There are common snacks that we eat every day and probably don’t think twice about how they’re grown. Many are grown in places you wouldn’t necessarily stumble across in the wild. And wild is the key word here since some of these popular nuts, seeds, fruits, and vegetables are grown in pretty interesting ways. Let’s explore the unique ways these snacks are grown – see how many surprise you!
The flowering almond tree blossoms in the Spring and begins to transform the blossoms into an almond in their hull. The fuzzy green almond fruit appears in early summer and by July the hardened shell underneath it begins to split open. By October, the split widens and allows the almond nut to dry out.
Did you know that wasabi is made from vegetables? This popular Japanese flavor used in many snacks is actually a root that grows in cool, moist, mountainous areas. In Japan, it’s commonly grown in wasabi farms in cold, shallow waters before being harvested.
These little pods hold sesame seeds (either black or white) which are harvested and used whole or processed into sesame oil.
Ever wonder why saffron is so expensive? That’s because it’s harvested from the center of crocus flowers. The orange section of the flower is saffron and needs to be handled delicately during the picking process.
This beautiful and bright plant brings us quinoa. The quinoa is ready to harvest when all the green leaves have fallen off the plant, and the plants are just seed heads on a stalk.
The pistachio tree is a desert plant that grows fruit in clusters. The pink pistachio blooms are gorgeous and when the shells are ripe, they change from green to yellow and split open, revealing the nut. You’ll hear a loud pop when this split happens. You can still see traces of the pinkish-red bloom on the meat of the pistachio after it has been picked and dried.
Although it might seem obvious, not everyone realizes that pine nuts do indeed come from pine cones. They are the edible seeds that grow in pine cones and each cone contains about 50 seeds.
While many people think that pineapples grow on trees, this fruit actually grows out of the center of a plant, but only once it’s old enough to flower—a process that takes two to three years.
As you probably know, peanuts are legumes, not nuts, and so they don’t grow on trees. The peanut plant flowers above the ground, but the peanuts actually grow underground. It can take up to 160 days for peanuts to grow underground before they’re ready for eating.
This tropical fruit grows on trees in bunches, similar to bananas.
Dates grow in large hanging clumps on special date palm trees.
A popular spice, cinnamon is actually dried tree bark that comes from over a dozen species of cinnamon trees in the world.
You might think chickpeas grow together in pods like regular peas. While they do grow in pods, only one chickpea is inside each one. They grow in green shells low to the ground with almost a peach-like fuzzy shell.
Chestnuts grow on trees in prickly green husks that eventually dry out and split open. It takes a seedling about five years to start producing fruit.
Cashews are a tropical plant that produces an apple-like fruit and a nut that grows out of each fruit. The apple, which starts out yellow and becomes red when ripe, is edible and high in vitamin C, but it doesn’t have the best taste. Each fruit produces only one nut and if you’ve noticed that you can’t buy unshelled cashews, there’s a reason: the shells are toxic — they contain the same chemical as poison ivy.