Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Crosspost - Glen's Glorious Nuts

Recent Catallarchy post:

My esteemed, handsome coblogger Brandon and I were talking this evening, while I enjoyed some mixed nuts (heh). I haven't bought mixed nuts (heh) in a while, but for some reason I was compelled to make the purchase at the local CVS. Aw man, capitalism is awesome and supply and demand curves could perfectly and usefully model my purchase.

Anyway, I observed that:

Remy Boncouer: I wonder if Brazil nuts are appreciably more expensive than other nuts (editor's note: heh). Because I would totally buy cans consisting solely of them.

Little did I know, Glen Whitman has just posted on this very subject!

Quote the learned professor:

I love nuts, but I’m not a big fan of peanuts. So whenever I buy a can of mixed nuts, I eventually find myself with about half a can of peanuts left over. The obvious solution is to buy “deluxe” or “fancy” mixed nuts, which have no peanuts. Sadly, the producers don’t replace the peanuts with a proportional increase in all the other nuts, but instead fill the void with the most overrated nut ever, the cashew. (There seem to be lots of people out there who think cashews are great. These people are mistaken.)

Whitman is absolutely right, and while I do not wholly endorse his tepid attitude towards America's favorite legume, I do believe that peanuts have no business being in mixed nuts (heh) proper. But cashews, much like the suspiciously-colored and clammy pistachio, are ludicrously overrated. It's just a bent peanut for all I can tell, with a tad more body to the taste, a bit of girth but with no proclivity for salt-retention; moreover it lacks that redeeming glob of oil one can find in the middle of a whole peanut, a secret jewel that never fails to delight the careful tongue. But as Whitman and I both appreciate:

I would be much happier if they replaced the peanuts with any other nut in the mix – pecans, almonds, hazelnuts, or best of all, the most underrated of all nuts, the brazil nut.

My word, is he right. Ever since I spent six grueling weeks as a Vegan in college, I've been very familiar with nuts (heh), especially the glorious Brazilian giant (or "nigger-toe", as it used to be called---this is facts and facts cannot be offensive). The Brazil nut has a glorious texture, a purity to it, and yet a permeating subtlety. A mystery, I dare say. So unassuming, so big, yet so full of gustatory wonders. Which bring me, and Whitman, to our key observation---Brazil nuts are great, other nuts are not so great, ipso facto, all Brazil nuts would be Pareto opti-yummy.

Whitman deplores the lack of sole Brazil nut collections in our grocery stores (which is surprising until you realize that capitalism is essentially geared towards alienation of the laboring man, and nothing gets one closer to that point like the dietary removal of this protein-bearing giant), and so has taken to roasting his own nuts (heh). Attractive coblogger Brandon, who knows his nuts, comments on Whitman's post:

A Google search for "roasted brazil nuts" (no quotes) turns up at least two different retailers in the first half of the first page.

You can find your own Brazil nuts online at Nuts Online; nuts can also be found online in many other places.

Alas, constant ingestion of Brazil nuts may lead to selenium poisoning. But what a way to go, huh?

In closing, this is a ranking of nuts within the mixed nuts confection, from best to worst:

1. The Brazil Nut, goliath and stoic, confident in its superiority;
2. The Pecan, a tad pedestrian but intricately composed;
3. The Filbert, which makes up for its petiteness in spunk (heh);
4. The Almond, earthy and enduring, and;
5. The Cashew, nature's scrotum

No interpersonal utility comparisons were attempted in the creation of this post. A labor curve was bent backward, but it was totally into it.

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