More than a decade ago, Dick Taylor was in Norway when he discovered a snack he loved. At first, he thought it was made of peanut butter with a crunchy shell on the outside. All he knew for sure, though, was that it was good.
Really, really good.
A few months later, when heading back to Maryland from another such trip, Taylor brought with him a suitcase full of the tasty snacks.
A Snap-on tools dealer at the time, he would hand out bags of the treats to customers, who inevitably loved them. When a mechanic offered him five bucks for his last bag, Taylor knew he was on to something.
“Everybody—all my Snap-on customers—were raving about them,” he says. “I had no idea about the food business. I just jumped into it blindly.”
Taylor thought about importing the snacks, but discovered that there’s a 132-percent import tax on peanuts. Undaunted, he went about creating a similar snack himself, right here in Maryland.
The result? Nutterz, which are made by Taylor’s Baltimore County company, B More Nutz. Located in Rosedale, the factory produces between 8,000 and 10,000 bags of the snacks each month.
So what exactly are they? They’re Spanish peanuts—also known as “bar nuts”—that have been covered with a potato-chip coating and then briefly fried.
“We use 100-percent peanut oil,” explains Taylor, as opposed to the palm oil used in Scandinavia. “We’ve even had Norwegians say they’re better. They are a little sweeter, with no bitterness at all.”
After the nuts are fried, they sit and marinate for less than 24 hours. They are then packaged at the factory and sent out for sale.
Nutterz are sold in over 150 stores throughout Maryland, and they’re also available in New York, California, South Carolina, Georgia, Kansas, and Missouri. Taylor is currently working on a deal with a large grocery chain to bring the snacks to the Midwest, too.
As of now, Nutterz come in six flavors. Chili Nutterz are most like the originals Taylor discovered in Norway. Although they sound spicy, they’re actually the mildest of all the flavors.
The second variety Taylor created, Crab Nutterz, is a natural fit for a state that prides itself on steamed crabs. He recalls that he needed to work on the formula a bit because some crab spices have too much of a mustardy taste.
“Imagine putting mustard on a peanut butter sandwich,” he says.
The next flavor was Bacon Cheddar Nutterz (“It’s got a really strong bacon bite to it”), followed by Nuclear Nutterz.
“They’re smart bombs for bartenders,” he jokes.
Then came Bloody Mary Nutterz—“They just won’t cure a hangover”—and, finally, Jalapeno Cheddar Nutterz.
With other flavors—including wasabi soy, barbecue, and sour cream and onion—in the works, Taylor may soon also start experimenting with using different nuts, such as cashews or pistachios.
What he won’t do, though, is compromise on quality.
“Every ingredient we use is the best of its kind,” he says. “A lot of people say this is a really fun snack. And they are delicious!”
Need some Nutterz in your life? Contact B More Nutz at www.bmorenutz.com.
A Smokin’ Hot Snack
Why settle for plain peanuts when you can whip up this fiery mix in less than 30 minutes? But be warned: It’s got a serious kick, so don’t serve it without some cold Natty Boh on hand!
Atomic Snack Mix
4 c. Chex cereal, any variety
2 c. corn chips
2 c. Nuclear Nutterz
1 c. quick-cooking oats
1/3 c. butter or margarine, melted
2 T. honey
2 tsp. Sriracha or Tabasco sauce
2 tsp. chili powder
1 tsp. dried oregano
In a large bowl, combine the cereal, corn chips, Nutterz, and oats. In a small bowl, combine the butter, honey, and hot sauce; drizzle over the cereal mixture. Sprinkle the mixture with the chili powder and oregano, and toss to coat.
Spread the mixture in a single layer on an ungreased baking pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes, stirring occasionally. Cool. Store in an airtight container.
*Adapted from allrecipes.com.