A Tough Nut to Crack

We made a run to SAM’s Club this evening to find out how to break our monthly budget. We not only discovered how to do that and do it emphatically, I found a 4 lb bag of Diamond brand mixed nuts…not in a can…in a bag…with the shells still on! Yes! It’s a long-lost Christmas tradition in our family to have such nuts available on a table or counter or as they are right now, in a bowl on my lap.

The perennial problem is…how to crack open those stubborn Brazil nuts. I thought I’d heard one could freeze them but I wasn’t sure so I did a quick search. Sure enough…aside from boiling them for a few minutes, one can freeze them. Here’s the nutcracker tip of the day:

Tip for cracking open Brazil nuts

Step 1 Freeze nuts, especially Brazil nuts, or soak them in water for several hours before cracking.

Step 2 Stand frozen nuts with the point facing up and hit with a hard object, such as a hammer, to crack.

Step 3 Crack soaked nuts with a nutcracker. Place the nut in the grip of the nutcracker so that the seam of the shell is subjected to the direct force.

Step 4 Use minimum force necessary to split the shell when squeezing, in order to avoid crushing the nut kernel inside. Rotate the nut while squeezing so the shell cracks slowly.

Step 5 Extract the kernel from the shell.

Step 6 Allow the kernels of soaked nuts to dry for a few hours after cracking.

Of course, none of this is really all that helpful to me. I have no intention on freezing them. There’s something oddly satisfying in burrowing through a Brazil nut with every means possible and a few which should not have been considered possible in the first place.

On a side note (to this side note) my mother was once told that her body was selenium-deficient and that she could buy and take an expensive supplement pill or she could simply eat a Brazil nut every day. She chose the Brazil nut option which seems quite fitting for members of my family. We’ve rarely met a nut we didn’t like. Takes one to know one I guess.

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