‘World’s Largest Peanut Boil’ underway in Luverne

Published 3:00 am Friday, August 31, 2018

On Labor Day Weekend, all roads lead to the World’s Largest Peanut Boil in Luverne.

But, those who wait until Labor Day to make the trek to the state’s Friendliest City just might be disappointed.

The Crenshaw County Shrine Club will boil 30 tons of peanuts and parch another ton over the weekend, but based on past experience, that might not be enough goobers to last through Labor Day.

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“We always hope to have enough peanuts to make it to Labor Day,” said Shriner Andy Compton. “We usually make it through Sunday but we have given out before Labor Day.”

Some customers buy a bag or two while others “tote ’em out in sacks.”

“The folks up at the highway department bought $800 worth and we were glad to sell ’em,” he said. “The Crenshaw County Shriners have been selling peanuts for 48 years and we are looking forward to our 50th year celebration.”
Sibyl Dorsey stood watching the crowd of customers and eating peanuts like they were sugar candy.

“I was here that first year, when we boiled peanuts to help a burned child in the local area,” Dorsey said. “There was no club that year. We just all got together and dug the peanuts, picked them off by hand and boiled them in a wash tub. I don’t know how many peanuts we boiled, but nothing anywhere like today.”
Glen Mothershed has been involved with the World’s Largest Peanut Boil for all 48 years. His specialty is parched peanuts, a ton or more of them each year.

“One year, a lady from up north came and wanted roasted peanuts. Not parched. Roasted,” Mothershed said. “I just turned my back and put a big letter R on the bag and that made her happy.”

Mothershed isn’t offended that boiled peanuts outsell his parched nuts by 29 tons.

“The parched ones are just as good but they are hard and people don’t want to have to put forth effort to chew them,” he said, with a smile.

The World’s Largest Peanut Boil has changed greatly over the years. The peanuts were first boiled in wash pots, 40 pounds at a time. Now, they are boiled in vats, 720 pounds at time.

But, no matter how they peanuts are boiled and no matter how long the lines or the wait, they are the best boiled goobers on the planet, said Faye Johns, of Montgomery.

“We drive down to Luverne every year to get boiled peanuts,” she said. “These peanuts cannot be beaten. There’s something about the flavor. They are just the best boiled peanuts you’ll ever eat.”

She bought enough for her own pleasure and a few bags to take to a friend who lives in Memphis, Tennessee. Johns believes, as many do, that the Crenshaw County Shriners’ peanuts do have a special flavor – flavor that comes when peanuts are boiled with love and a purpose.