Did you know that there are different varieties of peanuts? Many people are aware of the place of production, but are not familiar with the types of peanuts. Even in the same production area, different types of peanuts have different sizes and tastes. Therefore, if you know the type of peanut, you will be able to choose the peanut that you like. Before you buy peanuts without being aware of the type and lament, “This is not what I expected…”, take this opportunity to learn about the different types of peanuts!
There are five types of peanuts in Chiba Prefecture, Japan.
Currently in Chiba Prefecture ,Japan,
there are varieties for roasted peanuts, Chiba Handachi, Nakate Yutaka, and Q-Natts.
Satonoka and Omasari are varieties for boiled peanuts.
These are the five main types of peanuts grown.
Varieties for roasted peanuts
The most typical way to eat Chiba peanuts is to enjoy them roasted in their shells. While most foreign peanuts are basically processed, Chiba peanuts are delicious as they are, so this is the most common way to eat peanuts.
The Chiba Han-dachi peanut is a representative variety of Chiba Prefecture, the peanut kingdom of Japan, with a very savory, sweet, and rich flavor. It has a high reputation for its flavor, but is expensive because it is difficult to grow and harvested in small quantities. It is considered the best variety of peanut produced in Japan. It is no exaggeration to say that this variety has a long history and established the “Japanese Chiba peanut” brand. However, they are a little small and tend to have black speckles on the shell, so they are not very attractive. Because of its high price, poor appearance, and small size, people who are not familiar with the variety tend to avoid it, but on the contrary, it is the variety of choice for connoisseurs who are more particular about taste than appearance.
This variety was bred at the Chiba Peanut Experiment Station in Chiba Prefecture. Nakate Yutaka has a slightly lighter flavor than Chiba Hanteri, and its slightly larger size, good appearance, and white shell make it a very popular gift for those who enjoy growing peanuts. Because the yield is about 20% larger than that of the Chiba Handachi, the price is low even for peanuts produced in Chiba Prefecture. It is an excellent peanut with a good taste, good volume, and low price. Generally, products labeled only as Chiba peanuts are often these NakateYutaka. The harvest is about a month earlier than that of the ChibaHandachi, so you can taste the new peanuts early.
A new variety that debuted in 2018. Q-Nuts, which surpasses P-Nuts. As the name suggests, it is characterized by a sweetness that is easy to understand and unprecedented. Similar to the aforementioned NakateYutaka, it is light, slightly larger and more attractive, with a white shell that grows easily and beautifully, making it a very popular gift. It is more resistant to disease than the Nakatebutoyo, so its yield is more stable.
Characteristics of ChibaHandachi, NakateYutaka, and Q-Nuts
|Flavor||Rich||light||Sweet and light|
|Size||Slightly small||Slightly large||Slightly large|
|Color of astringent peel||brown||white||white|
|Color of the husk||Prone to black spots||Can be grown relatively white||Can be grown white|
|Harvest time||Late (October to November)||Early (September to October)||Early (September to October)|
|Yield per same area||Less||Much||Much|
|Difficulty of cultivation||Difficult||Relatively easy||Relatively easy|
|Recommended for||Gourmets and gourmets who like strong flavors||Light taste lovers, for gift-giving||Sweet and light taste, for gift-giving|
How to distinguish between Chiba Handachi, NakateYutaka, and Q-Nuts?
Most domestic roasted peanuts on the market are these three varieties. The best way to distinguish between peanut varieties is to look at the color! Crack open the shell, peel off the astringent skin, and look at the back of the astringent skin. If it is brown, it is ChibaHandachi, and if it is white, it is NakateYutaka or Q-Nuts. However, it is difficult to tell the difference between NakatYutaka and Q-Nuts.
Behind-the-scenes industry talk
How do you select vegetables when you go to the supermarket?
You probably choose the ones that are large, colorful, and beautiful.
However, if you choose peanuts that are large and have very beautiful shells, there is a high probability that you will make a mistake.
This is because if peanuts grow too large, they will taste large and lose their flavor. This is especially true for medium-sized peanuts, which are more susceptible to late harvesting. For peanuts, the best size is the right size for the variety.
And then there is the color of the peanut shell. In fact, beautiful does not always mean tasty. Those that are too beautiful may be harvested too early. If they are harvested too early, they tend to rise beautifully, but the shells tend to be a little softer and the flavor a little lighter. However, the color of the shell is a bit more complicated, and black spots do not necessarily mean that the shell is tastier.
And then there is the difference between varieties; the ChibaHandachi, which is considered the most delicious, is small and tends to have black speckled patterns, and its appearance is not as splendid as it seems at first glance. In other words, the quality of peanuts cannot be judged solely by the color of the shell.
Varieties for boiled peanuts
Boiled peanuts are harvested around the end of August. Peanuts to be roasted are dried on the field for about for weeks after being dug, but boiled peanuts are boiled immediately after being dug. The new peanuts can be eaten earlier because the peanuts are dug earlier and the drying process is not necessary. The method of cooking and storing peanuts is quite different from that of roasting peanuts.
This is a relatively new variety bred from NakateYutaka for boiled peanuts.
It is widely grown as a boiled peanut because it can be harvested in large quantities, has a beautiful white shell, and a thin skin with little astringency. Generally speaking, this variety is often referred to as boiled peanuts.
The most distinctive feature of this variety is its size. This peanut is about twice the size of the NakateYutaka. They are sweeter and tastier than conventional varieties, and are suitable for boiled peanuts because they are soft and very mild. The name “Omasari” comes from its “large pods that are superior in taste”. This new peanut was bred from the Jumbo Jenkins peanut, discovered and named by Mr. Jenkins in the U.S., and was completed in 2009.
1] In fact, boiled peanuts have only recently become popular. Although the act of boiling and eating peanuts has been practiced in peanut-producing regions, it was only recently that the popular genre of boiled peanuts was commercialized. In the past, such products were rarely seen. The boiled peanut contains a lot of water and tends to spoil easily, so it seems that advances in refrigerated delivery and packing technology have made this possible.
2] Oomasari is a variety that Chiba Prefecture began cultivating for the general public in 2009 after more than 10 years of breeding. It is a peanut with the best of all worlds: the grains are really large, so customers respond well to them, and they are even tastier. The standards required for the product were quite high, and some people did not grow the Omasari large because they thought, “If it is not large, it is not Oomasari!” The peanuts that are not grown large (but are large enough compared to ordinary peanuts) must be removed during the sorting process. They are also very difficult to handle because the pods turn black and lose their commercial value if they are not boiled and processed within a day or two after they are dug up.
There are more than 1,600 varieties of peanuts in total?
In Chiba Prefecture,Jappan, these five varieties of peanuts are grown, but if you look around the world, peanuts are widely grown in China, India, Nigeria, the United States, Indonesia, South Africa, and other countries. There are many varieties of peanuts in many countries, and the peanuts used for different purposes vary.
In addition to the many varieties, peanuts are classified by “type”. They can be classified by size and growth characteristics (grass type and branching habit), and can be broadly divided into three types: Virginia, Spanish, and Valencia.
The Virginia type is large and most varieties grown in Chiba Prefecture are of this type. Because of their good taste, peanuts in Japan are mainly consumed in shells or as butter peanuts or in other processed forms that do not significantly change their shape. Therefore, the demand for and supply of large-sized varieties is high, and almost all varieties produced in Japan are classified as this type.
The Valencia and Spanish types are smaller and are used in sweets, peanut butter and oil. These types are rarely grown in Japan and are imported from the U.S., China, South Africa, and other countries.
Chiba Prefecture, Japan, stores 1,600 varieties of peanuts at the Chiba Prefectural Agricultural and Forestry Research Center (the only public institution in Japan specializing in peanut research), and the varieties selected from these are used to improve the varieties on a daily basis. The research conducted on delicious peanuts is not only based on experience, but also on daily research, which is why peanuts from Chiba Prefecture are so delicious.
Grades of peanuts
Peanuts are graded not only by variety, but also by the thickness of the fruit. In order of thickness, peanuts are ranked first, second, third, fourth, and fifth, and the price and uses vary considerably depending on the grade. First- and second-grade peanuts are large and tasty, so they are used for processed products that retain the original shape of the fruit, such as peanuts with pods and salted peanuts. Some stores label them as “special” to make them easier to understand for the general public. Thin peanuts become thinner as they reach the fifth grade, and the crispy texture of thin peanuts makes them a perfect match for buttered peanuts and other products. Thin nuts are less expensive and are used for products that change shape, such as peanut oil. The grading process is very difficult, requiring multiple rounds of sorting by machine and manual labor.
[Summary] What is important in selecting peanuts?
In other words, when selecting peanuts from Chiba Prefecture, “variety and grade ” are important!
If you want the best tasting peanuts! If so, then Chiba Handachi is the one for you.
If you want the reasonable peanuts, choose the thin type of NakateYutaka or Satonoka.
I want crispy peanuts that go well with sake! Then, try the fine peanut butter peanuts.
If you want to decorate your peanut dishes with a nice appearance, choose super large oomari peanuts or slightly larger NakateYutaka peanuts.
When choosing peanuts, you can select the variety and grade of peanut you like best.