Generally, when nuts come up in conversation, the talk usually floats in two directions: health benefits and/or allergies. Beyond the benefits of tree nuts and the nutritional value of nuts and seeds, there are some interesting, strange, and sometimes completely random facts that we think you should know.
- Brazil nuts: Over half of the Brazil nuts in the world are produced in Bolivia, not Brazil. They can also only be grown in the wild. A certain type of bee can pollinate them, and the only way that can happen is if a particular type of orchid is present. Also, the Brazil nut allergy is the only known sexually transmittable allergic reaction.
- The American walnut and beyond: Walnuts, in general, take the prize of being the oldest consumed tree food, dating back to 7,000 B.C. The American Black Walnut tree is the tallest, living approximately 250 years, and are so strongly rooted they spread a chemical called juglones that impede the growth of surrounding plant life (a little territorial). That said, even though walnuts originated from Asia, the United States grows 38% of the walnuts in trade circulation around the world, most of which come from California.
- Legend has it: Pistachio nuts have a place in Russian legends. Firstly, good luck will find anyone who hears a stranger crack a pistachio nut. Second, wrap two pistachios in red silk and hide them in a safe place if you want love to come to your family. Completely unrelated, pistachios are the seeds of a fruit that’s removed while they’re being processed, not really making them nuts at all.
- Almonds: Mentioned twice in the Bible, almonds are California’s state nut (that’s a thing, five states have a state nut) and the second most consumed nut in the United States, falling just behind peanuts. The jury is still out on this one, and we aren’t sure if that’s counted in the following number, but approximately 40% of the almond production on the planet goes directly into –big surprise — chocolate products.
Nuts are great for your health and have some interesting history behind them. From American walnut to Brazil nut to peanut butter and jelly sandwich, human beings have been reaping the benefits and deliciousness of nuts for millennia. Let’s keep it crackin’.