Peanuts and almonds do not meet the botanical definition of a true nut. Peanuts are actually legumes and a plum-like fleshy layer surrounds the almonds. . Instead, peanuts are considered legumes, along with soybeans, lentils and chickpeas.
Unlike nuts, most legumes come in pods that open automatically and may or may not grow underground, depending on the species. Almonds are seeds found in the fleshy, peach-like fruits of the Asian tree Prunus dulcis. They've earned a spot on our list because real nuts don't come wrapped in softened fruit. So how do botanists classify almonds? Like drupe seeds.
Simply put, a drupe is a soft fruit with a hard inner shell. Think of peach bones. The basic products of the nut mix sprout from the red, yellow or green “cashew nuts” that grow on trees in South America. Cashew seeds are naturally protected by an outer layer covered with toxins that are roasted to neutralize acid.
Some 20 species of pine trees, including the Italian stone pine, produce large seeds that are harvested en masse. These seeds are extracted from the cones in a meticulous process, which explains their high sales prices. You'll find Brazil nuts all over the Amazon rainforest, in countries like Peru, Colombia, Venezuela and (of course) Brazil. They come from a hardened 4- to 6-pound pod containing up to two dozen seeds that could one day grow into trees.
The capsules are so strong that if you hit yourself on the head with a falling one, it's enough to stun you or even kill you. You may have already heard that peanuts are not nuts. They are actually legumes and are members of the pea family. But did you know that cashew nuts, almonds, and several other common “culinary nuts” aren't real nuts either? To help us understand why this is the case, it's important to know what the definition of a true nut is.
Botanically, a nut is a dried fruit consisting of a hard shell that covers a single seed. Some examples of true nuts are acorns, chestnuts and hazelnuts. Brazil nuts are not legumes or drupes. Snacks of approximately 1.5 inches (3.8 centimeters) are disqualified from being true nuts, since 10 to 25 of them grow inside a single pod, according to the New York Botanical Garden.
The round, wood-like capsule that weighs 4 to 6 pounds. However, almonds are far from the only nut that isn't actually a nut. You may have heard that peanuts are actually legumes in the past, which is true. That's because they grow underground inside the pods, according to Insider.
While there are few legumes that people often consider nuts, there are many other seeds that are generally referred to as nuts. McGill also explains that almonds, like drupe, grow inside a shell inside a fleshy fruit and must be peeled to enjoy them, making them seeds rather than nuts. Because they grow in a pod, they are technically a legume, a family of plants that produce their fruits (often beans) in a pod and have more in common with snow peas than with real nuts. Botanists often refer to them as drupes, but because of their hard shells, the label “drupaceous nuts” may be more appropriate.
The fleshy whitish interior can be dipped in hot water and then passed through a cloth to produce coconut milk. It's all due to the anatomy of seeds and nuts, just like tomatoes are considered fruits because they contain seeds and come from a flower. The classification of walnuts and pecans is not so clear: they have characteristics of both nuts and drupes, but they do not fully meet the criteria for either of them. Meanwhile, the outer shells are responsible for some of the most delicious and strangest categories in the Guinness World Records, such as “most green coconuts break their heads in a minute”.
The hard outer shell of a true nut doesn't open on its own (think walnuts, chestnuts, hazelnuts, and acorns). So, eaters, what are some of your favorite culinary nuts to cook, bake, or snack on? And have you ever harvested nuts or drupes straight from the tree?. A true nut, botanically speaking, is a hard shell pod containing both the fruit and the seed of the plant, where the fruit does not open to release the seed to the world. .