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Circus Fare Comes to Town

Practical snack meets PR scheme in some of the recent news from the Godspeed’s guardians, Jamestown 2007: packets of Virginia peanuts will be available at the ship’s ports of call, including Alexandria. As part of the Landing Party Festival along the waterfront May 27.

“We have always had sample bags of peanuts available,” said Dell Cotton, of the Virginia Peanut Growers Association. “It was the desire of the Jamestown people to have peanuts included [so] they approached us about providing peanuts.”

The growers association combined resources with Jamestown 2007 to provide about 150,000 sample bags of peanuts for the 6 ports of call as well as some of the other anniversary events.

Kevin Crossett, a self-described “big peanut fan” and spokesperson Jamestown 2007, explained that in the Godspeed’s ports of call in other states, the peanuts will serve as “a taste of Virginia for folks who may not have experienced everything Virginia has to offer. One of the goals of Godspeed is to promote Virginia products.”

Although the peanuts in the packets are Virginia type, not all of them are grown in Virginia – both North and South Carolina also grow the Virginia style of peanut, as does Texas, to a lesser extent. The Godspeed’s peanut packets are certified Virginia-Carolina grown, which mean they all come from either Virginia or the Carolinas.

Cotton explained that the Virginia-type peanuts in the packets are found everywhere from ball games to the gourmet cans of Virginia peanuts sold commercially. Runner peanuts, grown in Alabama, Georgia and Florida, are predominantly used for peanut butter, Cotton said. Spanish salted peanuts and Valencia peanuts are the other major types grown in the United States, but are not grown in the eastern seaboard states.

While peanuts have a long history, they have no specific connection to the Jamestown settlement. “Peanuts can be traced back to colonial times, but not back to 1607,” Crossett said.