Go nuts

Illustration By Mark Stivers

Nuts don’t seem like a seasonal food; they sit there on the shelf all year long, not visibly deteriorating. But taste a just-harvested one next to last year’s crop, and you’ll find a clear difference. My dad, an almond grower, just got back his crop allotment and brought me two big bags of fresh almonds. They have an addictively sweet snap that has totally faded from the older specimens I had on my shelf, and I keep popping them in my mouth. They’re my madeleines, taking me back immediately to breaking open crumbly shells right off the tree, on hot September days in a dusty orchard. As good as they are raw, roasting and salting makes them irresistible. At high heat they tend to crack and sometimes scorch a little, so I slow-roast them (coated with a little olive oil) for about an hour at 250 degrees and sprinkle them with sea salt: the perfect seasonal snack.