Perhaps you have wondered what the difference is between a walnut and a black walnut? The answer is far more fascinating than you might think, and shows how long it takes people to consume their favorite foods.
Where are you from?
Most people know walnuts and the most popular one is called the English walnut. Except that it was first called the Persian walnut because it came from what is now Iran. Walnuts have been grown for thousands of years and are even mentioned in the Code of Hammurabi. It was the Greeks who selectively bred to produce the enlarged walnut we are familiar with today.
Because of the transportation of these walnuts by English walnuts, the term English walnut became popular. Later, in the 18th century, Franciscan monks began to breed them in what was then Alta California. The name was changed again to reflect this. Now they were called either mission walnuts or California walnuts. Now people just call them walnuts.
The black walnut
The California black nut comes from North America and is commonly referred to as black nut. Native Americans ate them, but the English walnut grew in popularity because of its thinner shell and milder taste. The black walnut is said to have a stronger flavor, but is believed to have a tougher shell and is likely to leave a black stain on the consumer’s hands.
There is a company that sells black walnuts called Hammons. Black walnuts still grow in the wild, mostly in the central and eastern parts of the US, but Hammons have their own crops to meet their needs. By growing nuts with thinner shells, they were able to increase their profit by 500%.
What is the difference?
What are the nutritional differences between the English walnut and the black walnut? In fact, you should be getting the same amount of protein, calories, and fiber from everyone, but the difference is that black walnuts have less omega-3s than English walnuts, but more arginine and selenium. Omega-3 lowers blood pressure and also has other benefits such as lowering cholesterol, helping with blood clots, increasing bone strength, and reducing the possibility of heart disease. The downside is that walnuts are high in calories, with one ounce (28 grams) equaling 180 calories.
It’s also easy to identify the different leaves on each tree. An English walnut tree has 5 to 9 leaflets, while the black walnut tree has between 15 and 23 leaflets. The leaves also come in different sizes, with the English walnut leaf being 5 cm to 12.5 cm (2 to 5 inches) while the black walnut leaf is smaller with sizes between 2.5 cm and 7.5 cm (1 to 3 inches) .
It’s not just about the nut
The black walnut tree can be used to make tough wood that can be used to make products that can withstand many uses, such as: B. Furniture, musical instruments and cabinets. The black walnut tree is preferred for this purpose as it grows much faster. The English walnut tree produces wood that is smoother and more delicate than the black walnut tree and is considered a bad investment due to its slow growth. This explains why the English walnut is preferred for food production while the black walnut is better suited for wood production.
Interestingly, the shell of the black walnut is so hard that it has industrial application as an abrasive in sandblasting. They were cleaned like the side of ships and the insides of jet engines and funnels. There is no such application for the English walnut shell.
After all, the other big difference is in their price. Black walnuts cost between $ 10 and $ 14 a pound (0.45 kg) compared to English, which costs $ 2 a pound. Black walnuts remain relatively unfashionable as a food source compared to English walnuts. We hope that the next time you have eaten a walnut, we have given you food for thought, regardless of the variety.