Roasted Salted Nuts
April 26, 2004 11:09 PM   Subscribe

Thanks to a MeFi friend, I postally exchange my favourite weakness (American, Virginia-grown peanuts, the best in the world) with theirs ( >70% cocoa dark chocolate). As the next exchange is coming up and my scant experience of U.S. nuts is limited to Beer Nuts and Planter's Cocktail Peanuts, I need to know what other roasted, salted, expertly packed American nuts are worth trading for? [More inside.]

I love Blue Diamond almonds (hickory-smoked, for instance) but I suspect there are a lot more: pecans, macadamias, black walnuts, heirloom varieties (Californian?) I'm unaware of. Does anybody have any ideas? All brands, types of excellent nuts and cocktail mixes (even if raw and requiring roasting and salting) are welcome. Please include seeds (pumpkin?), specially superb popcorn and anything else salty, roasted and scrumptious (say, pretzels) which would perfectly accompany drinks. Thank you!
posted by MiguelCardoso to Food & Drink (33 answers total)
posted by falconred at 11:32 PM on April 26, 2004


You don't eat 'em, though. Not straight up.

You make 'em into pecan pie, the most wonderful desserty dessert that ever made your teeth ache. You can add a splash of bourbon to the pie filling if that's your poison. It's the pie you eat.

And then you smile a big, dumb, smile, like Jeff Bridges in Starman. And then you eat more pie.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 11:58 PM on April 26, 2004

Hawaiian Macadamia nuts. Very yummy salted or roasted too.
posted by gen at 12:09 AM on April 27, 2004

They (macadamia nuts) ain't cheap neitha!
posted by gen at 12:10 AM on April 27, 2004

Ghod, I feel so guilty!

I have them in my apartment, Miguel, I just haven't been able to send them! They're on their way, I swear!
posted by interrobang at 1:52 AM on April 27, 2004

Aflatoxin and mycotoxin are common in crops. Aflatoxin B1 frequently turns up in molds that grow on nuts. Iraq and Iran are two of the world’s largest producers of pistachio nuts, but the toxin can also be cultivated from molds that grow on corn and other crops.
posted by matteo at 3:19 AM on April 27, 2004

Another vote for Macadamias. Mauna Loa is the standard brand, and it's pretty good quality. I'm also a fan of Planters unsalted dry roasted peanuts, which aren't greasy at all and have a lot more peanut flavor than the cocktail ones.
posted by fuzz at 3:37 AM on April 27, 2004

oh, I almost forgot: now that foie gras is on its way to be banned in the US, this food-swap thing between European and American MeFites looks increasingly interesting
posted by matteo at 4:23 AM on April 27, 2004

Any mefites in Belgium who want American products?

Also, on nuts, Trader Joe's has fantastic chili-lime dusted pistachios.
posted by CunningLinguist at 5:30 AM on April 27, 2004

Bacalhau in exchange for Reese's Peanut Butter cups!
posted by zaelic at 5:31 AM on April 27, 2004

I third the Hawaiian macadamias. Expensive, as gen said, and worth every cent.
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 5:34 AM on April 27, 2004

Seriously, how much does it cost you to send a slightly less than one kilo (2.2 pounds for you non-metric residents of the Old Country) package of goodies from Portugal to the states? I just sent my better half in Japan a package of Belgian chocolates, cost me 28 Euros from Budapest. But hey, love (and dark Cote D'Or chocolate) conquers all.
posted by zaelic at 5:34 AM on April 27, 2004

ROU, even better is *hickory nut* pie. One of the few flavors I can recall at a whim...Miguel, if your source is from the South, he/she should be able to get some freshly-collected hickory nuts, in season. The pie is made the same as ROU's pecan pie.
posted by notsnot at 5:47 AM on April 27, 2004

Zaelic - postage is definitely the problem here. I sent a large package of low carb candy to Europe and mailing it cost twice what the contents did. Completely insane.
posted by CunningLinguist at 6:12 AM on April 27, 2004

you can eat pecans! or put them on ice cream, or cook with them. but i'm in texas so maybe we use them more than we should.
posted by rhyax at 6:36 AM on April 27, 2004

The girlfriend really likes cashews, but I'm partial to pistachios. (I've gotten better pistachios in Europe, anyway -- especially in Turkey.)
posted by Vidiot at 7:13 AM on April 27, 2004

which would perfectly accompany drinks

Roasted peas, either wasabi-coated or not.


Sunflower seeds.

Goldfish. (do you get those in Europe?) Parmesan flavor preferred.

Cheese straws.
posted by Vidiot at 7:15 AM on April 27, 2004


Pistachios are great... just be sure that what they send you un-dyed ones (there's a strange sub-set of Americans that like their Pistachios dyed red). Also, when you get them, only eat the ones that are cracked open (you'll know what I mean when you get them...), as the un-opened ones weren't ripe at picking.

Macadamias are nice, but I can't get over their texture, which is mealy, so I can only stomache them covered in chocolate. The Blue Diamond almonds are damn good... especially the smoky ones. Mmm. Some folks like boiled peanuts.

There are some great nut-based snacks...for example there are some great spicy mixes available from gourmet shops — I'll have to get the details on those.

In the mean time, you may be able to order from The Nutty Guys, a wonderful little outfit here in Utah.

And if you're a little adventurous, might I suggest the wasabi-coated peas? Mmm... tongue-seering goodness.
posted by silusGROK at 7:19 AM on April 27, 2004

Roasted peas, either wasabi-coated or not.

Although, if you choose the wasabi coated ones, nobody will want to share a cab with you later in the evening.

I'll agree on the pecans, esp. honey roasted. Planters Hot Seasonnuts are great too, as are macadamias.

Freakin' Nuts are nuts coated in flavored potato chip. Sounds nasty but they're actually pretty damned good.
posted by jonmc at 7:23 AM on April 27, 2004

Although, if you choose the wasabi coated ones, nobody will want to share a cab with you later in the evening.

Is that a hint, jon?

oh yeah, and I forgot about Freakin' Nuts. Haven't found 'em too many places, though.
posted by Vidiot at 7:29 AM on April 27, 2004

Piedmont Airlines used to have the best almonds for inflight consumption. But they have, unfortunately, gone the way of Piedmont Airlines. I think they were Blue Diamonds.
posted by Vidiot at 7:30 AM on April 27, 2004

Anybody care for roasted chestnuts? There's a local store here that carries microwaveable roasted chestnuts... I bought a bag to try, but my wife opened it, ate one without heating, and promptly threw the rest out. Worth giving a second shot?
posted by GhostintheMachine at 7:40 AM on April 27, 2004

microwaveable roasted chestnuts

Blargh. Most supermarkets these days will carry fresh chestnuts, especially in the wintertime. They're super-easy to make -- just use a knife to stab an X in the top (to prevent expolsion) then stick them in a hot oven (or fireplace for that extra holiday goodness) for 10-15 minutes.

Wait for them cool a bit, shell and eat. Mmm. They do look like little brains, though.
posted by o2b at 8:04 AM on April 27, 2004

Oregon hazelnuts are a favorite of mine.
posted by Sangre Azul at 8:24 AM on April 27, 2004

I suppose it would be cruel to suggest Circus Peanuts....
posted by anastasiav at 9:26 AM on April 27, 2004

There's an exchange coming up that can potentially involve chocolate? Where do I sign up?
posted by Soliloquy at 9:56 AM on April 27, 2004

Pine nuts (AKA pignoli). Expensive, but with the side benefit of pine-scented flatulence (i.e., you can share a cab with the wasabi-pea-eaters).

ROU, I'll go you one up on the pecan pie: my aunt used to make the pecan pie filling and then coat it in chocolate. Best candy I've ever had, although it may have been the sugar shock that made the impression.
posted by joaquim at 10:11 AM on April 27, 2004

even better is *hickory nut* pie

Does it go well after barbecue?

you can eat pecans! or put them on ice cream

But then there might not be enough left for pie! Which would mean....

NO PIE!!! AAAUUUUGGGH! *runs away leaving ROU-shaped holes in the walls and doors as he goes*

joaquim: oooooooooh.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 10:26 AM on April 27, 2004

(there's a strange sub-set of Americans that like their Pistachios dyed red).
Was told by one in the nut business these have been dyed in order to cover up the stains that dirt has left on them.
posted by thomcatspike at 10:39 AM on April 27, 2004

sacramento is the home of "BLUE DIAMOND" almonds, and i'd be more than willing to trade some of our awesome nutty action for some overseas mustard in a tube, which sadly, can't be found over here.

it just might take me a long lazy while, though.

(i'm largely untrustworthy).
posted by fishfucker at 10:47 AM on April 27, 2004

Up here in northern Arizona, we have a seasonal Pinion nut. The Navajos collect them out in the Rez land and bring them in to sell in the town. They are the single most amazing nut you have ever had. I promise. They are raw in most cases when bought, so we pan roast them. Let me again, tell you pine nuts from the Juniper Pinion tree. I can't even imagine how you might get them in Portugal, Miguel, but if you do, you won't regret it.
posted by BrodieShadeTree at 11:33 AM on April 27, 2004

Pecan pie is one on of the most delicious and easiest to make foodstuffs going, but you can also just eat pecans with brown sugar. Or just pecans, or just brown sugar. (There's a recipe in Marcella Hazan's last book for a pecan-and-pine-nut pie. Untried but sounds pretty damn good.)

On a study-abroad trip to Greece last year I noticed that some of the pistachios you could buy at rest stops or supermarkets came from ... California! Even though Aegina's right there and the whole frikkin' island is covered in pistachio trees.
posted by kenko at 1:44 PM on April 27, 2004

Response by poster: Many, many drooling thanks!
posted by MiguelCardoso at 9:15 PM on April 28, 2004

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