John Sigona’s Pick of the Week: Wild, Hand-Harvested, Indigenous Black Walnuts

This is a great sale on a terrifically unique and versatile nut.

Special $1.99

(4 oz. container)

Regular $3.99

Black walnuts grow wild, are hand-harvested and are indigenous to the US, so they’ve been around long before the first Europeans descended upon the Americas. Native to 32 states, the ones I buy come mostly from the Midwest. They’re a very healthy, nutritious whole food and are a fabulously versatile treat in many spectacular dishes. (By the way, doesn’t that bread on the right look amazing? Click here for the recipe!)

I buy a new crop every year fresh and raw from a family owned company which has been in business for three generations. The black walnuts I buy are actually locally sourced from 16 different states. Hundreds of individuals from various locations in each of these Midwestern states gather them from lawns, fields and pastures after the nuts have fallen from their trees. They are then delivered to the aforementioned family owned company, where they are processed and packaged for sale—at which point I buy them and sell them to you!

The incredible taste of these nuts has been described as “authentic, assertive, full-bodied and robust.” The bottom line is that they have a distinctive flavor that’s much richer and stronger than the English walnut varieties with which we are so accustomed.

Black walnuts, of course, are wonderful in baked goods, ice-cream, cookies, candy, and they are also a distinctive and tasty treat in many entrées and side dishes.

For lots of spectacular recipes, go to blackwalnutrecipes.com. (Two of my favorites are Wild Black Walnut Pesto and Stuffed Prime Pork Loin with Wild Black Walnuts.)

Here are some of their health benefits, many of which are higher than other nuts, including the common English varieties:

  • Low in saturated fats
  • High in non-saturated fats (healthy)
  • About 23 grams of protein per 3 oz.
  • Vitamin A
  • Iron
  • Minerals
  • Fiber
  • Cholesterol free
  • Sugar free

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