My grandparents’ visits involved several food rituals — pumpernickel from Bauhof’s bakery, walnuts and ribbon candy (Christmastime) and, always, peanuts from Hickory Farms. These peanuts had an edible shell, very thin, with a slight salty flavor. When Hickory Farms disappeared from this area, I couldn’t find those peanuts, or even a reasonable facsimile.
Until Cuernavaca, where they are sold on the street as “Peanuts, Japanese style.” They came in blue-and-white packages with the caricature of a geisha on the bag.
Recently, Baltimore’s burgeoning Latino population has meant that one can find these peanuts in some grocery stores. I’m on the hunt, all the time.
But I’ve never figured out what makes them “Japanese style.”