Southerners' All-Time Favorite Snack Calls For a Bag of Peanuts and Bottle of Coca-Cola

Why we’ll never stop loving this salty, sweet duo. 

Peanuts and Coca Cola
Photo: Laurey W. Glenn; Styling: Buffy Hargett Miller

People can make fun of us all they want about the unusual food combinations that Southerners grow up eating and never stop loving. A peanut butter-and-mayonnaise sandwich? Pass the chips. Pineapple-and-cheese casserole? We'll take seconds. Salt on watermelon? Duh. However, the most classic combination barely needs an introduction: peanuts and Coca-Cola. These two very different items, in fact, are not just a snack and refreshment to be enjoyed separately at the same time, but a dynamic duo to be guzzled straight out of a cold glass bottle. Together.

Amongst the uniquely divisive food combinations mentioned above, peanuts in Coke shouldn't seem too bizarre. For many Southerners, it's just the old-fashioned snack had in the afternoon at their grandparents' house, or perhaps a treat that was saved for sweaty days spent at baseball games or on the beach. Peanuts in Coca-Cola is a union predestined by the stars—the sweetness of the Coca-Cola perfectly complimenting the saltiness of the peanuts. A fizzy sip followed by a satisfying crunch. What's not to love?

While even the most dedicated of Coca-Cola-loving Southerners can't agree fully on when, where, or how the combination originated, there is no disagreement that the idea of tearing off a corner of a bag of salted peanuts and funneling them into a cold glass bottle of Coca-Cola is ingenious. Believed to have begun popping up as early as the 1920s, the practice quickly spread across the region as a popular way to enjoy the beverage.

From there, the fiery passion for the salty, sweet, fizzy, crunchy indulgence has only burned brighter and brighter. Next time you grab a Coca-Cola at the grocery store or gas station—preferably one in a glass bottle—make sure to snag a bag of peanuts. Tear, pour, and sip! Trust us. It's that good.

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