is when packaged, shelled peanuts began making their way into country stores and gas station aisles — the same places where you'd find a bottle of Coke.

But, how exactly did the peanuts end up ​inside​ the Coke? McDaniel believes that working Southerners would pour the peanuts directly into their Coke to avoid getting their hands dirty or to prevent their already-dirty hands from touching the peanuts, since places to wash up might not have been readily available. Pouring the peanuts from the bag into the Coke could have also been a way for them to keep their hands free for work.

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"What resulted was a mix of savory and sweet deliciousness," says ​Esquire​ writer Justin Kirkland, describing his first time trying peanuts in Coca-Cola as a child growing up in the South. "Better yet, the peanuts stick around, stay crunchy, and give you a nice little snack at the end of your beverage. Think of it like the working man's strawberries in champagne."

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At first, the idea of peanuts in Coca-Cola might sound strange, but when you really think about it, the flavors make sense. The peanuts bring the salt, while the Coke adds a sweet tanginess. It's a unique treat for sure, but don't knock it till you try it!

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