Found a Peanut

I am constantly amused by the extent people will go to adhere to what we’ve sarcastically dubbed in our house “the religion of local”. Because while I support local businesses where and whenever possible, it’s obvious that there are people out there wringing their hands over the lack of local flour, rice and mangoes. In an article in the Globe and Mailover the summer, writer Sasha Chapman tried the 100-mile diet and was bemoaning the fact that she couldn’t get 100-mile peanut butter for her kids. Which made me cock my head and emit an annoyed “oh, FFS!” This gal wins journalism awards, but apparently cannot use the intarwebs to track down local peanuts.

Because yes, Virginia, or should I say, Vittoria; in Toronto, there is such a thing as local peanuts. Kernal Peanuts is the only peanut producer in Canada, and they’re just a couple of hours down the road past Brantford and Simcoe.

I came to know Kernal in an roundabout sort of way. In the early 90s I was dating a guy whose family hailed from the Simcoe, Ontario area. His uncle and aunt lived in a house made from an old tobacco kill next door to the Kernal farm. Every visit home included a trip to the Kernal store to stock up on peanuts, peanut butter and candy. We walked the fields and pulled the green legumes from the soil, we watched the peanuts get dumped into the roasters and be poured into the grinders for peanut butter. When the boyfriend and I broke up, I didn’t miss him much. But I did miss my trips to Simcoe and my shopping sprees at Kernal.

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