You know as soon as you have tasted a Hubs peanut that you're hooked for life. These are uber-large peanuts blanched and then dipped in oil. The Hubbard family has been making these peanuts since 1954. The story goes that Dot Hubbard was a Home Ec teacher in the small town of Sedley, Va., (current population 1,100) with young twin daughters and a new baby. About 25 miles down the road was Suffolk, the home of Planters Peanuts. Planters uses mainly small peanuts and needed to sell off the largest peanuts. The smallest peanuts are pressed for oil. Medium ones become peanut butter or are used in candy while the large ones remain whole and are sometimes covered with chocolate. But the super extra-large peanuts are the ones you'll find in a Hubs can and these are the ones that Planters originally sold to Dot Hubbard.
Hubbard had grown up around peanut farms and had developed a method of cooking that keeps and enhances the flavor of the peanut. The Hubbard Peanut Company (800-889-7688; www.hubspeanuts.com) is now a multimillion dollar business but still remains in the Cape Cod house where it began. In fact, one of the children, Lynne Rabil, is now president of the company and her office is in what used to be her bedroom.
"Hubs" peanuts are sold in their distinctive green can at Arthur's at Belk, 4400 Sharon Road, SouthPark; or at The Fresh Market, 4223 Providence Road; 7625 Pineville/Matthews Road; 20623 Torrence Chapel Road in Cornelius.
Looking for a food you can't find? Or do you know of other food items unique to the Q.C.? Whether it's regional foods or international, talk to me: [email protected] or 704-522-8334, extension 136.