May 17th recognizes a “nutty” holiday. Each year on this day, it is National Walnut Day.
Rounded, single-seeded stone fruits of the walnut tree, walnuts are a high-density source of nutrients, particularly proteins and essential fatty acids. Like other tree nuts, walnuts must be processed and stored properly.
Created to promote the consumption of walnuts, the first National Walnut Day was proclaimed in June 1949 by the Walnut Marketing Board.
On March 3, 1958, a Senate Resolution was introduced by William F. Knowland and signed by President Dwight D. Eisenhower on the first National Walnut Day, May 17, 1958.
- The walnut, holds the distinction of being the oldest known tree food, as our ancestors have been eating them since 7000 B.C.
- Walnuts originated in Central Asia but it was transported by traders to different parts of the world.
- The husk of the walnut, which is peeled away from the shell at harvest, and contains juice which will readily stain anything it comes in contact with. The husk juice has been used as a cloth dye.
- The United States is the world’s largest exporter of walnuts.
- Ninety-nine percent of the nation’s commercial English walnuts are produced in the Sacramento and San Joaquin valleys of California.
- Walnuts were brought to California in the 18th century. Today, California produces 75% of the world’s supply of walnuts.
- Due to its appearance, with the shell shaped like a human skull and the kernel resembling a brain, walnuts have always been regarded as “brain food.” Recent studies have proven that they do promote brain function because of their Omega-3 fatty acid content.
- The walnut is hailed as the most heart-friendly nut. It contains significant amounts of alpha linoleic acid or ALA, a type of Omega-3 fatty acid that helps prevent blood clots and lowers the risk of ischemic heart disease. Health experts recommend consuming 8 walnuts a day for the maintenance of cardiovascular health.
- If you want to preserve the taste of a walnut, do not shell it. Oxygen in the atmosphere will turn the oils in the nut rancid and spoil it.
- The black walnut is the tallest variety of walnut tree and can grow to a height of more than 100 feet.
- Walnut trees can live up to 250 years.