Tuesday, June 7, 2011

My Personal Take on Mixed Nuts

Not all nuts are equal!

In fact, there is a hierarchy to nuts.

You have your basic peanut

A good nut but not the kind of nut that if you give as a Christmas present. If you do you might find that you are not at the top of their list with a thank you card. It’s a nut that barring an allergy we’ve pretty much all tasted again and again. It is a filler nut. Planters has downgraded it by advertising on their mixed nut can in big yellow letters LESS THAN 50% PEANUTS. So you see it is the low nut on the totem pole of nuts. It is the serfs in the kingdom of nuts, still a viable part of the kingdom but a serf none-the-less.

Almonds another terrific nut but again we are milking it, pasting it and we put it in so many recipes that it is losing it place at the top of the nut hierarchy. Don’t get me wrong I love almonds and really love almond milk. It gave me back cereal when my lactose intolerance all but removed raisin bran from my diet. It is the trade people in the kingdom. It is the worker nut.

Cashews, again a good buttery nut and at times a cherished gift during the holidays but fairly popular and added to a lot recipes. I still do enjoy a jumbo cashew. The flavor is creamy so it does move up the scale a bit but there are certainly others that need to be considered above this nut.  This nut would like to be the Monarch but will never get invited to court.

A small grouping of nuts Brazil, hazelnuts and macadamia nuts all have distinct taste but their texture when you are chewing them is similar. Great nuts but not at the very top, these nuts are kind of like the people who get invited to court by a Monarch. Just an invitation not a permanent arrangement, they aren’t going to given keys to the castle. Still they are a fine group and very definitely have their place in the nut hierarchy. They are the exotics and hold a little mystery when they present themselves for consideration. 

Another small grouping of nuts are the walnuts and pecans. These are the dukes and duchesses of nuts and very definitely have the keys to the castle. True they are not unique or exotic but they lend themselves well for fabulous recipes, the kind of recipes that are only made fabulous by their existence. They dress the monarch by their presence. They wear the latest fashions and they never go out of style.
Finally, introducing the Monarch, the Mac Daddy of all nuts the one nut that you can eat and eat and eat – get ready for it, are you ready?

The pistachio cherished for its fabulous flavor and texture. No other nut holds the keys to the kingdom like this one. So good in fact, the best steak I ever ate was served with a pistachio sauce. In addition, the restaurant that prepared this pairing was fit for a Monarch.
So you see hands down the Pistachio is the King of nuts or at least it is in this nut’s opinion.


~T~ said...

I've never really had pistachios, probably because their noble status keeps them from mixing with lesser nuts. I relegate walnuts to serfdom with the peanuts. I used to enjoy the challenge of cracking a Brazil shell without breaking the nut, but the flavor is not so pleasing. So, I favor most of the others you mention. I guess I'm a middle-class nut!

Myrna R. said...

The nut I'm most familiar with is myself. And I love being nutty.

Vicki Lane said...

Fun analysis of nuts! I make a stuffing for pork roast that includes kumquats, andouille sausage, and pistachios -- it's pretty terrific, if I do say so.

Bee's Blog said...

Cashews are a favourite but not even they can touch pistachios which I discovered many, many years ago when living in the Middle East. Ah, the nut to end all nuts.