National Nut Day!
Date Posted:19 October 2011
National Nut Day is celebrated on October 22nd in the USA and UK, but given that we're nutty about those little things EVERY day, we've decided to pay particular attention to the grandness of nuts in order to join in the festivities.
Apart from the huge health benefits and yummy snack options - nuts have a pretty cool appearance through history.
Peanut butter was developed in 1890 by a doctor in St. Louis who ground peanuts to give to elderly patients as an easily digestible food. In actual fact, peanut butter has a few more uses than the regular sarny - the natural oils found in peanut butter can remove gum from your hair. So mum's and dad's, it's ok to let your kids go nuts (haha) with a stick of Hubba Bubba, so long as you've stocked up on the PB.
In Celtic lore the Hazel tree is the tree of knowledge. Apparently (this is a rough translation of ancient myth) there was a sacred pool in Ireland that was surrounded by 9 Hazel trees. Hazelnuts would drop from these trees into the water, and be eaten by salmon - and legend has it that if you ate the salmon you would be granted with immense knowledge. Nice!
A native Australian tree, the Bunya Pine, produces large cones of Bunya nuts once every 3 years. When this happened, Aboriginals would hold a Bunya Feast in the mountains of Queensland (the only place these trees grow) to celebrate (and eat and eat and eat!). We like to do that with our Morish Family Mix after every batch… but that's just us!
Pistachios managed to always make it into the knapsacks of travellers and explorers in those early days - this is because of their high nutritional value and long storage life. So if you don't have pistachios in your trail mix these days, you really need some upgrading to the original snack-a-thon food.
That goes for you too, Dora.
Almonds are a world favourite. Tutankhamen had them in his tomb, the ancient Romans loved them, Shakespeare wrote about them, and reference to the humble almond are even found in the Bible. We'll say no more.
And a few other pieces of trivia, just for fun…
..Walnuts shells are a specialist medium used for polishing.
.. Some American states have officially appointed nuts as their State Nut - Missouri has the Eastern Black Walnut, Alabama and Texas both adore the Pecan, and Oregon names the Hazelnut as the State representative.
..Pecans come in a variety of sizes, correct terminology is 'mammoth, extra large, large, medium, small and midget'.
..Macadamias have the hardest shell to crack into, but the Hyacinth Macaw, Hyena and Alligator all have a jaw strong enough to crack it open on their own. Lesson learnt: don't mess with any of these animals. A human's skin is not as thick as a macca's shell.
Of course, if you're not already a nut lover and haven't been convinced by our loving interpretation of nut history, the wonders of peanut butter sandwiches and the pecan pie are enough to satisfy us!
Happy National Nut Day!