Happy National Nut Day! There are common nuts that we eat every day and probably don’t think twice about how they’re grown. Let’s explore the unique ways these nuts 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.
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.
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.
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.
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