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What is a Walnut?

Walnut is the stone or the ridged or corrugated seed of a deciduous tree of the genus Juglans, having pinnately compound leaves. The nuts are usually enclosed in a leathery or woody hull. Like all other nuts walnuts is a rich source of oil and are widely eaten both raw and also when used in cooking.

Etymological Background

Some scholars say the term derives from the Teutonic German wallnuss or welsche nuss and and others from the Anglo-Saxon word wealhhnutu. If the word walnut may have originated from the Old English ‘wealhhnutu’ which literally means a ‘foreign nut’, ‘wealh’ meaning ‘foreign’. The walnut was so called because it was introduced from Gaul and Italy. The previous Latin name for the walnut was nux Gallica, “Gallic nut”.

Walnut Production

According to the Food and Agriculture Organization, the top six walnut producers in calendar year 2003 were China at 360,000 metric tons (25-percent share of the world’s production), followed by the
United States (294,000 tons, 20-percent share), Iran (160,0000.0share), Turkey (125,000 tons, 9-percent share), Ukraine (58,000 tons, 4 percent share) and Romania (50,000 tons, 4-percent share).

Walnut Trade

According to Global Trade Atlas, approximately $538million worth walnuts are being trade in the global market. For both shelled and in-shell walnuts United States is the leading producer. Traditional markets comprise of European Union Countries, South America, Canada and Japan. Other major players include France, China and India; and recently even Mexico has also emerged a significant trader of walnuts.

Health Benefits of Walnuts

Walnuts not only taste good, but they provide essential nutrients and are cholesterol free. Their positive affect on the heart can be especially attributed to the high content of alpha linolenic acid. Among natural nourishment, walnuts feature the highest concentration of these essential Omega 3 fatty acids: for every 100g of edible mass, they have 7g. The protective function of walnuts on the heart is also supported by vitamin E. In its role as a captor of free radicals, vitamin E increases the immune system performance and actively aids in protecting cells. Vitamin E protects cells from attacks by free radicals by neutralizing them.

Furthermore, walnuts are ideal for the nervous system due it its content of B vitamins. These vitamins support essential brain functions, prevent mood swings and lapses in concentration. If you feel tired or stressed out, a walnut snack will help bring your gray cells back to their feet in no time.

Walnut Recipes

Walnut is an incredibly versatile ingredient that goes well with sweet and savory foods from a wide variety of world cuisines, including Spanish tapas, Asian stir fries, and Indian curries.

Swiss Cheese & Walnut Spread


  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 6 ounces (2 cups) grated Swiss cheese
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped California walnuts
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped parsley


  • In a small mixing bowl mix the mayonnaise with the Swiss cheese and walnuts
  • Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate
  • When ready to serve, turn out onto a platter. Sprinkle with parsley and place crackers around the edge

Honey Walnut Prawns Recipe


  • 1 lb of Large Shrimps, peeled and deveined
  • 1/2 cup Walnuts
  • 5 cups Water
  • 1 cup Sugar
  • 2 cups Oil
  • 1/2 cup Cornstarch
  • 1/2 cup Egg whites
  • 2 Tbs Honey
  • 3 Tbs Mayonnaise
  • 1 Tbs Fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 Tbs Condensed milk
  • 1/2 cup Oil


  • Rinse walnuts, then boil in 5 cups water, continually changing water until clear
  • When clear, boil with sugar until sugar dissolves
  • Heat 2 cups oil until almost smoking, then deep fry walnuts until they’re shiny and brown, no longer golden
  • Place walnuts to cookie sheet, let cool
  • Mix cornstarch and egg whites together to form a thick, sticky texture and mix well with Shrimp. Set aside. Mix honey, mayonnaise, lemon juice, and condensed milk in a medium bowl until smooth
  • Heat oil until boiling, then deep fry the Shrimp until golden brown
  • Drain, then fold in honey mayonnaise mixture. Mix well, sprinkle with walnuts, and arrange on platter.