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Tracing the History of Nuts
Botanically, nuts are defined as hard, one-seeded fruit that does not split open on its maturity; yet, not all nuts lay on the same definition. However, there is one characteristic that is common among major nuts- they all have a hard-outer covering or shell. The shells are natural protectors that keep protecting the inner seed from natural calamities and animal predation. Humans have whereas developed cutting tools like nutcrackers which are gradually improving with technology.
Nuts have been a reliable source of nourishment since ancient times as we have seen their usage and consumption since the kings’ regime to today’s supermarket shoppers. However, an archaeological excavation in Israel found remains of seven types of nuts along with a few tools to crack open these nuts. Scientists believe that this discovery dates back approximately 780,000 years. A dig was carried out in Iraq that showed some staggering results- it was stated that the archaeologists discovered a history of nut consumption dates back to 50,000 BC. Also, some pecan shells were found in a dig near a human caricature in Texas that dated back to 6,000 BC.
It is evident why nuts have been so popular since ancient times. Nuts are known as the very first convenience food that could be stored for months in all climate conditions. Also, they are full of good fat and proteins that are used as supplements to fill our diets with nourishment. Nuts are very versatile- you can eat them by just cracking open their shells, convert them into oil, or churn them into nut butter.
We have also seen many references of nuts in colonial times. One of the first record references to nuts is in the Holy Bible. Quoted as ‘on their second journey to Egypt, Joseph’s brother brought almonds and pistachios to trade for grain.’
Almonds were famous among the people of Middle Eastern countries too. They used to eat sweet almonds after getting them blanched, roasted and sliced into small pieces. It is said that Romans were among the first to make candied almonds, which were considered as a symbol of fertility.
Almonds were also consumed in powdered form as almond flour by the royalty. Royalty even had almonds made into almond milk as a refreshing drink. European and Middle Eastern culture discovered its medicinal use too: almond oil was used to treat indigestion and cough.
Pistachios have also been part of the human diet since ancient times. Some books refer to Pistachios as the favorite food of the Queen of Sheba. It is said that Pistachios probably originated in West Asia in the areas of Turkey. Romans introduced the nut to Europe, bringing it from Asia whereas in the United States it wasn’t popular until the 19th century. But soon after we saw pistachios becoming a famous snack among the people of United States of America.
Walnuts are also as old as almonds and pistachios. Walnuts were considered as a valued staple in the diet of Greeks and Romans. Greek mythology holds a special place for the tree of walnuts as the God Dionysus turned his love Carya into a walnut tree after she died. Romans also considered walnut as a superfood and the citizens used walnut oil and walnut flour in their daily consumption. Not only was the inner seed famous for its multiple usages but also its shells were used to make bread.
Chestnuts were a major part of European and Middle Eastern people’s diets. Although, it was first mentioned by ancient Greeks and Romans. Chestnuts were quite a rage for medicinal usage because it was considered to fend off rabies and dysentery. They were the primary food source for people living in harsh winters.
Man has incorporated nuts in the modern age in many ways. Nuts are considered as supplements for nutrients that our body lacks in. It is evident that nuts have had a long, densely rich history dating back thousands of years. We have even witnessed the relevance of nuts in royal lifestyle.
Nuts For Us as a brand has a long legacy of selling authentic varieties of nuts and dry fruits. We understand the importance of nuts in the diet of a person in every age group. Contact us for more details.