Apr 14, 2009

Viva Texaco

One of the great joys of taking a road trip is that you have free license to eat nothing but junk in the car if you want to. After all, not many of us take the time to make a sandwich & pack an apple before we set off (yes mom, I know you do…) and your on-the-road options are made up almost entirely of fast food, chain restaurants and, my personal favorite, gas station convenience stores.

Why do I love service stations? One-stop shopping. You can get gas, use the restroom (if you dare) and fill up on snacks and caffeinated beverages in a single go. Then there’s the variety of your snack options: chips, popcorn, beef jerky, candy, donut gems, corn nuts, slurpees, pork rinds or potato sticks. Plus hot dogs, nachos and microwave burritos for the experienced traveler. All of it scientifically engineered to keep your body humming for the next few hours and then send you to an early grave.

My road trip pick? Circus peanuts. (That was the collective groan of all my friends & family you just heard) Composed of nothing more than spongy sugar and fake banana flavoring shaped into an oversized peanut form, the circus peanut is, quite possibly, the worst food on the planet for the human body. But that’s not what we’re here to chat about today. Today I want to introduce you to my new favorite nibble to serve with cocktails: Chickpeas with Chili & Lemon.

That’s right, I’m actually shopping at gas stations for treats to serve my friends. If you think it’s weird, imagine the station attendant’s face when I walk up to the register with four bags of chickpeas…


This sounds like the beginning of a Top Chef challenge, doesn’t it? Plan a cocktail party using only ingredients at the corner Quickie Mart…. But hear me out here. These little crunchy snacks are spicy & tangy and really perfect for serving with a beer or margarita. They’d be great before a Cinco de Mayo dinner and I’m thinking of trying them as a salad topping sometime soon. They’re unexpected, unintimidating, and you can be sure your friends haven’t had them before.

So next time you’re at the Texaco station, don’t just swipe your card at the pump. Go inside and take a look around – just don’t tell your friends where you got the hor d'oeuvres…

And could you grab me a bag of circus peanuts? 

5 comments:

Erin said...

You know I adore circus peanuts too!

Kate said...

I have a brother that is in love with the circus peanut as well--very much a mystery to me. Now about those chickpeas, I wonder if you could create something similar at home... (I live in the city, not too many easily accessible gas stations, ya know.)

The Single Gal said...

I'm thinking you could rinse & dry a can of chickpeas, spread them out on a baking sheet, maybe give 'em a spritz of olive oil, and roast them until they darken & get crunchy. Tossed with chili & lime seasoning (I think Cholula makes one) I bet they'd be delish!

Happier Than Most said...

I'm going looking for these today. You know how I feel about the chickpea!

Lisa said...

Ha! Good find. I tried making these myself and they were good, but probably not as good as these.