A nut is defined as a fruit that consists of a hard or strong nutshell that protects an edible kernel. Common people call a wide range of dry seeds nuts in the common language. However, the term nut implies that the shell does not open to release the seed when talking in a botanical context. Most of these seeds come from fruits that naturally break free from their coverings. But nuts like chestnuts, hazelnuts, and acorns have rigid shell walls produced by a compound ovary and do not release the seed. Many gourmet nuts like pecans, pistachios, almonds, walnuts are called nuts in the culinary sense but are no nuts in the botanical aspect.
When were gourmet nuts first used in food?
Researchers recently discovered evidence that nuts were a prominent part of the human diet from as early as 780,000 years ago during an ancient dig in Israel. Here is an account of the same.
- Seven different nuts and the stone tools for cracking them open were discovered entombed in a bog.
- Wild almond, water chestnut, prickly water lily, and two varieties of pistachios and acorns were among the nuts.
- The pistachios and water chestnuts are similar to those currently found in northern Europe and the Far East.
All of the data and facts indicate that these nuts were a part of human food and nourishment since the dawn of time.
Which civilization was the first to eat nuts?
As mentioned earlier, nuts and seeds have been the source of many nutrients for humans. Here are the societies that were the first to make innovative uses of these powerhouses of health.
- The Romans and Greeks
The oldest walnut remnants of the world were unearthed in Iraq and are thought to date back to 50,000 B.C. The walnut also was a favourite of the Romans and Greeks, and they even called it “the food for Gods”.
- The English Walnuts
Walnuts were also used to thicken dishes and were occasionally powdered, making them similar to how people use cornstarch these days. English ships utilized walnuts as a common trading item throughout the Mediterranean route. It is the reason why some people call them the English Walnuts.
- Spain to California
In the 18th century, Franciscan Fathers transported walnuts from Spain to California. Today, California generates a large portion of the world’s supply of walnuts and the almonds produced here is considered the most premium.
- Native Americans
Pecan shells were discovered in Texas archaeological digs alongside human relics dating back to 6100 B.C. The pecan is a North American native nut. It was discovered in or near riverbeds, making these a mainstay in the diets of Indians and other early settlers.
The macadamia nut originated in Queensland, Australia’s rain forests. It was transported to Hawaii in the late 1800s, where it is still grown in large quantities today.
As mentioned above, nuts and seeds have a plethora of nutrients. It is why early humans used these in a variety of ways. Today, it is easy to order nuts online india or anywhere in the world.