Nuts


Nuts -

Among the most popular nuts of general use are almonds, Brazil or Para nuts, chestnuts, cocoanuts, filberts, hickory nuts, pecans, pine nuts or pignolias, pistachio nuts and walnuts. With the exception of the Brazil nut, filbert and pistachio, all of these are now grown in the United States, the domestic product being, however, supplemented by imports to an annual value of nearly $10,000,000. California especially raises big crops of walnuts and almonds, and Louisiana and Texas are noted for pecans.

Of imported nuts, Brazil nuts come principally from the Brazilian states of Para, Amazonas and Maranhao; Chestnuts from Italy, Spain, Portugal and France; Cocoanuts from the West Indies, Philippines and South Sea Islands; Filberts from Sicily and, better grades, from Naples; walnuts from France, and also to a less extent from Spain, Italy, Turkey, Chile, etc., and almonds and Pistachios from Spain.

nuts can be carried safely in winter by storing in a cool, dry place, but cold storage at a temperature just above freezing is the only sure method of preserving them during the summer and the only practical policy if the quantity is considerable.

nuts contain a large amount of nutriment in highly concentrated form. They are composed chiefly of oil and proteids, though some varieties substitute carbohydrates (Starch, Sugar, etc.), as the principal component in place of fat (see FOOD VALUES). Their constantly increasing consumption throughout the United States, augurs well for a better appreciation of their food value by all classes - they are no longer regarded merely as a luxury, or as something to be eaten out of hand at odd times. Sanatoriums are giving many patients nut products as the chief principle of their diets.

nuts should be well chewed, and should be held in the same consideration as the meat or other substantial portion of a meal - not eaten as a delicacy after the stomach is already loaded with a heavy repast. To this latter practice is due much of their reputation for indigestibility. The skin of some varieties is leathery and hard to digest, but cooking may often be advantageously employed to offset this condition - when almonds for instance, are parboiled, the tough leathery skins peel off and the remaining kernel is easily assimilated. Drying must speedily follow the parboiling or loss of flavor will result.

Nut pastes and "butters" are rapidly growing in favor, both for home consumption and in confectionery manufacture. They are an agreeable and very desirable addition to the daily diet. They are best bought in small pots or glasses, as they are liable to become rancid if kept long after opening.

The composition of nuts and nut products has been studied at a number of U. S. Agricultural Experiment Stations, and the following table summarizes the results of this work, the American data being supplemented in some cases by European analyses.

Carbohydrates water protein Fat Sugar, Crude Starch, Fiber, etc. "Ash" (Mineral Salts, etc.) % % % % % Acorn (fresh).................. 34.7 4.4 4.7 50.4 4.2 1.6 Almond......................... 4.9 21.4 54.4 13.8 3.0 2.5 Almond Paste.................... 24.2 13.1 23.9 29.4 7.8 1.6 Beechnut........................ 6.6 21.3 49.9 18.0 3.7 Brazil Nut...................... 4.7 17.4 65.0 5.7 3.9 3.3 butternut....................... 4.5 27.9 61.2 3.4 3.0 chestnut (fresh)................ 43.4 6.4 6.0 41.3 1.5 1.4 chestnut (dry).................. 6.1 10.7 7.8 70.1 2.9 2.4 chestnut (preserved)............ 18.2 1.3 .5 70.7 .3 Chincapin or water chestnut..... 10.6 10.9 .7 73.8 1.4 2.6 Chufa (earth almond)............ 2.2 3.5 31.6 50.2 10.5 2.0 Cocoanut......................... 13.0 6.6 56.2 13.7 8.9 1.6 Cocoanut, desiccated (copra)..... 3.5 6.3 57.4 31.5 1.3 Cocoanut milk.................... 92.7 .4 1.5 4.6 .8 Filbert.......................... 5.4 16.5 64.0 11.7 2.4 Ginkgo nut....................... 47.3 5.9 .8 43.1 .9 2.0 Hickory nut...................... 3.7 15.4 67.4 11.4 2.1 Litchi nut....................... 16.4 2.9 .8 78.0 1.9 Paradise nut..................... 2.3 22.2 62.6 10.2 2.7 Peanut........................... 7.4 29.8 43.5 14.7 2.4 2.2 Peanut Butter.................... 2.1 29.3 46.5 17.1 5.0 Pecan............................ 3.4 12.1 70.7 8.5 3.7 1.6 pine nut (American).............. 3.4 14.6 61.9 17.3 2.8 pine nut (Spanish) or pignolia... 6.2 33.9 48.2 6.5 1.4 3.8 Pistachio........................ 4.2 22.6 54.5 15.6 3.1 Walnut........................... 3.4 18.2 60.7 13.7 2.3 1.7

It will be noted that several varieties - the Spanish pine nut, the peanut and the butternut particularly - rank much higher in protein value than a majority of either animal or vegetable foods and that a number of others equal the averages of the best known examples.

The fat value is very high - pecans, Brazil nuts, butternuts, filberts, hickory nuts, walnuts, almonds, cocoanuts, pistachios, beechnuts, peanuts, etc., containing 50% or more - up to nearly 71% in the pecan.

Most noteworthy among the few nuts which offer a large percentage of carbohydrates and a small percentage of fat, are the dry chestnut and chufa.

Many special nut foods, such as malted nuts, meat substitutes, etc., have been devised and extensively advertised by manufacturers for general dietetic use and for the special needs of vegetarians and fruitarians. It is said that some of these products contain soy beans, but apparently the peanut is very important in their composition.


Arround Nuts in The Grocer's Encyclopedia


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