Southern Tradition: Why People in the South Are Adding Peanuts to Coke

In Southern culinary culture, along with classics like fried chicken and pecan pie, there is a strange tradition: popping peanuts in cola. According to historian Rick McDaniel, this practice dates back to the 1920s, when shelled peanuts were sold alongside bottled Coca-Cola in rural stores. Workers began to combine them, perhaps to avoid handling every peanut with dirty hands they worked with.

Another theory links it to road trips. With regular manual transmission cars, placing peanuts in coke bottles is allowed for a hands-free snack. For the real experience, use regular Coke with salted peanuts, preferably in a glass bottle for enhanced flavor. Despite its strangeness, this Southern custom has been around for generations, offering a unique blend of sweet and salty that many find surprisingly enjoyable.