Worldwide Exotic Nuts

Nuts are grown around the world. 

Thereare over 900 kinds of nuts found on this planet

Below I will tell you about many nuts that have little commercial vlue as a crop because they are unpleasant tasting, not commercially viable, or hybrid into one of our more popular varieties.


Cashews, Cashews, Cashews 

The highly popular cashew nut that originated in the West Indies has spread its species all over the world.  It is dangerous until roasted and is characteristic of the Poison Ivy family.  The cashew comes from the Anacardiaceae genus.  The cashew tree is often found on the west side of the continent near the warm ocean.   It’s growing range runs from a 7 degree north latitude to a 7 degree south latitude.  In Brazil cashew trees grow wild right at the equator near Forteleza, Brazil.   In India the cashew tree is found in plantations located in the southern tip in Kerala State on the Malabar Coast.

The cashew nut has a kidney-shaped hard shell hanging on the end of a fleshy fruit - the cashew apple.  The cashew apple is two inches  in diameter and four inches long.    At maturity the apple turns bright red or yellow.   The shell contains an oil that is highly irritating to the skin.  The kernels should be heated in their shells before they are broken open and extracted.  The caustic oil is expelled from the hard shell during roasting making the inside kernel sweet and pleasant to eat.Returning soldiers after World War II knew it as the BLISTER NUT due to the caustic irritating oil the nut had before roasting.  The cashew tree is also known as the Monkey Nut because it is a favorite food of monkeys in Africa.

The Candle Nut

This Malaysian tree is somewhat larger than its relatives, the MUNG-OIL and the TUNG trees.  It reaches 60 feet high.  Tung oil is considered one of the finest finishing oils available for fine furniture and final coatings on exceptionally well-made violins.  The candle nuts are round, about 2” across, and flattened laterally.   The outer hull of the nut is thin and papery, but the rough inner seed coats thick and hard.   Candle oil is produced from the nuts because it is a cheap crop.   Candle oil is of lower quality, slower drying, and closely resembles linseed oil.  The tree grows primarily in the Philippines, Malasia, and Sri Lanka.   It is also found throughout the South Pacific island chains.  The nuts are irregularly spheroid and range in color from motley gray to black.  They have a hard, but brittle, shell that is 1/8” thick.   Each fruit has about five nuts found in the fruit.   Only some species are edible and are usually roasted.   When used as an oil it is also called “walnut oil, artists oil, kekune (Sri Lanka) oil, of kukuii oil (Sandwich Islands).  As for eating the nuts, it is seldom done because the nut acts as a strong purgative so only local people eat the nut after carefully selecting what they believe is safe.  When eaten, the nuts are always roasted and they have a walnut-like taste.  The nut can contain over 50% oil.  In Java they make a sauce eaten with green vegetables and rice.   The sauce is a well-accepted stable and the nuts are imported from Malaysia.    Sometimes after roasting the kernel is pounded to a powder and combined with flavorings such as salt, chilies, and shrimp-paste and eaten as a relish.

Other edible Species:

Taccy Nut - In Columbia the seeds of this tree are valued for eating and are consumed after roasting.   The 1” in diameter thin, brown shell surrounding the kernel is easily broken with the fingers.  East Indies   the winged seeds of its large fruit are eaten

Belgium Walnut - genus of small trees found extensively throughout southeast Asia.   The Belgium Walnut has a fruit 1” in diameter depressed wit ha flat stone containing two to five cells each holding a small almond-appearing nut.  These nuts are edible and are found primarily in Burma and Malaysia.

Tapos Tree - A handsome tree over 100 feet tall and three feet in diameter, found in Malaysia.   The seeds are two inches long and some are not poisonous when eaten fresh.  Other varieties are poisonous and contain hydrocyanic acid.  Eat with care.  Jungle tribes pound them with a little water, pack them in a bag or bamboo stick, and bury in wet earth for a month or more.  The preparation ferments.   It has a strong flavor.    A paste can be made and the paste is wrapped in bamboo leafs in Sumatra where it is sold in the marketplace. 

Mango - This Indian tree, cultivated all over the tropics for its famous fruit, is now being exported to produce markets everywhere.   The finest mango fruits often weigh two pounds or more.  The seeds and kernels are worthless a food crop except as a medicinal in underdeveloped countries.   The kernel is starchy and can be eaten roasted or dried and pickled, but it isn’t a favorite.

Buy our cashew nuts here!


One of the most interesting ways chocolate candy is made is a modern method that involves a machine called an “enrober”.     Imagine a cupcake cup in which you place a pretzel.   Fill the cup up with warm chocolate.    Then make slits or slots on all four sides so that the extra chocolate will run out of the cup and into a catching tray.

Now when you flood the cup with chocolate it coats the pretzel, but as the chocolate flows back out of the cup the pretzel remains coated.  If you move this cup on a belt through a cooling tunnel the chocolate will harden to its final form.   Suppose there are 12 cups in a row on a conveyor line, all filled with pretzels.  The cups pass beneath a nozzle that fills the cups with chocolate.   The overflow runs out through the slits in the cup.

The above method would not be perfect if you need to have chocolate on the bottom of the piece.  When you make chocolates in an enrober that needs a chocolate bottom first, before you place an item in the cup you add a small amount of chocolate in the cup bottom.  The cup then passes through a chilling tunnel where the bottom sets.  The cup is then filled with a nut or fruit center.    Then the cup is top flooded with chocolate.  The entire piece passes through a cooling tunnel to make the final hard set.    Often this is the way production chocolate pieces are made for the large companies. 

The excess chocolate recirculates and is used again to flood the next cups with chocolate.   This is an enrobing line and you can always tell enrobing because there is a flat bottom on the chocolate item. 

Smaller chocolate makers hand dip the chocolates - one at a time - and this is slower but more individualized.   An enrober give constant quality, appearance, and large volume of products.

This method of chocolate coating is machinery intensive and requires expensive equipment.  A normal plant might make 2,000 pounds of enrobed chocolate pieces on a typical production run!

Find our chocolate products here!


Nutritional Facts

The is a lot of interest in the nutritional value of nuts and seeds.
Below is a table
showing some of these values....

This is the value in one ounce of nuts
expressed in grams of protein, fat,
carbohydrates, and calories

also see:


nuts protein fat carbohydrate calories
Almonds -1oz 15 7 12 105
Beechnuts - 1 oz 1.8 .7 3 6
Brazil Nuts (8) -1 oz .1 19 3.5 185
Butternuts - 1 oz 4.5 1.6 .2 20
Cashews (14) - 1 oz 5.4 14. 10 165
Chestnuts (6) - 1 oz 6.4 .8 13 60
Coconut (1) - 1 oz .8 15 7 160
Filberts (18) - 1 oz 4.2 18 4.5 180
Ginkgo Nuts (14)-1 oz 1 0 6 32
Hazelnuts (18)- 1 oz 4.2 18 4.5 180
Hickory Nuts (30)-1 oz 1 18 5 190
Litchi Nuts- 1 oz 1 4 21 90
Macadamias (7) -1 oz 1 21 4 200
Peanuts (30) - 1 oz 9 14 6 165
Pecans (25) - 1 oz 1.6 19 5 195
Pine Nuts - 1 oz 3.2 18.4 5 176
Pistachios (45)- 1 oz 1.6 14 7 165
Walnuts (black)-1 oz 2.7 16 3 175
Walnuts (English)-1 oz 5.4 18 5 185
Water Chestnut 1.2 6.7 6.4 97


this is another excellent
nut nutrition web site

and see also

International Nut Health/Nutrition


Food Facts: From almonds to walnuts,
nuts are packed with nutrition

The Romans considered certain nuts to be food of the gods. Because walnuts resemble the brain, they were used to treat head ailments during the Renaissance. The Incas made pottery in the shape of the highly prized peanut.

Most of us today just like to eat them.

Nuts are versatile: They can be eaten as a snack or as part of a meal. They make tasty additions to fruit or vegetable salads, casseroles, baked breads or muffins, oatmeal, pilafs and meat dishes.

Nuts also are nutritious. They are placed in the meat group of the Food Guide Pyramid because of their protein content. Ounce for ounce, they are one of the best plant sources of protein and contain no cholesterol.

Many also are good sources of fiber; minerals such as magnesium, iron, potassium, selenium, copper, and zinc; vitamin E, folacin and other B vitamins; and fat.

Fat - there's good news and bad news. Fat is high in calories - 9 per gram versus the 4 per gram in carbohydrates and protein. If you're tipping the scales a little more than you should, it's best to cut some calories (and add exercise) to get that weight down. Because of their calorie density, fats are a logical choice for lowering our calorie intake. Therefore, use nuts in small amounts.

Although dry-roasted nuts are not cooked in oil, they are not significantly lower in fat that regular roasted (fried) ones. The other bad news is that the salted varieties add a significant amount of sodium.

The good news is the type of fat in nuts -primarily monounsaturated with some polyunsaturated. Monounsaturated fats can help lower total blood cholesterol, especially when substituted for the saturated fat in meats or other foods. These fats can also help lower LDL (bad) cholesterol without lowering HDL (good) cholesterol. Some studies have indicated that people who eat nuts fairly often have a lower risk of heart disease than those who seldom eat them.

When buying nuts in the shell, choose clean nuts that are free of splits, cracks, stains, mold or holes. Nutmeats that rattle in their shells are usually stale.

Shelled nuts should be plump and fairly uniform in color and size. Limp, rubbery, dark or shriveled nuts may be stale. Nuts in the shell retain their quality longer than shelled nuts. They can be kept at room temperature for a short time. For longer storage, keep them in a cool, dry place. Shelled nuts will keep fresh for several months stored in a tightly closed container in the refrigerator. Shelled or unshelled nuts can be frozen in tightly closed freezer containers at zero degrees or lower.

The following are some quick and fresh ideas for using nuts:

Add nuts to homemade trail mix.

  • For the flavor of fall, sprinkle baked squash, sweet potatoes or apples with chopped nuts.
  • Nuts add texture and taste appeal to fruit, vegetable and main-dish salads.
  • Sprinkle hot cereal with chopped nuts or add them to pancake, waffle, cookie, cake, quick bread and muffin batters.
  • Try using one-half whole wheat flour when baking - the flavor of whole grains especially complements nuts.
  • Brown baggers delight: Stuff whole grain pocket bread with a mixture of chopped nuts, apple, banana and pineapple chunks and sprinkle with raisins.

    So there you have it - it's all right to go nuts -just be sensible about it!

  • If you have a question, write to Extension Agent Family and Consumer Sciences, University of Florida Extension - Walton County, 732 North 9th Street, Suite B, DeFuniak Springs, FL 32433-3804; or call the Extension Office (850) 892-8172, from 8 a.m. to noon or 1 to 5 p.m. weekdays.

    Chestnuts are the only low-fat nut with 1 gram fat and 70 calories in one ounce of dried or roasted nuts. Macadamia nuts are the highest with 19 grams of fat and 199 calories. Some other favorites stack up this way per ounce:

    Nut fat calories
    Almonds 14 g 167
    Brazil nuts 19 186
    Cashews 13 163
    Hazel nuts 19 188
    Hickory nuts 18 179
    Peanuts 14 164
    Pecans 18 187
    Pine nuts 5 161
    Pistachios 14 164
    Walnuts 18 182




Welcome to the new site!

Welcome to The Nut Factory Blog and to our new site!  We’re the same company you’ve been doing business with since 1952, just with a new look and feel.  We hope you find the site easier to navigate.  Please drop us a note with any feedback you have at  We appreciate your business and we look forward to serving you in the future.