Feeling the peanut pinch? Production is down; prices are up, but relief is on the way
Customers crave boiled peanuts at the Brewhaus, a "German-American pub with a Southern twist" in Chattanooga's trendy North Shore neighborhood.
"They're very popular," general manager Michael Nolan said. "Three out of every 10 tables would ask for them."
The $6 appetizer's iconic appeal is simple, Norton explained: "You're in the South -- boiled peanuts."
Trouble is, Brewhaus hasn't been able to get the Southern specialty from its supplier for about six months.
The pub isn't alone. A worldwide peanut shortage has led to a lack of the South's signature legume, affecting Chattanooga businesses and pushing prices up for consumers.
The good news for peanut lovers is the shortage should be short-lived.
It was caused largely by farmers switching thousands of acres last year from peanuts to cotton because cotton commanded top dollar at the time. Now that peanut prices are soaring, swaths of Southern acreage have seesawed back to peanut production.
"The peanut shortage is going to be a thing of the past," predicted Tyron Spearman, editor of the Peanut Farm Market News, an electronic news hotline based in Tifton, Ga.
Read More. (Chattanooga Times Free Press)