Nuts are a rich source of vegetable proteins and oils, vitamins and trace elements, and they are not inferior in nutritional value to meat.
What is a nut? On this issue, the opinions of culinary experts and nerds differ greatly. If you believe the second, then a nut can be called a dry, single-seeable non-extracting bottom fruit with a woody pericarp, inside of which there is one loose seed.
Of the multitude of edible nuts, few fall under this strict definition.
Cooks are not so scrupulous: in their opinion, any edible fruit covered with a hard or soft shell can be considered nuts.
Under its proud banner, the nut community gathered more than a dozen of the most diverse plants from around the world.
Among this motley company are palm trees, pines, water plants and even beans.
According to archaeologists, «a reasonable person» began to eat nuts at the time when he did not know what fire is and in its menu there were dishes of exclusively vegetable origin.
Nuts have long been considered a symbol of life and fertility.
In ancient Rome, they were given to newlyweds on their wedding day so that they had many children, the French still showered the newlyweds in the 19th century, and in England they still believe that the harder the harvest of nuts is, the more babies will be born this year.
Today, nuts are still important for our diet, it is a rich source of vegetable proteins and oils, vitamins, trace elements and other substances necessary for the body, and in terms of nutritional value they are not inferior to meat.
Without nuts it is difficult to imagine many national cuisines, and confectionery and desserts without them would be much more boring.
In addition, nuts and shells are used in medicine and cosmetology, make of them toys, souvenirs, jewelry and even musical instruments.
Cooks nuts — rightly or wrongly — are called the following products:
- peanut; Scientifically, peanuts are not a nut at all, but annual grass of the legume family; the fruits of this plant are swollen oval beans, inside of which nuclei are located, four to five in each; peanuts are sold both in shell and peeled; it is salted and glazed, served with aperitifs and added to salads, sauces and butter are made of it;
- Brazilian nut — One of the main contenders for the title of the most delicious nut, the fruit of a high powerful tree of bertholletia, which grows only in South America; the fruits of this tree are round or oval boxes of 5-10 centimeters in diameter, with a thick (1 cm), very strong shell; 12 to 24 nuts are tightly packed inside each fruit; They are added to bread, cakes and desserts, in fruit and vegetable salads, served to the table as a snack, sometimes sprinkled with sugar or salt;
- chilim, the same water nut: the flexible stem of the chilim attaches to the bottom with thin brown roots, while it easily detaches from the ground and can freely float, and clinging to the soil, takes root again; Chilim fruits, similar to a narcissus bulb, are supported on the surface of the water by the so-called “swim bladder” filled with air; under the hard and heavy shells of chilim lies a white and very tasty kernel, which is eaten raw, boiled, baked in ashes, like potatoes, crushed into flour and added to bread and pies, put in salads and even preserved;
- Walnut — with a hard shell and edible core of a complex, unique shape; the core has a rich, unique taste; walnuts are added to desserts (for example, to Guryev porridge), soup, meat dishes (for example, Georgian satsivi), cakes, pastries, ice cream, they are made into butter, and from soft, still immature nuts, tasty and fragrant jam;
- chestnut, the fruits of which are especially popular in France and Italy; in texture, chestnuts resemble potatoes — there is a lot of starch in them, baked, they almost crumble as well; in culinary, candied, glazed, and chocolate-covered chestnuts are known; they are boiled, fried, stewed, baked, served as a side dish for meat and fish, added to cakes, pies and sweets, put into soup and pilaf, stuffed turkey, goose or piglet with them, made flour and baked bread and cakes, even prepare a drink that replaces coffee;
- pine nuts — small seeds of Siberian pine; In general, it is an original Russian product, although in culinary terms they successfully replace Italian pinioli;
- cashew nuts; Cashew fruit consists of two parts — the so-called «apple» and the actual nut; “Apple” is a fleshy, very juicy fruit with a sweet-sour taste, 7-10 centimeters long and about 5 centimeters wide; at the top of the «apple» is a nut, which is not so harmless as it seems at first glance: between its shell and the core is caustic butter, which can be burned, so cashew nuts are sold only peeled, after a special heat treatment; whole and crushed cashew kernels are put in salads, sauces and hot dishes;
- coconut — the largest nut, whose diameter is 15-30 centimeters, weight is 2-4 kilograms; An unripe (no more than five months) coconut contains about half a liter of clear, sour-sweet, thirst-quenching liquid rich in vitamins and sugars — it is called coconut milk; when the nut matures, the liquid thickens and turns into white flesh: fresh or dried, it is added to soups, desserts, salads, butter is obtained from it;
- cola — distant cacao relatives; it is a unique energy stimulant — there is a lot of caffeine in cola; Coca-Cola and Pepsi-Cola appeared due to the cola; They make pills, energy drinks and chocolate for climbers, geologists, pilots, athletes — people whose profession is associated with heavy physical exertion;
- macadamia — a nut comes from Australia, the most expensive nut in the world — and not only because it is difficult to cultivate and difficult to clean from a hard shell — it is simply no more useful than a nut macadamia; Macadamia fruits taste like hazelnuts; large kernels are usually roasted and covered with caramel or chocolate, while small and crushed kernels are added to salads and seafood dishes, or butter is crushed from them;
- almond — smooth bone in a velvety shell; when ripe, it dries and cracks; inside it is an edible kernel, which is called an almond nut; with almonds they prepare a sauce for the mole, they sugar it, glaze it, add it to various desserts (for example, marzipan), grind it into flour (it is mixed with wheat flour and bake delicious pies, cookies and biscuits), oil is pressed from it (which is most often used in perfumery and cosmetics industry), make jam; bitter almonds grow in the East — terrible hydrogen cyanide is contained in its raw kernels, but after frying, boiling or roasting the bitter almonds become harmless; in Europe, bitter almonds are used in the manufacture of perfumes and medicines, and in China and India they even eat;
- nutmeg — One of the main spices in Indian cuisine; the fruit of the nutmeg (biologists call this plant “fragrant nutmeg”) looks like an apricot; ripening, it breaks down into two parts; the core inside the fruit is nutmeg; kernels are harvested, dried and rubbed for several weeks (they don’t eat them entirely — 5-6 whole nuts act on a person as a drug); nutmeg is added to meat, seafood and vegetables, muffins, puddings, pies, sweets (as well as tobacco and spirits); grated nutmeg gives the dish a delicate taste — sweet and spicy at the same time; they also make spicy seasoning from the dried seed coat of the kernel (it is called «nutmeg») — its taste is slightly softer than that of nutmeg;
- pecan, the same olive nut, because it resembles the fruit of an olive tree; it is a close relative of the walnut — they taste alike, but the pecan kernels are a bit softer and more tender; it is best to eat them immediately after cleaning (without the shell, they quickly deteriorate); bake pecan bread, cakes, cookies, add it to salads and hot dishes; in coffee shops you can often find pecan puffs;
- pinioli — small nuts of Italian pini, relatives of Siberian pine (the one on which the pine nuts grow); pinioli are slightly larger and more elongated than pine nuts; they are used in Italian cuisine — they are put in pasta and salads;
- pistachios — A small nut, the shell of which cracks during ripening; under the shell is a green kernel, and the more intense the color, the more ripe it is; pistachios are eaten fresh and toasted, added to sweet pastries, ice cream and desserts; It is a good snack to beer, wine and cocktails;
- hazelnut, the same hazel and hazelnut; between these names, however, there is some difference — hazelnuts are called a cultivated variety of wild hazel; in hazelnuts, the shell is slightly thinner than that of hazel, it is more nutritious, and the taste is much more tender; whole and ground hazelnuts are used in desserts and baked goods — they are added to cakes, cakes, sweets, chocolate, chocolate paste.
Virtually any edible fruit consisting of the shell and edible kernel, in cooking called.