Go Nuts for Walnuts
One of the market’s favorite items for customers to pick up this time of year is walnuts! For baking, side dishes, salads, and appetizers, you can’t find better quality California-grown walnuts than at your farmers’ market.
Walnuts are the oldest known food trees we know of. The Romans called them “Jupiter’s royal acorn.” They were traded along the Silk Road, eventually traded along the sea routes to other nations. The walnut was first cultivated in California by the Franciscan fathers in the late 1700’s and planted next to the missions. They flourished in this Mediterranean climate and by 1870 modern walnut production began.
The walnut tree itself is a leafy ornamental tree that is highly prized for its beautiful form and used widely in landscaping. There are numerous varieties of walnut trees, the English and the black walnut being the most common.
More than 99% of the walnuts in U.S. are grown in the fertile soils of California’s Central Valley. And this is made possible by the efforts of farms that have been growing walnuts of the highest quality for over a century. They are only harvested once a year, between September and November. There are over 4,000+ walnut growers, a large majority being family farms, many of which have been in the walnut business for several generations.
Walnuts are considered one of the healthiest fats that should be incorporated into your daily diet. They are filled with omega-3 fatty acids. The walnut is a fantastic source of protein, fiber, magnesium, and phosphorous. By adding a small handful of fresh California walnuts to your diet every day, you’ll get nutrition your body needs in a tasty package!