If you’ve ever had the pleasure of gobbling a handful of freshly-harvested walnuts or almonds, you will know how scrumptious and perfectly, satisfyingly nutty they taste. But, fresh nuts aren’t always readily available, and it’s often easier to grab a package of shelled or slivered nuts from the grocery store than to seek out the fresh variety from the local farmers market or natural foods store. The quality difference between the two, however, can be vast – I’ve thrown away more than one bag of chopped walnuts from the grocery store that tasted (and smelled) terribly stale; and regularly encounter fusty, bland almonds scattered in bags of trail mix.
I try to keep a generous stash of farm-sourced nuts in the freezer, so I always have access to them when I need them. My favorite place to get lovely, fresh nuts is at the Dewey Farms’ stand at the downtown Sacramento Sunday farmers market. The Deweys are knowledgeable and unfailingly cheerful, always full of advice about how to enjoy their marvelous walnuts, almonds and pistachios.
For more information about buying, using and storing nuts, talk with a grower at your local farmers market – you can find a schedule of the markets at www.california-grown.com.
Nut boards are also an excellent resource for information: