Although peanuts come in many varieties, there are four basic types grown in the United States today. They are: Runner, Spanish, Valencia and Virginia. Each type is unique in size, shape and flavor.
Runner peanuts are mainly grown in Alabama, Florida and Georgia, and over half of the Runner peanuts grown in the United States are used to make peanut butter. Runner peanuts make up more than 80% of the peanuts grown in the United States. Due to their sizing being consistent, it makes them easy to roast, leaving your peanut butter tasting the same out of every jar.
Spanish peanuts, grown mostly in Oklahoma and Texas, are primarily used to make candies and peanut oil. They are smaller in size compared to the other varieties. They have red skin and a very distinct, nutty flavor. Due to their higher oil capacity, also roast really well and have a big flavor profile.
Valencia peanuts are mainly grown in New Mexico and are the sweetest of the four types. They typically have three or more kernels in their shells and are mostly used for an all-natural peanut butter. Alongside all-natural peanut butter, they are also used for boiling. Boiled peanuts are a delicacy the further south you go. Valencia peanuts account for less than one percent of U.S. production.
Virginia peanuts, grown in Virginia, North Carolina and South Carolina, are mainly roasted and sold in and out of the shell. These are also commonly called the “gourmet” out of the four varieties. Virginia’s are known for their larger kernels. One of the most common places you will find these are at baseball games!