In my September 2, 2009 blog post, I said that Costco had a number of their proprietary brand products were the best at any price. Among those was the Virginia peanuts.
One of my church members took exception to this claim and insisted that the peanuts from the Peanut Shop of Williamsburg (Virginia) were superior.
So I issued a challenge: we would have different people in the church from various generations do a blind tasting and vote for the one each thought was the best.
The results: 20 people chose the Peanut Shop peanuts. 19 chose the Costco peanuts. Those who preferred the Peanut Shop peanuts thought they had a more pronounced peanut flavor (I do agree with that opinion). Those who like the Costco peanuts cited the larger size of each peanut and the particularly nice crunch.
Technically, I lost the challenge. But consider this: a 32 ounce tin from the Peanut Shop costs $21 (it nets down to a little under $17 if you buy a case of 6) plus the required express shipping to Hawaii: $15. That makes it $36 for a single 32 ounce tin.
A 40 ounce tin from Costco costs a little less than $8. For a product that is essentially evenly matched with the premium brand and slightly more than 20% the net cost, I'll take the Costco brand every time.
Grace and aloha,
P. S. Virgina figures prominently in the birth of the United States. There is also a lot of debate about the faith and religious life of the Founding Fathers, such as Virginians George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, and James Madison. It seems that like America today, the Founding Fathers were a mixed bag religiously: Deists, Unitarians, and Orthodox Christians. One important difference: even those that did not have traditional Christian beliefs nonetheless saw civic importance of organized religion and most never made a formal break with the churches of their upbringing. These days, it seems that the importance of organized religion is diminishing, and the result, I'm afraid, will be a further splintering and division of people, for when people are individuals about everything, they will disagree on much.
I think the Founding Fathers had it right.