"… the peculiar taste for Royal Crown Cola with Planters salted peanuts…"
(West of Rehoboth by Alexs D. Pate; narrated by Dion Graham)
I was listening to the audio of West of Rehoboth last night and RC Cola and Planters peanuts was mentioned. Stop. What is this? A quick google revealed that in many parts of the U.S. South, dumping salted peanuts into a bottle of RC was a fairly common thing. I say “was” because many of the references I came across were nostalgic, the advent of high fructose corn syrup and plastic bottles apparently ruining the sweet-and-salty effect of the original. I came across slight variations of RC and Planters: Coke and Lances Peanuts and, even Dr. Pepper or Mountain Dew with peanuts; but all recipes were adamant on three points: 1) The soda must have sugar as the sweetener (not HFCS;) 2) The soda needs to be drunk from a glass bottle and; 3) the peanuts cannot be anything other than salted (no dry roasted, unsalted, etc.)
I will try anything at least once so last night I went in search of a glass bottle of RC Cola with sugar. I reasoned that this might not be too difficult as I had seen several sodas recently (Mountain Dew and Dr. Pepper in particular) branded as “Throwbacks” (made with cane sugar instead of HFCS.) Unfortunately, the only place that had RC Cola sold them in plastic 2-liter bottles and in 12-pack cans. The only “Throwback” products were the ones I mentioned above. At one point, I was nearly overwhelmed and admittedly a little put off by all the different chemical combinations that comprise the soda aisles of various grocery stores; but I digress.
So the hunt for a sugar-based cola in a glass bottle continues! Every once in a while a palette of Mexican Coke shows up at our local warehouse grocery store so I expect that the off-chance of getting one of these (they go extraordinarily fast) will be the best shot I have of trying this culinary note from the South. In the meantime, I should go track down those little snack packages of salted peanuts, so I’m ready to seize the opportunity when it comes. 7-11, here I come!