Ever wonder what other types of nuts there are in the world beyond what you see at the grocery stores? Farmer’s markets have great selections of nuts as well. (Check out our favorite Farmers Markets in NJ here) But I found out about a few lesser-known nuts and you never know where they might appear near you.
Candlenuts (or Kemiri nuts) originate in Indonesia. However, humans have helped expand their reach over thousands of years of use. A wide variety of Polynesian and Southeast Asian recipes use these nuts. In addition, we can also use them as candles with their high oil content! According to historians, ancient Hawaiians used to string individual candlenuts along a palm frond and burn them one at a time; as a form of keeping time.
Added to this list are Brazil nuts. Brazil nuts are the largest nuts in many nut mixes. Also, they grow on a South American forest tree and most harvest them in the wild. These nuts contain Selenium which is an antioxidant that plays many important roles in our bodies. This includes fighting cancer and improving the function of vitamins E and C. This, in turn, helps to decrease the aging of the skin.
I recently discovered a new variety of walnuts that dons a cherry-red outer skin. Red walnuts are produced naturally, with some great agricultural ingenuity thrown in. Branches from the smaller, bitterer, Persian red-skinned walnut are spliced onto standard English walnut tree trunks. You’ll usually pay twice as much for Red walnuts, but fans believe they are worth it because they are a bit oilier and they leave less of a bitter tannin taste compared to their other walnut cousins.
Corn Nuts: Not From The Lesser Known Types Of Nuts But Still Delicious
Corn Nuts have been a delicious American treat for generations. I first want to share with readers that they are, in fact, not nuts and not really the corn people are familiar with. The world invented this snack food in 1936 but became much more popular in 1964 when the manufacturers changed sweet corn to Cusco Corn. Cusco Corn originates from Peru and has kernels an inch wide. After California adapted it for commercial growing, it transformed Corn Nuts into the crunchy, kind of “nutty” snack we see at local grocery stores today. So – if you like the original flavor, definitely check out ranch, barbecue, and lime flavors.