Native to South America, the brazil nut is the seed of a tall tree that grows in the Amazon rainforest and can live for over 500 years. The tree has not been successfully cultivated commercially, and the nuts are gathered mainly from the wild in Brazil and Bolivia for export. The creamy-white, waxy-textured nuts have a mild, sweet flavor.
Brazil nuts are harvested during the rainy season (December to March). If buying them unshelled, look for heavy nuts that do not rattle in their shells when you shake them.
Because of their high polyunsaturated fat content, shelled brazil nuts can quickly become rancid. If you are going to eat them soon after purchasing, you can keep them in a sealed container in a cool, dry place. Alternatively, store in an airtight, plastic container in the fridge for 6 months or in the freezer for up to a year. Nuts in their shell can be stored in a cool, dry place for 2 months.
Brazil nuts are hard to shell, so if you want whole nuts, buy them already shelled. Being rich in fat, they make a delicious snack as well as a good addition to stuffings, cookies, cakes, and confectionery.
Bananas, dried fruits, chocolate, toffee, maple syrup.
Chocolate-coated brazil nuts; brazil nut cake.
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