If you ran across a bowl of nan ru peanuts at a party, you'd probably pass right by them on the way to the bean dip. They're unprepossessing little things, closer to parrot feed than to the peanuts you find at the ballpark, and the shells are tinted a pale yet alarmingly vivid pink. Bitter experience has taught us: Chinese snacks are not necessarily your friend.
Yet Farmer Brand nan ru peanuts, whose foil bag pictures a manly dude rocking gladiator sandals and a sturdy, black hoe, are as compelling as cat videos, and after a half-hour spent cracking the slightly sweet, slightly pungent, thoroughly crunchy nuts between your teeth, you will wonder where the time went and why your stomach hurts. Is it the fermented bean curd in which the nuts are marinated before roasting? Is it the smaller, denser Chinese legumes? The world will never know. But it is no coincidence that nan ru peanuts are an invention of Singapore, where snack food is a permissible vice. You can find Farmer Brand nan ru peanuts at 99 Ranch.
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