Nuts so good
If you’ve eaten a walnut lately, chances are it came from California. In fact, 99 percent of the domestic supply is grown here, and 78 percent of the world supply. High in omega-3 fatty acids and proven to be good for your brain, heart and stress levels, walnuts are like delicious little vitamins. Fortunately, there should be plenty for everyone, as the California Walnut Board and Commission (based in Folsom) estimates the second-largest crop yield on record this year.
The harvest begins now, with tree-shaking machines causing the nuts to rain down throughout the orchards. According to commission chairperson Charles Crain, “We are delighted not only with the crop size but also the high-quality kernels we are expecting, thanks to the mild spring and summer weather.”
The commercial walnut crop consists of English walnuts (Juglans regia), although we have many native American black walnut trees (Juglans nigra) in the Sacramento area. While black walnuts are slightly lower in fat, they have much lower amounts of omega-3 fatty acids, and they’re far more difficult to shell.