World production of tree nuts is in excess of 884.8 thousand tons, of these only about 250 thousand tons are American-grown (anon, 1965). The consumption of tree nuts in the United States far exceeds the production. From 1/3 to ¼ of United States consumption of nuts imported. Nuts imported include almonds, cashew nuts, beechnuts, Brazil nuts, butternuts, chestnuts, filberts, macadamia nuts, pignolias (pine nuts), pistachio nuts, and English walnuts.
Tree nuts grown in the United States include almonds, apricot nuts, beechnuts, chestnuts, chinquapins, filberts, heartnuts, hickory nuts, pecans, pine nuts, pistachio nuts, English walnuts, and black walnuts.
Uses of tree nuts
Methods of processing and products that may be made from each kind of nut are given, but the list is incomplete because this would have involved a great deal of repetition. More formulas for using any one kind of nut may be obtained by: (a) referring to formulas recipes from the trade association which promotes the use of the particular kind of nuts; (c) referring to cookbooks and gourmet magazines; and (d) contacting the local state experiment station, cooperative extension service, or the united states department of agriculture.
Many of the choice nuts from the standpoint of eating quality are available only in limited quantity. The shagbark hickory nut, chinquapins, butternuts, black walnuts and Native American chestnuts are examples. Hickory nuts are considered by some to be the best flavored of all nuts.
Nuts are high energy foods with concentrated aroma, flavor, fat (except chestnuts and chinquapins), and proteins. They contain approximately 3,000 calories per pound and are used in relatively small quantities, except in candies.
Nuts are practically never used as a separate dish; but rather to add desirable aroma, flavor, crispness, mealiness, tenderness, a rich color or garnish to servings. They are extensively used as before-meal or between-meal snacks, and are usually “diluted” with drinks or less rich foods. A rapidly expanding outlet for nuts is through vending machines.
Variety of ways that nuts are used is provided not only by different formulas, but varying the manner of serving. For example, salted pecans may be served many ways including pieces, halves, mixed nuts and mixed with other snack items.
Nuts go well with nationally dishes-Chinese, Italian, German, Japanese, French, Spanish, Indian and American. Almonds, walnuts, chestnuts or Brazil nuts may be used in similar dishes to produce different qualities. In this way the number of variations in serving nuts is almost unlimited.