17 Dec2006


When I was about 14 years old, my mom was away for a couple of months on a trip, and my dad called from the office and said he had a couple of guests coming over for cocktails and dinner. When they got to the house, I had arranged for some pistachio nuts in a bowl to be served with cocktails (scotch, gin, whatever). But what I vividly recall from that evening was that one of the guests (supposedly a big-wig of some sort) popped several unshelled pistachio nuts into his mouth and he started crunching through the tough hard shells. I think he was so embarrassed by his “duhh” mistake that he just kept on chewing and swallowed all of the shells chased with a lot of scotch!!! Geez, I hope the stomach acids dissolved those shards or he would have had a nasty plumbing job the next day! I quickly opened a few pistachio nuts and discarded the shells in the provided receptacle to indicate how it was meant to be eaten, rather than being myself and saying something totally tactless like “hello?!? feeling like a squirrel, are we?” Lesson learned that evening? Know your nuts and know how to eat them…

We are so used to seeing shelled vacuum sealed or canned walnuts and almonds that one forgets what they looked like in a more natural state. Around the holidays, it is nice to have a bowl of freshly harvested assorted nuts on the living room coffee table. Leave nuts2a nice nutcracker and a bowl for the shells and watch as guests root around the bowl, inspect the nuts, try to crack them open without everything disintegrating or making too big of a mess…also remember to watch their faces as they apply pressure to the nutcracker and anticipate that first loud crack! In this selection from a large bag of Diamond brand nuts, there is the large walnut with two whole meats in it, the artificially colored pecans, the bizarre and difficult to open Brazil Nuts, the delicious hazelnuts or filberts and the easy to extract almonds. Because many nuts have such high fat content, they can turn rancid rather quickly so don’t leave the bowl out for more than a month or so… When fresh, the nuts are flavorful and delicious; if past their prime, rancid, bitter and unpalatable.



  1. len says:

    As a kid, I remember using the door to crack those walnuts.

    Dec 17, 2006 | 1:49 pm


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  3. choy says:

    the anecdote about the bigwig had me laughing out loud to the alarm of my wife and kids. i had to tell them the story to convince them i wasn’t going off my rocker. you made my day, MM. thanks.

    Dec 17, 2006 | 10:45 pm

  4. Marilou says:

    I’ve never seen artificially coloured pecans! Why were they coloured? Assorted whole nuts in a chrystal bowl on the coffee table is a Christmas staple at our home too. I always root around for the pecans, maybe if they are coloured I can find them easier!

    Dec 18, 2006 | 10:29 am

  5. Mila says:

    Reading about Bigwig reminds me of the sight of two foreigners who bought sugarcane at a market, chewing through the outer bark and complaining while they walked about how awful it was.

    Good thing Mr Squirrel didn’t accidentally swallow the unchewed nut/shell and choke. What a nut he must have felt like.

    Dec 18, 2006 | 10:39 am

  6. Mon C says:

    Thanks for reminding me to get a pack of Diamond, MM! They didn’t have them on the shelves last year. They’re great with beer. Actually like them better than castanas.

    Dec 18, 2006 | 5:26 pm

  7. Sidekick says:

    Ha…ha…ha… I was tempted to ate those during the party but I was scared it flew to someone’s face when I cracked it. The color and the size was very tempting. I know it taste good. Nuts are my favorites. Better next time and I have to practice to have confidence.

    Dec 18, 2006 | 5:55 pm

  8. lee says:

    Marketman is a lucky witness to prehistoric nut consumption.

    Dec 18, 2006 | 8:43 pm

  9. millet says:

    these were a christmas staple in our house, too, when i was growing up. this time, however, my family prefers the salted, shelled kind. my favorites are macadamias, cashews and pistachios.

    Dec 19, 2006 | 12:28 am

  10. Maria Clara says:

    I love to serve shelled and spicy nuts for easy clean up in a dish. No litters around.

    Dec 19, 2006 | 5:26 am

  11. Zita says:

    My espanyola auntie has these on lanai table all the time, regardless if it was the holidays or not. I used to eat it a lot when we’d go to see her. I love them. The process of cracking them open and eating them is part of the fun.

    Dec 19, 2006 | 9:48 pm

  12. Marketman says:

    Marilou, I too, was surprised by the pecans with a tinge of red. I think Diamond was just trying to jazz up their mixed nuts selection… I have always seen them in a natural color…

    Dec 20, 2006 | 6:10 am

  13. venus says:

    anyone know a good nuts supplier? cheap and fresh walnuts, almonds, pecan, macadamia?

    Nov 18, 2008 | 9:35 am

  14. Joy Olivar says:

    is there a manila supplier of unshelled walnuts

    Jan 6, 2009 | 3:41 pm

  15. alfredo says:

    Anyone knows a supplier of walnuts here in Metro Manila? Please text me at 09184098417. Thank you.

    Jun 26, 2009 | 4:04 pm


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