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Walnuts

Walnuts are a type of hickory grown in temperate climates, like California.   They are the second ranking nut crop in the United States, after almonds.  There are two types of walnuts; Black or American, and English or Persian walnut.

English walnuts comes in several varieties and are the most common and widely available of the two.  About the size of a small plum, a light brown shell (fairly easy to crack), encloses two gnarled halves of ivory-colored nutmeat. 

The Black or American walnut is harder to find.  The nut has a hard shell that is darker in color than the English, and has a stronger flavor. 

Unshelled walnuts should be free of any cracks or holes and the nutmeat should be crisp and meaty.  Shriveling of the nutmeat is an indication that the nut is too old.  Unshelled walnuts can be stored in a cool, dry place up to three months.   Shelled walnuts can be stored in the refrigerator (6 months) or freezer (one year) in airtight containers or plastic bags. 

The rich flavor of the walnut is enhanced by toasting and makes it perfect in making pastries, muffins and breads, cookies, and cakes. 

1 cup halves = 100 grams

1 cup coarsely chopped = 110 grams