22 January 2007

Nuts: Genetically Predetermined?

My mother adores cashews, particularly roasted salted ones that are only available in snack-size containers costing twice as much as an average family of four would ordinarily spend on milk for a week. She claims to be ecumenical about her cashew consumption when presented with a dish of mixed nuts but I have my doubts about her ratio...I'm pretty sure 1 cashew:1 anyothernut is not exactly evenhanded.

I can't cast stones, though, as my own cashew preference is strongly stated. One teen-aged summer, my best friend and I walked a few miles to an upscale department store and spent the contents of our Pappagallo purses on cashews from the candy-counter to sustain us for the walk home. I don't remember anything else about the shopping - I think it might have taken us so long to get there that we had to turn right around. I enjoy the memory of those cashews much better than any lipgloss we might otherwise have purchased.

So, I was really not surprised when Lars plopped into my lap recently and carefully selected three cashews from my little dish of mixed nuts. He relished the cashews, one by one, then reached in for a few more. As he was choosing his fifth nut, I picked a macadamia and dropped it into his waiting palm beside the cashews. He regarded me warily, as if the macadamia nut might be toxic. "Mama," he said, "I like this kind (indicating a cashew), the curly ones what are fat on this end and skinny over here." I urged him to try the other kind, using my best 'if you don't, you'll find yourself without any more cashews' intonation. Lars wisely popped the macadamia into his mouth without argument. As he chewed, his eyes lit up and he looked a little shocked. "Those are good!" he declared, then proceeded to give each of the other kinds of nut a try. Pecans, macadamias, and almonds won approval. Hazelnuts were determined to be too crunchy and he didn't like the Brazil nuts much at all. I can't say much against that, though, except I was hoping he'd like them so I wouldn't have to feel guilty for not eating them...

8 comments:

Epiphany Alone said...

Cashews are very tasty. The best ones I've ever had were at the candy store on the corner of Reade and Church Streets in Manhattan.

I love Lars' description.

Does anyone actually like brazilnuts?

Navilyn said...

I like Brazilnuts, but nothing beats Cashews!

bethie said...

i love braxilnuts. can i have all your extra?

sister k said...

ooh, i bet lars would like the turtle ice cream i had recently :)

Grandmoo said...

He gets that from MY father, and he's right: Macadmia ARE toxic! We used to have a now politically incorrect name for Brazil nuts. Thankfully for me, Grandpa loved those, too. (Yes, Epiphany, someone did... does that count?) And I do NOT buy only the tiny packages! Way too greasy! (I've expanded to honey roasted. Just tell Lars to hurry up and get to AZ. I know what we'll eat!)

Spice Girl said...

Bethie, you can have all my extra brazil nuts. Yuck. They taste like mold to me. I keep trying to figure out a way to assuage my guilt complex about throwing handfuls of them out everytime I get mixed nuts. Like, is there some other way I could use them, in which they would not taste like mold to me?

I haven't come up with anything, other than to buy canisters of cashews, almonds, pecans, and if I'm feeling decadent, macadamia nuts and mix my own.

Nuts to you.

Missy said...

you can send those brazil nuts over here to Las Vegas I love em!

sister k said...

Spice Girl - They probably really DO taste like mold because nobody will eat them so they sit in the can until long after the other fresh nuts are all gone ;)

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