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Jordan almonds
Jordan Almonds

sunflower seeds
Sunflower Seeds

Interesting facts and stories about fruit and nuts 

Pistachios have a distinctive green color to the nut. Pistachios grow on the trees in clusters similar to grapes. When conditions are favorable, the pistachio shell splits open...prior to harvesting. Pistachio trees rely on wind for pollination. Male trees are planted in the orchards to take advantage of prevailing winds, which carry the pollen from the male to the female flowers. Pistachio trees begin production in about six or seven years, but do not produce a full crop until the fifteenth to twentieth year. Under favorable conditions, however, pistachio trees live and produce nuts for centuries. A 700 year old tree was still standing in Iran as of 1984.

 have been cultivated in the Middle East and Mediterranean since the time of the Pharaohs in Egypt. In 1965 archaeologists exploring a ruin of an ancient village in what is now the Hashimite Kingdom of Jordan discovered a cache of about 40 lb. of well preserved pistachios. Carbon dating revealed them to be 8725 years old! Pistachios 
are often dyed red or green. Originally, the purpose was to mask stains and blemishes on the shell.

George Washington was very fond of pecans, carrying them in his pockets all through the Revolutionary War. In the museum at Mount Vernon, there's a photo taken about 1845 which shows two pecan trees, five or six years old. Those same trees are still there 150 years later! 

Peanuts are not nuts at all. They're peas. The plant looks much like ordinary garden pea vine, with a white and yellow pea blossom.

Apricots, native to China, came to Europe with the armies of Alexander the Great. They quickly became a favorite fruit of Southern Europe.

Almonds have symbolized good luck for many centuries in southern Europe. At Greek weddings, candied almonds are given away as tokens of long life and happiness. At Spanish weddings, sugar coated "Jordan" almonds are given away. The term "Jordan" probably comes from the French word for garden - "jardin." The Almond tree is a native to the warmer parts of western Asia and of North Africa, and is cultivated in all the countries bordering on the Mediterranean. In England, it was cultivated after 1562, and then chiefly for its blossom. 

This name "cashews" itself means "shaped like a heart", which is the general shape of a cashew nut shell. The cashew nut is the true fruit from the tree, while the apple is the swollen stalk supporting the flower. The nut shell is smooth, oily and about one-eighth of an inch thick. 

More than 4,500 years ago, the Chinese people began to cultivate the hazelnut (or Filbert). They believed that hazelnuts were a “sacred nourishment” bestowed upon human beings by God.

Squash seedwere enjoyed by the early settlers of the United States. Native Americans introduced planting and growing techniques to the early settlers. Survival over the harsh winter depended on a good harvest of corn, pumpkins and varieties of squash.

Sunflower (sunflower seeds) are native of Mexico and Peru, introduced into this country in the sixteenth century and now one of our most familiar garden plants. It is an annual herb, with a rough, hairy stem, 3 to 12 feet high, broad, rough leaves, 3 to 12 inched long, and circular heads of flowers, 3 to 6 inches wide...In Peru, this flower was much reverenced by the Aztecs, and in their temples of the Sun, the priestesses were crowned with Sunflowers and carried them in their hands. The early Spanish conquerors found in these temples numerous representations of the sunflower in pure gold. 

Pine Nuts (Pignolia Nuts) -

Pignolia nuts are a good source of mono-unsaturated fats, protein and dietary fiber.

The pine family is one of the most popular kinds of evergreen trees, and these tasty edible seeds commonly thought of as nuts, come from certain limited varieties of pine trees.  Grown all over the world, including, Asia, Africa, Italy, Afghanistan, China and the US.  When first extracted from the pine cone, they are covered with a hard shell (seed coat), thin in some species, thick in others. The shell must be removed before the pine nut can be eaten.

Information on this page was taken from these primary sources:
"The Book of Edible Nuts", by Frederic Rosengarten, Jr., copyright-1984, 
the web site and the pamphlet "Sunnyland Nuts and Fruits: and Lots, Lots More!"
Volume XVIII, Albany, Georgia, USA
Looking for a healthy and delicious snack? Go nuts!
Read about the health benefits of nuts on our 
nutrition page
Find out about botanical facts of nuts and seeds
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