The Brazil nut owes its name to the harbour city of Para in Brazil and means “River-Sea” for the Indians. However, this unusual nut also has many names in local dialects: castanha-do-pará, castania, para-nut, cream-nut, Castaña-de-Brazil (chestnuts of Brazil). Here is an interesting fact about Brazil nuts: the
phenomenon of Granular convection where granular materials (for instance, trail mix) when shaken in the vertical direction, leads to the large parts landing on top of the mixture, is sometimes called the Brazil Nut Effect.
From the dense Amazon forests to Europe
The primary cultivation area of Brazil nuts are the rural Amazon forests of South America. They are also found in Rionegro, Riovaupes and Orinoko in Paraguay, Brasilia, Bolivia, Peru, Columbia and Venezuela. Brought to Europe by a Spanish officer, the nutritious and satisfying Brazil nut used to be given to malnourished sailers to boost energy levels during long sea voyages. The botanical name „Bertletia excelsa“ has French roots and was given to the nut by the German naturalist Alexander von Humboldt, named after his friend, the French chemist Claude Louis Berthollet.
Brazil nuts are the seeds of the Juvia tree, a huge tree that has certain botanical similarities with the coconut tree. It can reach up to 60m tall, with a trunk of up to 2 meters in diameter and is claimed to reach the age of 1,000 years. It also grows very slowly and only produces the first fruits at the age of ten years. The fruits have very hard shells and contain 8 to 12 Brazil nuts each. Natural pollination is carried by the very rare type of bees, Euglossini or the orchid bees, who are very powerful and sturdy. An interesting fact is that, while the Brazil nuts are the seeds of the tree, the hard outer wooden shell of the fruit does not allow for the seeds (nuts) to be released. That is why one can often see a small animal in a tropical forest, looking somewhat like a Guinea pig. This is aguti, the little helper of nature, who cracks the hard shells open.
Brazil Nuts: An exceptional delicacy and a miracle nut in your diet
Not only are Brazil nuts exquisite in flavor, they are bursting with powerful nutritious, vitamins and antioxidants. They are even used as a medicine against Hepatitis in Brazil. Because of the tropical forest soil, Brazil nuts are rich in Selenium. Just a handful contains 500% of the daily required Selenium intake which is the the highest rate among plant based foods. Selenium is one of the main antioxidants and a critical component of the enzyme glutathione peroxidase, which teams up with vitamin E to block the formation of destructive free radicals, helps detox the body and boost metabolism. Two further important elements found in Brazil nuts are arginine and phosphorus. The latter has a very positive impact on the development and the strength of teeth and bones.
After they’re harvested, Brazil nuts are peeled and reveal their white coloured flesh. Raw nuts are dense and very crisp and are a great energy boosting snack both raw and roasted. You can also add crushed nuts to smoothies, salads, cakes or desserts. They are also a great vegan ingredient and are used for gluten free meals, dairy-free milk alternatives and as an oil. Even the beauty industry uses the marvelous Brazil nuts: In creams, skin treatments, hair oils etc.
KERNenergie: Nut Master’s Choice
We at KERNenergie prefer to eat nuts that have only the highest quality standards. In doing so, we have developed a great range of both raw and roasted products containing delicious Brazil nuts for you to enjoy. Our Brazil nuts are from the wild tropical forests of Bolivia, our experienced roasting team are experts in their field and only choose the best raw ingredients from around the world. We only choose the best 10% of any crop, whole nuts without any spots and buy them fresh right after the harvest.
We encourage you to try different Brazil nut product offerings using our individualization requests form. You have the choice between raw or roasted Brazil nuts, single nut mixes or fragrant mixes with sea salt or spices and herbs from every corner of the world.
Try, for instance, our “Melange Royal” – a delicious mix containing Brazil nuts, pistachios, hazelnuts, cashews, almonds, walnuts and pecans.