Looking for a big sack of artisanal deez
October 5, 2021 10:12 AM   Subscribe

I'm looking for the best, freshest, carefully roasted, best, best nuts. Also, funky nuts.

Regular nuts: I eat a lot of nuts--particularly almonds and peanuts, but I do like me a nut, and would eat any nut.

I am certain all of the nuts I eat are purchased and prepared in bulk--simple commodities. Bigger names like Blue Diamond for almonds are generally reliable guarantors of some level of consistent freshness and flavor, but you can end up with under-roasted, stale or sometimes rancid nuts.

Are there any artisanal producers of nuts--like Rancho Gordo for beans--that may be a step above the usual? Again, I'm hoping to avoid resellers of commodity nuts, so I expect I'd want a farm-to-snacker model, unless you can tell me that all nuts are created equal and it really is the roaster that is the key differentiator. Shelled or unshelled is fine. Thanks!

Funky nuts: You know when you're eating peanuts, and a few nuts in the package are kind of dried and shriveled and taste more earthy, perhaps even a little fermented, for lack of a better word? Those are my favorite nuts! I crave them. Is there any way to get more of those kinds of funky nuts? What makes them so funky? Do other nuts get similarly funky, or is this just a factor of peanuts being legumes, rather than true nuts?
posted by Admiral Haddock to Food & Drink (11 answers total) 7 users marked this as a favorite
A previous Ask.
posted by ShooBoo at 10:14 AM on October 5, 2021

I'm not even an amateur, much less an expert, but, when it comes to funky nuts, I've enjoyed a lot of slightly damp, wrinkly peanuts from bulk bins in several countries and in a couple tiny stores in the US. (There are reasons to worry about doing so.) More conveniently and safely, if you haven't already tried a range of them already, it might be worth sampling the vacuum-packed bags of imported, small peanuts in Asian supermarkets. (Sometimes called "Shandong peanuts" on English labels here, rather imprecisely.) The ones with MSG and spices often remind me of the flavor I think you may be looking for. Perhaps it's just longer roasting and MSG, but it works for me.
posted by eotvos at 10:42 AM on October 5, 2021

It will very soon be hickory nut season. They aren't widely available, but if you'd like to try some, then sign up on hickorynuts.com, which is very much a "farm-to-snacker model". Or really more of a "forager-to-snacker model", I guess.
posted by jedicus at 10:57 AM on October 5, 2021

Backattack Snacks almonds are really good -- I've had the Sweet Stingers and Signature Recipe and both are excellent.
posted by jabes at 10:59 AM on October 5, 2021

Q's Nuts is local to you and available pretty widely in the greater Boston area. Not cheap, but very good quality.
posted by backseatpilot at 11:01 AM on October 5, 2021 [1 favorite]

In Vancouver, I favour Ayoub's, a small local chain of impeccably fresh, wonderful nuts. But in general, what you're looking for is a *local* source, so you probably want to say where you are.
posted by jacquilynne at 11:04 AM on October 5, 2021 [1 favorite]

Yes, local matters a lot. For instance, no-one in the USA can get fresh-roasted Iranian pistachios because of the trade embargo.
posted by scruss at 11:57 AM on October 5, 2021

Holmquist Hazelnuts from Lynden, WA are really good.
posted by oxisos at 12:43 PM on October 5, 2021

You might enjoy boiled peanuts, a southern U.S. delicacy. They're best had by driving through Georgia on Highway 41, seeing a guy on the side of the road stirring a big ol' bubbling iron pot next to a sign that says "BOIL P-NUTS," and pulling over immediately to grab some while they're hot. But failing that, you can try Hardy Farms Peanuts. I recommend biting on the end of the peanut, sucking out the salty water, then slurping down the peanuts, followed by a swig of Co-Cola. Or beer.
posted by merrill at 1:01 PM on October 5, 2021 [2 favorites]

This is hardly artisanal, but Costco’s house brand Kirkland has consistently excellent nuts. Pecans, walnuts, almonds, pine nuts.
posted by Sublimity at 5:14 PM on October 5, 2021 [1 favorite]

Whitley’s has really good peanuts— crunchier than what I’m used to, with a strong peanut flavor.
posted by actionpact at 6:11 PM on October 5, 2021

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